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"German 'S' Mines Combined with Tellermines" from Tactical and Technical Trends

The following U.S. intelligence report on German minefields containing both antitank Tellermines and antipersonnel "S" mines was originally printed in Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 23, April 22, 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.]


Minefields are reported which contain both Tellermines and "S" mines. At the risk of possible repetition, it seems worth while to point out here the difference between these two types, as engineers clearing Tellermines, if "S" mines are unexpectedly encountered, may be in a rather difficult situation.

The Tellermine ("Teller" is "plate" in German) is the standard antitank mine, a flat, round device looking not unlike a stack of wheat cakes. Unless booby-trapped with a supplementary pull, pressure, or release igniter, the Tellermine will ordinarily explode only when run over by a tank or other vehicle. Where pressure is equally distributed over the top of the mine, the weight required for detonation is approximately 400 pounds. However, if pressure is brought to bear on the edge of the mine, about 175 pounds is sufficient for detonation. The figures referring to pressure apply to mines buried at a depth of about 3 inches.

The antipersonnel "S" mine, otherwise known as the "bounding mine" or "silent soldier," is a much more ingenious device. Buried in a shallow hole, it is tossed into the air by a light charge of powder in its base, and explodes violently when some 5 feet up. In size, the mine is about as large as a quart tomato can. It weighs about 9 pounds, and the bursting charge of approximately 1 pound of TNT scatters some 350 steel balls with such surprising force that they are dangerous at 200 yards. Both trip-wires and direct step-on devices are used to ignite them.


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