Americans in a minefield. Literally

#2
They kept their cool and stayed focused--even the casualty did after getting assistance. Good job in a difficult situation.
 
#3
Some great features on that site. Particularly the ones about Afghan marksmanship. I'd recommend them 100%.
 
#5
It was a BTR-60 Hull but thanks for this quite interesting
Right you are. Cheers.

As Virgil says about how cool and calm they were... It gave me the willies, actually. Not that I expected them to be screaming like a bunch of teenagers, but it just seemed so damn routine. That poor fecker lost his leg, and he's probably one of a dozen that happens to, week in week out.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#6
Whats so chilling is the fact that the blast was tiny in comparisom to an IED yet ruined 2 persons lives and wounded 2 others, who says mines arent effective?
 

Schaden

On ROPS
On ROPs
Book Reviewer
#8
Company commander showing the Peter Principle is still around.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#9
Anyone who signed up the Ottawa Treaty! ;-)
I think that's more of a hope that ours won't be used against us in the future, come a real world war and we would be making them faster than the MoD with P45s
 
#10
Whats so chilling is the fact that the blast was tiny in comparisom to an IED yet ruined 2 persons lives and wounded 2 others, who says mines arent effective?
Speaking of the "size" of the thing, we had these in Vietnam but due to careless accounting for them (including troops shedding various bits of kit as they struggled along on patrols) unfortunately more use was made by our enemy of them. Very effective unfortunately.

[video=youtube;P0JSpQyL5VY]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0JSpQyL5VY[/video]
 
#11
Toe poppers were nasty things. Can/could be made virtually invisible in the most unlikley of places. As I understand it alot of Special Forces in Vitenam would use them for many tasks such as protecting their exfil routes. I've read accounts of guys who would quickly position them quite liberally in the mud (for example) in an area the enemy had to cross and smooth the mud over them completely.
You are correct. The trouble was that unlike a proper minefield surveyed in and mapped, these things were scattered around by various means and I hazard a guess they took more American "toes" than anyone else's. Those were in the analog days before built in deactivation mechanisms.
 
#14
It is easy to criticize when watching through Youtube someone else trying to function in extremis .
I remember getting trained on those things.

I would think however that what they stepped on was probably a russian PMN-2 if they've been found in theater. It's Afghanistan so I assume that place is anything goes. The explosion looked fairly big with at least a 24+ inch hole he was in and those mines have 4-5 times the amount of explosive in them as a toe popper does.

One thing I found interesting is that after the first one went off and got the report that they heard nothing from the device, but from the video it appears that they continued to rely on the sweepers. I know that time is of the essence as usually where there is a mine field there is also an ambush or over-watching enemy positions.

I wonder, do they still train to use bayonets as the ad hoc mine clearing method? Retracing steps is one thing, but I think I would have had mine out clearing a route back down the hill when the first one went off or at least assigned a guy to do it while the others covered. True hindsight is 20-20 but in thinking that training usually overrides is it something still trained or fallen out of fashion?
 
#15
052-192-1042 (SL1) - Perform Self-Extraction from a Mined AreaStandards: Self-extract from a mined area, by foot or from a vehicle, under the following conditions without causing personal injury or mine detonation. When footprints are clearly visible, when footprints are not clearly visible (stepping-stone and lane technique), and from a vehicle. Locate, mark, and bypass each trip wire and mine within the area probed. Remove enough soil to confirm the presence of a mine. Report the mined area information to higher headquarters.


Note: The acronym for stop, assess, note, draw back, inform (SANDI) is used to remember the sequence of events for extraction. Stop and gain control of yourself. Assess the situation of mines or booby traps and personnel. Note the situation for future reference. Draw back to the last known safe area. Self-extraction to the nearest safe area may be referred to as draw back. Inform higher headquarters of the situation. The letters from the acronym will be reinforced throughout this task and represented with bold letters
 
#16
I wonder, do they still train to use bayonets as the ad hoc mine clearing method? Retracing steps is one thing, but I think I would have had mine out clearing a route back down the hill when the first one went off or at least assigned a guy to do it while the others covered. True hindsight is 20-20 but in thinking that training usually overrides is it something still trained or fallen out of fashion?
My sapper friend tells me they all carry plastic tent pegs for such work now as the bad guys do have some magnetic mines so using a carbon steel blade of a bayonet is not the best idea.
 
#17
I second the comments about the PMNs

I spent two years in post war Kuwait after Gulf 1 working for the Brits, then the Yanks and finally the UN. Once we had cleared the Oilfields and the fires were out we moved onto the Barrier minefields, of which there were miles and miles.

There were all sorts of mines there but the worst two were, without doubt, the Valmara V69 and the Russian PMN.

