Hopefully you will never find a mine while out metal detecting, but if you ever do you need to call the appropriate authorities immediately, cordon off the area, and prevent anyone else getting near to it until the ordnance disposal experts arrive. Ordnance like this is designed to maim or kill, and it will still quite happily do so, even after 70+ years in the ground. There are NO exceptions to this……don’t mess with unexploded ordnance.
Many people seem to think that, as WW2 ordnance has been buried for over 70 years now, it is safe to handle as the environment will have deactivated it in some way. This is simply NOT the case. Indeed, many of the explosive compounds used in WW2 ordnance become more unstable over time, and the slightest movement could set them off as they become sensitive to even the slightest bump or knock.
This blog isn’t to help people ID mines in the field, (I repeat…..leave them alone!), but for the collector who wants detailed information on the inert mines they have.
Included in the detail below is also a great deal of information about fuzes and time pencils and igniters, from five different nations. Again, this is intended for the inert ordnance collector and not for identifying ground dug items. Also bear in mind that the same thing goes for fuzes as it does for complete mines. Leave them alone! The boosters in some of these fuzes will quite happily remove your hand for you.
So, onto the detail. Lots and lots of pictures here so keep scrolling! Each Nation has been separated by a short title…..
AMERICAN MINES, FUZES AND TIME PENCILS
BRITISH MINES, FUZES AND TIME PENCILS
GERMAN MINES, FUZES AND TIME PENCILS
ITALIAN MINES, FUZES AND TIME PENCILS
JAPANESE MINES, FUZES AND TIME PENCILS