Adapted from the manuals of the
Mine Clearance Training Unit (UNTAC) UN Forces, Cambodia
as a public service of Berserkistan.
This document may be printed and distributed freely.
Like Cambodia, the Balkan Zone of OperationsExpect the same types of mine hazards in the Balkans as in Cambodia with respect to the enormity of the problem, and the lack of minefield records.
is strewn with millions of landmines
Also expect to find more sophisticated forms of mines including many of the plastic variety and an infamous Italian variety that activates only after it has taken several strikes, thus letting a squad get knee-deep in the field before a detonation.
There are likely to be many more anti-tank mines in Bosnia owing to a greater use of armored vehicles and a better-developed road network. These mines are regularly used to augment checkpoints as an additional incentive for drivers to stop.
Another danger to persons in the region is damaged and unexploded ordinance. Damaged, dud rounds are the most unpredictable since their mechanisms are usually damaged and can be detonated by the slightest touch. If you are not familiar with the methods and practices surrounding ordinance disposal, do not under any circumstances handle or pick up items of ordinance.
Unless you are a professional military
engineer the rules to follow are
DON'T TOUCH, STAY AWAY,
AND NOTIFY THE PROPER AUTHORITY.
Also, do not rely on the word of locals
and practice all mine safety rules.
Anti-personel mines can never be used "responsibly"
because no one ever knows who the victim will be.
TYPES OF MINES
Landmines can be divided into two groups:
A. Anti-personnel (AP)
B. Anti-tank (AT)
Most AP mines are designed to injure, not to kill. AP mines are divided into four groups.AREAS MOST LIKELY TO BE MINED Assume any area where soldiers have been active to be mined or booby-trapped. In particular:
Most blast mines are pressure activated but some can also be tripwire activated. This type of mine relies on the blast caused by high explosive to severely wound the foot and leg of the person who stands on it. They normally require a bearing pressure of 3-5kg. Most of them will be surface-laid.
Most fragmentation mines are tripwire activated. They are placed above ground, normally resting on a stake and made of cast iron. When activated they send fragments of iron in all directions.
BOUNDING FRAGMENTATION MINES
They can be pressure or tripwire activated. They will be buried with only a small part of the fuse showing. When activated, the mine will propel itself approximately 3-1/2 feet out of the ground and then detonate, sending steel fragments in all directions.
They can be tripwire or command activated. They are placed above ground and aimed in a particular direction. When activated, they send hundreds of steel ball bearings in a roughly 60 degree swath. Most commonly used in ambush, booby trap (mechanical ambush) or in perimeter defense.Military buildingsNOTE: A road well-used by day may not be safe at night where soldiers are active. Care should be taken approaching villages at dawn or dusk as mines are laid for protection during dark hours.
Roads, entrances to storage sites
Bridges and surrounding areas
Shady trees used by soldiers
ADVICE ON PROTECTION FROM MINESDo not play with minesACTION ON FINDING YOURSELF IN A MINEFIELD
Do not go near mines
Do not go near wounded or dead animals
Do not touch or pick up things that are unknown
Do not touch or pick up things in unlikely places
Do not go to unknown or prohibited placesThe first indication of being in a minefield may be one of the following:IF YOU SEE A MINE OR MARKING SIGN
You may see a mine marking sign
You may see a mine
You may drive over a mine
You or one of your party may stand on a mineStand stillHOW TO SEARCH OUT BURIED MINES
Alert the rest of the group
If you can retrace your foot steps, then do so until you are out of the minefield.
If you cannot retrace your steps, then you will need to clear a narrow path 60cm wide out of the minefield. This is done by first looking very carefully at the ground for any signs in your proposed path. Next, you must look for tripwires with either your hands or a light rigid stick, across the full width of the path and up to a height of a walking man. If any are found, mark and avoid.
Do not be tempted to step over wires as mines are laid around tripwires.
Gently feel around the ground, especially in the undergrowth for any surface-laid mines. If anything is suspected, do not disturb, mark and avoid.This is done by prodding. A sharp, pointed long-bladed instrument such as a bayonet, knife or screwdriver can be used. It would be advisable to carry a knife of some sort when working in high-risk area. What you are aiming to do is clear a series of footprints approximately 30cm in diameter to enable you to walk out of the minefield. The prodder should be held at 30 degrees and pushed gently but firmly into the ground every 2cm.IF YOU DRIVE OVER A MINE
If any hard objects are found, they should be marked and avoided.
Progress will be very slow, but it will get you out of the minefield.
Mark location of mines with a marking sign and report.Vehicles should, where possible, always travel in pairs with a distance of at least 50 meters between vehicles. If you drive over an AP mine, stop. If your vehicle is still drivable, reverse out in the same tracks as you drove in. If vehicle is inoperable, climb out of the vehicle, without touching the ground, onto the roof and over the back, and walk out in the vehicle tracks.IF LEAD VEHICLE DRIVES OVER AN ANTI-TANK MINERear vehicle stops.DEALING WITH CASUALTIES IN A MINEFIELD
Report incident on radio, giving location and number of people in vehicle.
Drive or walk forward to damaged vehicle using the first vehicle's tracks. Care must be taken not to drive or walk on any ground that has not been cleared.
The lead vehicle will almost certainly be overturned and moved from its original place of detonation.
Therefore, the place of detonation to the vehicle must be considered mined. You must clear a path to the damaged vehicle prior to attempting any rescue or first aid.
Due to the purpose of an AT mine, the vehicle will almost certainly be destroyed, therefore, any occupants who are not dead will be severely injured.
If there are any survivors move them away from the vehicle to a safe area. Great care should be taken at all times only to stand on cleared ground.If the first sign that you are in a minefield is somebody standing on a mine.
Do not approach casualty without clearing a safe path.
Having reached the casualty, clear a safe area around.
Give first aid.
Clear a route out of the minefield, move the casualty.
The only first aid that may be immediately available to a mine casualty is what the casualty can administer to himself. Carry a small dressing or first aid kit when working in a high-risk area. It may save your life. When you have successfully extracted yourself from a minefield mark it and report it so that it can be dealt with later.
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MineFacts MineFactsİ is an interactive database program developed by the U.S. Department of Defense containing information and graphics on over 675 landmines from around the world.
Berserkistan is a world news service of Michael Linder Productions, Inc.
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