A general review of available information pertaining to the German "S" mines
appeared in Tactical and Technical Trends No. 44, p. 13. Other
sources, now available, contain some information based on experience subsequent
to that upon which the review in the No. 44 issue was predicated. The following
data is, therefore, in the nature of an amendment to that article.
* * *
Several reports have been received of "S" mines which contain a detonator
in the central hole instead of the four-second delay pellet, thus making the mine
practically instantaneous. Numerous fatal casualties have been reported to have
resulted from the action of this type of mine. It appears that although the lethal
range may not be so great, "S" mines detonating instantaneously are more deadly
because they do not allow time for prostration, and are certain to cause at least
one casualty. They are reported to be laid mixed with the usual delayed action type.
Early reports stated that a number of British soldiers had stepped on "S" mines
and survived by falling flat as soon as possible. There is corroboration
of the fact that there is an area, an annular ring about 6 feet from the
mine having a danger zone within and without it, in which, lying down, there
is a reasonable chance of escaping completely or with only minor
injuries. This was, however, with the old high-jumping "S" mine.
Experience subsequent to the Tunisian campaign has shown that it is very
bad practice to run in a minefield unless, of course, the local tactical situation
leaves no other alternative. Later experiences also indicate that effective
protection against "S" mines is not gained by wearing an overcoat or leather jerkin.
The corrugated iron shield is now considered ineffective and impractical.