Some landmine education please.

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Christoph1945

Some landmine education please.

Post by Christoph1945 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:12 pm

When I first started serious metal detecting, I chose to work the beaches of North East Wales. Talacre in Flintshire has been the beach that I most frequently detect on. Over last 18 months or so, I have learned a little about the history of Talacre, and continue to do so.

My initial interest was not in WW11 ordnance but I have found the postings here to be of most interest and assistance to me. I never work Talacre without turning up some spent projectiles; 50cal, 303's, etc.

The reason for this post is as follows...........the other day a photograph of two smoke mortars was posted here, and I thought bloody hell I wouldn't have known what they were! What could I expect a land mine to look like; if I was ever unfortunate to find one? I think that I know, but then I thought I knew what a motar would look like! :-O

Any assistance or direction to a web site would be gratefully recieved.

Chris



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Re: Some landmine education please.

Post by roddas » Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:19 pm

Oh Sh*t - Help needed, RRPG where are you !!

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Re: Some landmine education please.

Post by Wansdyke44 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:34 pm

Christoph1945 wrote:When I first started serious metal detecting, I chose to work the beaches of North East Wales. Talacre in Flintshire has been the beach that I most frequently detect on. Over last 18 months or so, I have learned a little about the history of Talacre, and continue to do so.

My initial interest was not in WW11 ordnance but I have found the postings here to be of most interest and assistance to me. I never work Talacre without turning up some spent projectiles; 50cal, 303's, etc.

The reason for this post is as follows...........the other day a photograph of two smoke mortars was posted here, and I thought bloody hell I wouldn't have known what they were! What could I expect a land mine to look like; if I was ever unfortunate to find one? I think that I know, but then I thought I knew what a motar would look like! :-O

Any assistance or direction to a web site would be gratefully recieved.

Chris
And tonights nomination for the Darwin Award is!

Should you uncover something you suspect is a landmine the normal procedure is to throw yourself 200ft into the air and scatter yourself over a wide area!

On a slightly more serious note, if you are digging in an area you suspect has been sown with mines then you are in the wrong place. Just google image search WW2 landmines. Stop digging and go somewhere safer.
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Re: Some landmine education please.

Post by RRPG » Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:13 pm

Well. Where to start...........

First up, remember the 'rule'. If you're not 100% certain that what you're digging up is inert/safe, LEAVE IT ALONE !

Secondly, the army, whilst deficient in some areas, tend not to go leaving land mines around in areas accessible by the general public. I know......I know......amazing to think but it is true.

Thirdly, land mines come in all shapes and sizes, from ones the size of dustbin lids to ones the size of a drinks can. They can be made of metal, plastic, glass, wood, bakelite.......you name it, they've made them in that material. If you do find one and it is still live, (this is highly HIGHLY unlikely in the UK by the way), you won't need to worry about it because, as Wansdyke has already quite rightly pointed out, you will be 200foot in the air in a state of severe disrepair, but more likely atomised.

I am, of course, throughout this post assuming that there is no active bye-law covering Talacre range ??? If there isn't, you're fine. If there is, you're stuffed as the bye-laws clearly state, (they are all the same with just the location varying in the detail), that not only can't you search for anything in the area, you also cannot take anything away as it is deemed property of the MoD. Check here....

http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/Micro ... s/Byelaws/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

And lastly I'd like to echo Wansdyke's comment. What the heck are you doing digging in an area where you think there may be land mines ? Even I won't do that and most people regard me as completely round the twist, given that I spend my entire time metal detecting for old WW2 ordnance !

Anyway, in summary, there won't be any land mines there but, if there are, you won't realise until it's too late. Go find another site :) :)

RRPG

PS From what I can tell, Talacre was used by the RAF and USAAF as a ground attack range. If this is all it was used for, the chances of finding a mine are nil, but the chances of finding practice bombs and live cannon shells is high. You can regard these as 'land mines' as, if you catch them with your spade, they are likely to remove your foot/leg.
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Lots of videos of WW2 relics being recovered on my channel! Go view it!

