Operational Minefields

After the capture of enemy positions or objectives, the reorganization of that objective must nearly always include the laying of a minefield to protect positions against a possible counter-attack,

(b) Such minefields must be laid quickly by forward troops.

(c) The field must be rough and ready, but efficient and easy to lay, and must suffice until such times as a proper stock mine field can be laid.

(d) The Hawkins No. 45 A/T mine has been found the ideal mine for this purpose of laying an operational minefield.

Drill for laying.

(a) Minefields are laid in blocks 150 yards long.

(b) Each block is laid by a party of 32 men.

(c) Unloading points are fixed as near to the Bite as possible, but if shelling etc., is heavy, must be a mile in the rear.

(d) Mines are brought to unloading point by vehicle and each 3 ton lorry carrying sufficient mines and equipment to lay 3 blocks or 450 yards.

(e) At unloading points, vehicles are unloaded and igniter sets made up (miner's flash and detonators), from then on, they must be transported by hand.

(f) Each block is laid at a density of one mine per yard of front, and therefore contains 150 mines. Also used in each block are 16 screw pickets and 9 rolls of dannet wire.(?)

(g) Three ton lorries can carry sufficient mines for three blocks, therefore has a load of 450 mines, 48 pickets and

(h) Each party of 32 men are used as followst- 30 men are used to lay the mines and they carry five mines each and 10 igniter sets for arming. The remaining two men carry the 16 pickets, 8 each.

(i) The party carries the mines to the starting point and lines up in a single line, spaced 5 yards intervals and all facing in the direction of the enemy.

(j) The 30 men with five mines apiece each advance by a given order and a given number of paces, halt, lay a mine. The laying of the other mines is as follows! -

Forward 5 paces, 1 pace left, lay. Forward 7 paces, 2 paces left, lay. Forward 6 paces, 3 paces left, lay. Forward 5 paces, 4 paces left, lay. By this method, one complete row of mines is laid at a time and ends up with a density of one. Spacing between the rows is optional. The order or pattern of laying can be altered, according to the rotation or order given.

(k) When the last row has been laid, pickets are put in clear of the last row at 10 yard intervals.

(1) 18 of the mine layers return and collect the 9 rolls of wire, one roll to two men, and drop over the pickets. If triple damment wire is required, this will be carried out 3 times.

Carrying of mines.

(a) Mines can be carried armed or otherwise. If armed, this reduces the time spent in actual laying and is normally done when time is essential. At the same time, if armed, it increases the danger from accident, if any should be accidentally dropped. If armed, mines should be carried in haversacks.

(b) It is usually best to carry mines unarmed unless circumstances arise where delay must be avoided.

(c) Fields must always be picked up by the men (same) as laid it if possible or where possible and mines must be disarmed immediately. No mines must be packed or loaded on vehicles armed. If unable to disarm, DESTROY!

The lifting is just the reverse to the laying. Mines must be laid longways on towards the enemy, to avoid a possibility of them being picked up between the sections of tanks' tracks.

Each brigade carries 4000 complete mines.

TfTHCH ■—{

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