1. IN LIBYA
In Libya the Germans have been laying rows of anti-personnel mines in
front of their plate-shaped antitank mines in an effort to make the
cleaning up of minefields more dangerous.
The anti-personnel mines have push-igniters, and are usually laid
with only an inch of the antennae visible. Although the disturbed
earth is carefully smoothed back into place, the appearance of the
danger spot is likely to be different from that of the
surrounding ground. A sharp eye can detect the
difference, especially since the Germans, after smoothing
back the earth, don't seem to worry much about
disguising their minefields elaborately.
German antitank mines in Libya are usually laid
so that the tops of the push-igniters are flush with the
ground. As in the case of the anti-personnel mines, not
much concealment is attempted and the disturbed
earth usually gives away the location.
For safety's sake, be on the lookout for trip wires. No
mines with pull-igniters have been captured, but
it is known that the Germans are using them.
2. IN RUSSIA
In Russia, when the Germans are retreating, they
try to halt or delay the Russian advance by mining
roads and bridges. The Germans bury the
mines (small, round metal cans) under earth or snow. Sometimes, in
their haste, they leave a small mound visible, but
not often. Although the German mines are
occasionally laid in rows or in a checkerboard
pattern, as a rule they are not placed in exact order. Sometimes
they are wired in series, so that if the
Russians do not investigate carefully while disarming
the first mine, they may be killed or injured by one
of the others.
Another German method is to plant hundreds of
empty tin cans in the hope that the Russians will become
careless and overlook live mines. The Germans
also hang mines from trees, particularly at night, letting
them dangle low enough so that men and tanks
will run a risk of colliding with them.
It is interesting to note that the Germans' chief reason for
using land mines is not to cause great destruction
but to spread "mine fever" or, in plain words, fear. The Germans
consider that if their opponents stay cool and levelheaded, the mine-laying
has been little more than a waste of time and matériel.