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Christoph1945

Re: Some landmine education please.

Post by Christoph1945 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:30 pm

Aaah Gentlemen,

I am not looking for landmines, I don't want landmines, and I hope that I never come across any land mines. I have an old map in my posession that shows the beach at Talacre had barbed wire entanglements close to the dunes, and the said area was also mined. I have been assured that our military masters cleared the area of mines after the war and the area is totally safe.

Thanks for the direction; I have checked and there is no active bylaw covering Flintshire.

It was just that I thought I knew what a landmine may look like but was very surprised when I saw the smoke mortars because I thought I knew what a mortar looked like!

Chris

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Re: Some landmine education please.

Post by RRPG » Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:45 pm

Aha !

In which case, refer to my previous comment. Anything from the size of a dustbin lid down to a drinks can, made of any material. May have a 'prong' sticking out the top attached to the detonator, or may be perfectly flat on the surface, (pressure sensors inside). Could be circular, could be square or oblong. Could be attached to others by a wire. Basically we get back to the old 'If you ain't sure, don't bloody touch it !'.

With it being an old aircraft range, watch out for unexploded 20mm heads AND the little nose caps which maybe small, but have enough power to remove a couple of fingers. Also keep an eye out for spent incendiary bullets that are in good condition as they will still be 'live' and quite capable of melting a hole through the boot of your car on the way home. There's lots more you should watch out for but it'd take me years to describe everything..........

:)

RRPG
www.stephentaylorhistorian.com

Lots of videos of WW2 relics being recovered on my channel! Go view it!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZxrI- ... SoD8F8kebg"

Christoph1945

Re: Some landmine education please.

Post by Christoph1945 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:58 pm

Thanks for that RRPG. Having sussed out the location for the targets, the target block house, and the flight paths of the fighter comming in; I avoid detecting the beach area close to the second Narcon Bunker. The area is littered with spent projectiles, and that is not what I am looking for.

I visit Military Ordnance so that I will not be ignorant when comming across finds. Although I avoid the area that I have just spoken of; time, tide, and sands move the darn stuff eastward towards Mostyn! :(

Chris

Christoph1945

Re: Some landmine education please.

Post by Christoph1945 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 3:38 pm

He He He, nice one Ferret; Had a similar one many years ago, but never did get it to work properly. ;)

Chris

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Re: Some landmine education please.

Post by mikeyjp » Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:27 pm

i didnt realise we put down land mines anywhere in this country, i know there still plenty of sea mines out there floating about

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Re: Some landmine education please.

Post by Neil&Julie » Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:49 pm

The problem with mines is 'Mine migration' they seldom stay where they were planted, especially in dunes where they were mainly planted, if you do uncover a mine or even thing it's a mine, MARK IT about 10ft away with a pile of stones/rocks/ sticks and WALK AWAY! Call the police who will handle it from there!! They will set up a cordon and call EOD!!

No find is worth a limb!
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Re: Some landmine education please.

Post by stargazer1 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:14 pm

The Ferret wrote:You might need to borrow this :D
Image
Cheers
TF
That was the type I was trained with. They are rubbish. They were scrapped as when I was in the Royal Engineers, mines became to be made of plastic, so detectors couldn't detect them.

Mines come in 2 main types; anti tank and anti personnel. Apparently the UK don't use anti personnel mines anymore.But we had them in the late 1970s.
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Re: Some landmine education please.

Post by Dave8472 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:19 pm

A foreigner asked me once in the park if I was looking for mines :-O =))

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Christoph1945

Re: Some landmine education please.

Post by Christoph1945 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:23 pm

stargazer1 wrote:
The Ferret wrote:You might need to borrow this :D
Image
Cheers
TF
That was the type I was trained with. They are rubbish. They were scrapped as when I was in the Royal Engineers, mines became to be made of plastic, so detectors couldn't detect them.
How the hell did they detect plastic mines; and don't say stamp on them. :))

Sniffer dogs?

Christoph1945

Re: Some landmine education please.

