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How do landmines kill you?

Updated: 8/18/2023
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15y ago

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Anti-personnel landmines are designed specifically to reroute or push back foot soldiers from a given geographic area. These mines can kill or disable their victims, and are activated by pressure, tripwire or remote detonation. There are also smart mines, which automatically de-activate themselves after a certain amount of time. These are the most common types of mines currently used by the U.S. military Anti-personnel mines fit into three basic categories: Blast - The most common type of mine, blast mines are buried no deeper than a few centimeters and are generally triggered by someone stepping on the pressure plate, applying about 11 to 35.3 pounds (5 to 16 kg) of pressure. These mines are designed to destroy an object in close proximity, such as a person's foot or leg. A blast mine is designed to break the targeted object into fragments, which can cause secondary damage, such as infection and amputation.

Bounding - Usually buried with only a small part of the igniter protruding from the ground, these mines are pressure or tripwire activated. You may also hear this type of mine referred to as a "Bouncing Betty." When activated, the igniter sets off a propelling charge, lifting the mine about 1 meter into the air. The mine then ignites a main charge, causing injury to a person's head and chest.

Fragmentation - These mines release fragments in all directions, or can be arranged to send fragments in one direction (directional fragmentation mines). These mines can cause injury up to 200 meters away and kill at closer distances. The fragments used in the mines are either metal or glass. Fragmentation mines can be bounding or ground-based.

There are several-hundred different kinds of anti-personnel mines in use by many countries. For the purposes of this article, we have chosen two landmines developed by the United States military that demonstrate the varying characteristics of landmines

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13y ago

Land mines come in two distinct types:

  • Anti-personel
  • Anti-vehicle

It all depends on the type of mine you are dealing with.

A typical anti-vehicle land mine will take a person standing on it, and will not explode. The idea is that when an area is cleared on foot it must not explode. After the area is cleared and declared "safe", subsequent vehicles following through into the "safe area" would be destroyed by the waiting land mine.

If you're in the vehicle that gets hit when the mine goes off, your chances of survival will vary widely depending on the design of vehicle, and the type of mine. A simple 4x4 vehicle offers little protection, but more armour and better underbody design can offer more protection to occupants of the vehicle. However the vehicle may well be rendered dead by the mine.

Anti Personell mines again fall into 2 rough types:

  • Straight mine, these are designed to remove body parts such as feet, legs etc
  • Bounding mines, when set off pop up and explode throwing out shrapnel, they have a kill range of quite a radius (up to 50m on larger ones, and a wound range of 3-4 times the kill range)

Surviving an anti personnel land mine explosion is not an easy thing, you're likely to come of badly. Most modern armed forces teach their troops about avoiding mines to begin with, and safe extraction techniques should they wander into a minefield.

Either way mines are an evil weapon, once buried, they have a tendency to migrate under ground, particularly after heavy rainfalls. So after time a once marked area of mines may not be safe outside the boundaries.

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13y ago

There are various types of land mines but they are typically classified in two types, antipersonnel and anti-vehicle. Most antipersonnel mines are designed to cause wounds from fragmentation and are initiated by either a pressure trigger or tripwire. Anti-vehicle mines are larger and are initiated by a pressure trigger, magnetic sensor, or infrared trigger. The proximity to a mine is the main factor in the amount of damage the mine will inflict on a person or vehicle. If a person is within five meters of most antipersonnel mines they will receive severe injuries and possibly die when the mine detonates. A person within five meters of an anti-vehicle mine when it detonates will most likely be killed instantly. The wide variety of land mines make it difficult to say exactly what a land mine will do to you if you encounter one.

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What countries are trying to ban landmines?

There are dozens of reasons to ban antipersonnel landmines and to campaign for this goal. Some of the moral, humanitarian, socio-economic and diplomatic arguments. Antipersonnel landmines still maim and kill ordinary people every day. They blow off their victims' legs, feet, toes and hands. They fire shrapnel into their faces and bodies. Antipersonnel mines are indiscriminate and inhumane weapons and therefore go against international humanitarian law. The law of war imposes certain restrictions on how combatants operate. It says that they have to distinguish between civilian and military targets and that the injuries inflicted should be proportionate with military objectives. Antipersonnel landmines fail both the discrimination and the proportionality tests. Banning landmines makes a difference. There is no explanation why some countries don't ban landmines. ---------------------------------- BS. There is a very easy answer to why some countries still employ them: landmines are very effective at what they are designed to do. That is as combat engineering tools that block, impede (slow down) or channel your opponent in order for you to gain a tactical advantage over them....which is to say KILL THEM. What I find amusing is that the nations that are crying for the ban don't face the prospects of fightingh a real shooting war any time soon. Used responsibly, landmines can be a very effective tool.