How can I defuse a land mine

Five dangerous misconceptions about landmines - and what it really is like

There are a number of myths about how to clear or defuse mines correctly. We show five fallacies and how it actually is.

Mines are a devious weapon. They therefore play a role in many adventure films when things get tricky for the hero or heroine. Most of the time, the situation can be defused with a brilliant idea.

But these film solutions should never be used in reality. Here are five potentially fatal misconceptions about landmines and booby traps:

1. Error

Claim: There is one type of landmine that triggers and explodes when you step back from the mine. This gives you the time and opportunity to summon someone to place a heavy object on the mine so that you can safely exit the mine.

Truth: Mines are released under pressure and explode instantly. If you step on a mine, it always ends fatally.

2. error

Claim: One way to escape a minefield is to run or drive as fast as you can. Thus one can avoid the detonation wave and the splinters.

Truth: With a detonation speed of 6000 m / s and a splinter speed of more than 1000 m / s, you have no chance even with a fast car (300 km / h corresponds to about 100 m / s).

3. Error

Claim: If you cut a tripwire, the mine or booby trap is no longer dangerous.

Truth: The detonators of the tripwire activated mines respond to pull and Slacking off the train. Cutting through the wire therefore also triggers the booby trap.

4. Error

Claim: A minefield can be defused by explosions. With this first detonation and the subsequent fire, all other mines in an area also explode.

Truth: Although intense heat can detonate mines, the flames often do not reach the mines that are in the ground.

5. Error

Claim: Mines are always laid in a predictable pattern to create the tightest possible barrier. If you follow this pattern, nothing can happen.

Truth: While conventional armed forces do lay mines in patterns, this is not generally applicable. Many minefields are laid without a recognizable pattern and the location of the mines cannot be predicted. In many cases it is also not possible to determine the exact extent of a minefield. Weather conditions (washing away) can change the size of the minefield or irregular troops can pick up mines and put them down at another location.

This article is an excerpt from our new handbook Landmines and Ammunition in Crisis Areas:

Land mines and ammunition in crisis areas Author: Thomas Enke

The safety manual for emergency services and auxiliary personnel in German for the first time!

Landmines and ordnance represent a danger that should not be underestimated worldwide. The manual is the German version of the 'Landmines, Explosive Remnants of War and Improvised Explosive Devices Safety Handbook'. It was created by the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) and has since been translated into numerous languages. It helps to identify the dangers of mines and duds and thus enables safe travel and work in areas contaminated with ordnance.