Post by Christoph1945 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:38 pm

mikeyjp wrote:i didnt realise we put down land mines anywhere in this country, i know there still plenty of sea mines out there floating about
Like many other beaches around the UK, the beach at Swanage was mined during WWII. Following the end of the war; the beach was demined, and declared safe for public use.

In 1955, a groupe seven children found a mine that they thought was a tin of food and tried to open it. Bang, five died, and two survived. I think that one of the children survived to become a British MP. I think his name was Bob Keys........or Key.

Chris

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Re: Some landmine education please.

Post by RRPG » Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:54 pm

This is a great thread :) In all the years I have been detecting on old gunnery ranges, POW camps, airbases, army bases and everything else remotely connected with WW2, I have never once found even a small part of a landmine, let alone a whole one. Now I must admit, in the 50s and 60s, there were a number of cases of mines being uncovered on beaches and even seem to think there were some found in the 90s.

However, let's be realistic about this. The chances of finding a mine in the UK are somewhere between LMAO and 0.01%.......you've probably got more chance being struck by lightning whilst detecting than finding a mine.

Just remember the one thing I keep saying over and over again that has kept me safe for all these years. If you cannot be 100% certain (and I MEAN 100%), that what you're uncovering is inert, LEAVE it ALONE and call the authorities.

As for plastic and glass mines, these were found the old fashioned way. Get on your belly, probe the ground in front of you with a bayonet, then move forward and probe again.

Remember, (another thing I'll say over and over again), no relic is worth a finger, hand, arm, foot, leg or LIFE.

Be safe !

RRPG
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Re: Some landmine education please.

Post by RRPG » Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:20 pm

Here ya go. Just in case you have a million to one find. Here are some of the common British and American WW2 era mines. Most look like mines, some like grenades, some like a little Bakelite tube........

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

That last one is a doozie.......looks nothing like a mine but is quite capable of removing your foot and/or testicles. :) :) :)

RRPG

PS This is NOT a definitive list of British and American WW2 mines, just a sample.....
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Christoph1945

Re: Some landmine education please.

Post by Christoph1945 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:36 pm

Digressing slightly from the thread; the bigest concern that I have at Talacre is broken glass and hypodermic needles. I remove all that I come across! Picked up 10kg of nasty broken glass in my first season down there. That was just between the lighthouse and the tern colony. I always remember seeing a kid in Southport who had stepped on a broken bottle and gashed his foot wide open. We were only kids and my mom rendered firstaid to him.

I have no intention of removing any landmines should I ever find one. But can you see my point? I was amazed at the smoke mortars. I thought that they looked a little like small gas bottles. I had hoped that maybe there were photographs of other ordnance in similar condition so that one could see the changes that take place after 60+ years under the earth. I am here to learn.

Chris

Christoph1945

Re: Some landmine education please.

Post by Christoph1945 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:39 pm

Thanks for the pics RRPG. Is one of those things a "Bouncing Betty" ?

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Re: Some landmine education please.

Post by RRPG » Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:16 pm

Christoph1945 wrote:Thanks for the pics RRPG. Is one of those things a "Bouncing Betty" ?
Nope. Bouncing betty mines were German 'S' mines, designed to jump 2ft in the air and then explode, sending steel balls flying out at crotch height. The Americans coined the term 'bouncing betty'.

Those are the size of a large drinks can with a long probe on the top with prongs on it that were the only thing visible above ground.
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Lots of videos of WW2 relics being recovered on my channel! Go view it!

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Christoph1945

Re: Some landmine education please.

Post by Christoph1945 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:22 pm

Thanks RRPG. I had a peep at some of your videos and am well impressed by your presentation and editing. In one of them you came across what looked like 50 cal armour piercing inceduary.

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Re: Some landmine education please.

Post by RRPG » Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:42 pm

Yeah. Silver tipped little bugger. Didn't take that home with me.......not worth it when I've already got 100s of perfectly legal 50cal ball rounds :)

If you want to know what stuff looks like after being in the ground 65+ years, check out my vids on the British army dump my group has been digging. You'll see how things change in that quite nicely :)

Here's a German S-mine for you.

