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"Marking of German Minefields" from Tactical and Technical Trends

The following intelligence report on German minefield markings was published in Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 41, December 30, 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.]


It has been reported that the Germans sometimes mark their minefields by placing wooden stakes at the corners. This method of marking is one of the standard methods used by the Germans. Some of these stakes have been found marked "HP".

The Germans designate certain "fixed points" (FP - Festpunkt) and certain "auxiliary points" (HP - Hilfspunkt). The position of each mine can be found by measuring a certain distance, in meters, in a straight line from any one of such points along a given bearing. A compass card called Marschkompass (see Tactical and Technical Trends No. 34, p. 22) is used. This card has a compass divided into 64 divisions, NOT 360 degrees, numbered in a counterclockwise direction. The number of FPs and HPs chosen to start with, and the proportion of HPs to each FP seems to be arbitrary. Sometimes bearings to mines are given from both a FP and a HP, or from two different FPs, but this is the exception; normally only one bearing is given.


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