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"German Mine Detector Rod" from Tactical and Technical Trends

The following report on a German mine detector rod (Minensuchstab) is taken from Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 17, January 28, 1943.

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department publication Tactical and Technical Trends. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]


The full name of this device is the Minensuchstab (Sucheisen n.A.) 39 literally "mine-searching rod (searching iron, new type)"--generally called MS 39. It is made of two lengths of light metal tubing, one of which, the "vibrating tube," has a hardened-steel point, while the other forms an extension piece to be added when the rod is used from an upright position. The total weight of the rod is approximately 1 pound, and that of the vibration tube and point about 10 1/2 ounces. The vibrating tube is connected to the extension tube by means of a bayonet joint. When packed for transport, the vibration tube and point are inserted into the extension tube point first.

A German pamphlet describing the MS 39 gives the following instructions for its use. The rod is to be held lightly between fingers and thumb, and inserted vertically into the ground. Should resistance be encountered, the point is to be lifted approximately four inches and dropped. A skilled operator can tell the nature of the object in contact from its "feel," and from the sound emitted by the vibrating tube. Thus it is stated that the point will "stick" in wood, and the vibrating tube will emit a dull note which will be practically inaudible if the wood is growing. The rod will rebound from metal objects and give out a high note, while stones produce a high, almost shrill note, and cause the rod to rebound sharply.


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