The Valmaras (the jumping ones with the spikes on top) were used on the beaches as well as inland. The ones on the beach had been pushed over and buried by tidal action. We found them with the tops missing and the three ball bearings, holding back the striker, held in by rust alone. It took the death of Chris S**** to stop hand clearance and revert to mechanical.

The ones inland had been so hot for so long that a vacuum formed inside. When the top was twisted off there was a very loud un-nerving 'POP' which caused many a pair of soiled skiddies!

The PMNs were evil feckers, the dets would become stuck and instead of dropping out would need a gentle shake. They were too dodgy to transport and there were too many to blow in situ.

Our claim to fame was rescuing a dog from a minefield in the same week the RAF bloke got the GM for doing the same for some other Crabs (I'd have said the dog was more worthy of rescuing)

I also have a nice photo of when we drove into an unmarked minefield and had a Valmara VS1.6 AT Mine 11" inside the front nearside wheel of a LHD Discovery I was driving. My Oppos kindly walked back along the tracks whilst shouting 'Back her out then MM!'

Cheers Bastardos!
 
#18
I second the comments about the PMNs

I spent two years in post war Kuwait after Gulf 1 working for the Brits, then the Yanks and finally the UN. Once we had cleared the Oilfields and the fires were out we moved onto the Barrier minefields, of which there were miles and miles.

There were all sorts of mines there but the worst two were, without doubt, the Valmara V69 and the Russian PMN.

The Valmaras (the jumping ones with the spikes on top) were used on the beaches as well as inland. The ones on the beach had been pushed over and buried by tidal action. We found them with the tops missing and the three ball bearings, holding back the striker, held in by rust alone. It took the death of Chris S**** to stop hand clearance and revert to mechanical.

The ones inland had been so hot for so long that a vacuum formed inside. When the top was twisted off there was a very loud un-nerving 'POP' which caused many a pair of soiled skiddies!

The PMNs were evil feckers, the dets would become stuck and instead of dropping out would need a gentle shake. They were too dodgy to transport and there were too many to blow in situ.

Our claim to fame was rescuing a dog from a minefield in the same week the RAF bloke got the GM for doing the same for some other Crabs (I'd have said the dog was more worthy of rescuing)

I also have a nice photo of when we drove into an unmarked minefield and had a Valmara VS1.6 AT Mine 11" inside the front nearside wheel of a LHD Discovery I was driving. My Oppos kindly walked back along the tracks whilst shouting 'Back her out then MM!'

Cheers Bastardos!
We did that once in korea with our tracks except it was a marked area. We were moving at night into an area and as daybreak came we began to notice the white stakes and markers around the mines. Fortunately we were able to back out without any incident but I do recall a lot of yelling and screaming in the CP and heard the word "remedial map reading" a lot.


Interesting about the plastic tent pegs. I wonder if you could get away with aluminum knitting needles. Sounds silly, but then again, canned silly string to find tripwires works like a charm.
 
#19
We did that once in korea with our tracks except it was a marked area. We were moving at night into an area and as daybreak came we began to notice the white stakes and markers around the mines. Fortunately we were able to back out without any incident but I do recall a lot of yelling and screaming in the CP and heard the word "remedial map reading" a lot.


Interesting about the plastic tent pegs. I wonder if you could get away with aluminum knitting needles. Sounds silly, but then again, canned silly string to find tripwires works like a charm.
In terms of mines, the M-16 bounding APM was the one we hated most. Contrary to the usual dramatic scene in films where the good guy steps on one and hears a click (and then some really go into science fiction with the hero unlacing his boot and replacing his foot with a convenient rock etc.), there is a distinctive "slow" pop (black powder booster) after which there is an eternal half second as the mine rises to crotch height and then (if you were lucky enough to only hear it) came the "fast" sharp blast of high order military grade explosive and the whine (again if you were lucky enough to just hear the effects) of shrapnel.

I find the Hollywood special effects are very misleading to the uninitiated in that they use explosions that make great fireballs and seem to go on and on (even without adding drama with slo-mo). In a way, I wish that was the way it is in real life as it, in a strange way, seems more fitting in trying to deal with the death and destruction caused. In reality, such things happen in a nanosecond with relatively little "fanfare" (in the film sense) and when I now reflect on these occasions and the horrific aftermath (the most vivid and hardest to reconcile is where there was a 175 lb Marine and the next conscious sight was a thick red "mist" covering the foliage and those nearby with collateral injuries being from bone fragments and bits of metal from his weapon and kit) it does not seem right that so much damage occurred so quickly and with no "drama" at all. Such is the real nature of military explosives that have such "fast" burn times that there is hardly even a visible flash.
 

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