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The use of landmines in the Vietnam War

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  • The use of landmines in the Vietnam War

    Does anyone have personal experience that they're interested to talk about, or interesting knowledge to share about North Vietnamese / Viet Cong use of landmines? How did it affect the morale of U.S. troops fighting there? Did it have an effect on tactics?

    I am developing a website about the Vietnam War and have tried to write a piece about this ( ), but wasn't able to find much useful information.

  • #2
    From what I've seen used in 66-67 were mostly improvised by the VC from whatever they might find lying about. Most common were command detonated mines made from dud artillery rounds. An APC that drove over one was cut in two. Others could be as simple as a 50cal round placed in a bamboo tube buried in the ground where stepping on it would press the round against a nail setting it off.

    Mines, both command detonated and fused were a constant hazards on the roads and trails with all major roads having to be cleared each morning before they could be used.
    “Breaking News,”

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    • #3

      The story of Australia's disastrous barrier minefield which provided the VC with a massive supply of M16 bounding apers mines.


      • #4
        The NVA had access and used many types of antitank mines. I was on a M113 in the mechanized infantry. Our track hit two mines in the 11 months I was there. The first time blew the track off. The second ruptured the fuel cell and we DX'd the track, One of the guys had his foot hanging over the side and was wounded. Many of our tracks hit mines. The most spectacular was when the mechanics' track ran over a 250 pound bomb, the time fuse delayed the detonation so the track was just past the blast. The entire track flew 15-20 feet in the air and came down on the top. The entire contents flew high in the air and the poncho liners floated down like autumn leaves, We had to dig the driver out and miraculously nobody was killed. The medivac came in to cart the crew off and the helicopter skid was 6 inches from another bomb.

        How did it affect tactics? We always rode on top. We always tracked right behind the lead APC. The floor inside was covered with a layer of sandbags. How was the morale? It was just another crappy thing we dealt with.
        "If we don't know history, then we are ready meat for carnivorous politicians and the intellectuals and journalists who supply the carving knives." Zell


        • #5
          It depends on the area of operations. In the Americal Division, the 11th brigade faced a lot of powerful IED's (using the modern term, here, we didn't say, "IED's). But where my battalion operated in the mountains, with no wheeled vehicles, just grunts on foot, we faced smaller devices. We called them booby traps. Most often, they were made from American frag grenades. Often they were hastily set up a short time before we came through. After all they used the same trails we did. In area where the enemy encountered vehicles, heavier devices were the rules. Out main tactic was keeping the line spread when moving. If were were in relatively open areas, like the old road that ran through our valley, the rule was a five meter interval. That way fewer guys would be affected.
          No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends John 15:13


          • #6
            Originally posted by eddie3rar View Post

            The story of Australia's disastrous barrier minefield which provided the VC with a massive supply of M16 bounding apers mines.
            Thanks for that link. I had not heard of this before. Very interesting

            “Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.” -- Albert Einstein

            The US Constitution doesn't need to be rewritten it needs to be reread


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