Recent stories in the Egyptian press have disclosed that vintage anti personnel mines in places like Tobrouk andEl Alamein (scenes of battles during World War II) still claim the lives of locals.
The bulk of mines still used around the world are neither self-deactivating nor self-destructing, which suggests that future generations will be experiencing the same problems of unexploded ordnance as that faced by Egyptians today.
The mine was first conceived during siege warfare in the Middle Ages. When attacking an enemy castle wall, a fire was positioned at the end of a tunnel dug out by the attacking force. When the fire was lit, the tunnel supports burnt and both the tunnel and the wall collapsed. For this reason, moats were dug around fortifications to prevent this type of tunnel and fire attack.
Later, the fire was replaced by an explosive charge and by the 20th Century, most mines were triggered by foot or by vehicle.
In the 21st Century, landmines are still triggered by foot or vehicle pressure and there are five types of anti-personnel mines which are in common use today. The thinking behind such mines is twofold: one, to dictate the direction of travel by the enemy through controlled detonations; and two, to incapacitate a soldier which will require two buddies to remove him and themselves from the battlefield.
The following most dangerous anti personnel mines are the ones found in Hostile Environments: […]