Image

And a picture of an American digging one up to show you the size.....

Image
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Christoph1945

Re: Some landmine education please.

Post by Christoph1945 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:55 pm

RRPG wrote:
Here's a German S-mine for you.

Image

And a picture of an American digging one up to show you the size.....

Image

Aaaah so that is what those looked like. We were always told that the East Germans had seeded the kill zone with those. Mind you, I always took the E8 and drove through south of Berlin.


Chris

Christoph1945

Re: Some landmine education please.

Post by Christoph1945 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:10 pm

Just tracked down the story on the internet and that guys name was Robert Key, and he did become an MP. He states that after the mine clearance of Swanage beach, 58 mines were unaccounted for. :-O

Chris

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Re: Some landmine education please.

Post by dannieboyuk » Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:25 am

One of the best threads i have read so far, very intresting. Well done chaps!!! :D

Christoph1945

Re: Some landmine education please.

Post by Christoph1945 » Tue Mar 06, 2012 6:50 am

Thanks for the advice, but I had already decided never to detect at Swanage; with 58 mines unaccounted for, I think that the risk is far to high for me!

How can one find out if all the mines at Talacre were accounted for?

Chris

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Re: Some landmine education please.

Post by RRPG » Tue Mar 06, 2012 8:02 am

Christoph1945 wrote: How can one find out if all the mines at Talacre were accounted for ?
That's easy..........go detect the beach and dunes for the MOD.........if you find a mine., just ring them up with the phrase........ 'Hi, Chris here again. Mark it up to 7 now and send EOD please. Don't suppose you've got a spare foot anywhere have you? I seem to have misplaced mine'

=)) =)) =)) 8-} 8-}



PS You can't find out if all the mines were accounted for. Even if they knew they wouldn't tell you. You could try the freedom of information act, but that'll take months and why would you want to attract attention to yourself like that anyway ? :) :)
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Christoph1945

Re: Some landmine education please.

Post by Christoph1945 » Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:22 am

Mmmm, let me see if I am correct. You never beach detect; at least not on beaches that were once mined, and then cleared?

Chris

PS., The dunes are out of bounds to operational detectorists.

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Re: Some landmine education please.

Post by RRPG » Tue Mar 06, 2012 11:28 am

Christoph1945 wrote:Mmmm, let me see if I am correct. You never beach detect; at least not on beaches that were once mined, and then cleared?

Chris

PS., The dunes are out of bounds to operational detectorists.
I spend a lot of time on beaches actually :) ......so long as there was some WW2 ranges there ofc :) In fact I do nothing but detect for WW2 relics and done so for many years. It was a joke. Sorry that you didn't realise..........

And yep, I know dunes are off limits. It was integral to the joke.

:)

Have a look in this forum for my thread titled 'new house....ne war room's and you'll see what I mean.

:)
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Christoph1945

Re: Some landmine education please.

Post by Christoph1945 » Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:49 pm

Hi RRPG, didn't mean to spoil the joke. :)

Now, knowing that you do, pesonally, detect on British beaches, even those that were mined and eventually cleard; are you not concerned that the British army was unable to account for some 58 mines at Swanage? Before anyone takes offence at that question; it was not a slight on the British Armed Forces. And I do understand that tide, time, and sand shift cause migration of objects hidden on beaches.

Chris :)

PS Did have a look at the new war room just after you started the thread. Verry impressive.

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Re: Some landmine education please.

Post by RRPG » Tue Mar 06, 2012 2:57 pm

Yes, I am very concerned because someone may stumble across them in the future. The message I always try and get across is that digging for WW2 relics is not for the feint hearted or uninitiated. All too often unsuspecting mders take home an item that looks harmless but actually contains enough explosive to atomise them and their house. The golden rule when in an area containing military detritus is dig slowly and carefully, andt never remove anything from the ground you're not 100% cerain is safe.


If you want to hunt for military stuff, go with an experienced digger first, before venturing out on your own. :)
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Lots of videos of WW2 relics being recovered on my channel! Go view it!

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