Andy Smith
MIne-action specialist
 

Mined area Indicators – Trench scene

 

 

Sheet 41     Trench scene 
(Page 1)

Defensive trenches are often quite shallow and may have become overgrown. The trench shown in the picture is at the edge of a hill with a flat top. Soldiers had a camp and lookout post on top of the hill and the trench was part of their defensive works.

A hundred meters away and just over the edge the hill, the defenders placed POMZ fragmentation mines with tripwires. These fragmentation mines fire fragments in all directions so the defending soldiers had to place the mines so that they were not at threat themselves. In this case they put the mines over the brow of the hill and so used the ground as protection.

The fighting moved away from this area and the camp was suddenly abandoned. The soldiers thought that they would return, so did not clear the mines or make the area safe before they left.

Apart from the trench itself, you can see several indications that this area was used by soldiers in the picture.

Suggested message(s):

  • Areas that may have been used by soldiers should be avoided whenever possible.
  • If you must use an area used by soldiers, look around carefully and avoid objects left by the soldiers.

Sheet 42     Trench scene 
(Page 2)

The red arrows on the picture point to the clues that can be easily seen.

There are, from left to right:

  1. The wooden stake on which fragmentation mines are placed. This provides a clue to the kind of mine that was placed over the brow of the hill.
  2. A military box made of wood. It could have been used to carry bullets, grenades, mortars, or innocent items such as tins of food. When left behind like this, it is most likely to be empty or to have been booby-trapped.
  3. A military-issue multi-meter in a webbing case. Left invitingly where it can be seen, this could also have been booby trapped.
  4. A fuzed mortar bomb.
  5. An RKG-3 series “shaped charge” anti-tank grenade. This grenade has a small stabilising parachute that opens when it is thrown.

Suggested message(s):

  • Areas that may have been used by soldiers should be avoided whenever possible.
  • If you must use an area used by soldiers, look around carefully.
  • Do not be tempted to investigate items that have been left behind. They may be explosive and they may have been deliberately booby trapped to attract you.

 

 

Mined area
warning signs

 

Areas without
signs

 

Informal
warning
signs

 

Roads in
rural areas

 

 

Improvised devices
on roads

 

Surveyor's stick
scene

 

Fighter plane
scenario

 

Abandoned
grazing land

 

Tank
Scene

 

 

Washout
Scene

 

Embankment
Scene

 

Destroyed
train

 

Abandoned
building

 

Transporter
Scene

 

Angola bush
Scene

 

Power-line
Scene

 

Burnt-off
area

 

Trench
Scene

 

 

Angola
bush 2

 

OZM
Scene

 

Small
fuzes

 

 

How mines
age

 

Other common
AP mines

 

Other common
ordnance

 

Other common
indicators

 

Ammunition
dump

 

Mine
injuries

 

TEACHING
NOTES
*.doc

 

TEACHING
NOTES
*.pdf