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"Additional Data -- German "S" Mines" from Tactical and Technical Trends

The following report on German "S" mines was originally published in Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 47, June 1, 1944.

[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.]


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.

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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.


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