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  #61  
Old 04 January 2012, 08:50 PM
0b1knob 0b1knob is offline
 
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Some types of "bouncing betty" mines operate on this principle. These mines pop a grenade type bomb up into the air where it explodes scattering fragments which wound or kill soldiers over a wide area. The reason they explode only after pressure is released (usually after a short delay) is to let the soldier's foot move out of the way so the mine can be shot into the air. Mines of this type were widely used in Vietnam. The click would be difficult but not impossible to hear. For some background information see:

http://vietnam-warfare.tripod.com/vi...rfare/id3.html

"Traditional anti-personnel mines of all sorts from WW2 vintage onwards were used as they were intended and as part of booby-traps. One of the most common, and most hated, was the Bouncing Betty. These mines were triggered by the release of pressure on the arming mechanism. Thus a soldier could stand on one, hear the arming mechanism operate and freeze. There he was standing erect knowing that if he moved his foot the mine would jump into the air and explode at chest height. Combat engineers came up with many extemporized methods of saving trapped soldiers."
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  #62  
Old 04 January 2012, 10:57 PM
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Without that page citing a source, or giving much more detail about the exact mines in question, it seems just as likely that it's a retelling of the UL.

Everything I've read is that "bouncing betty" mines tripped upon being stepped on, and there were none that tripped only with the release of pressure. Among other things, it wouldn't make sense to allow everyone else to get out of the way while the doomed soldier stood on the mine. They were called bouncing bettys not because of anything to do with the release of pressure, but because (as the article alludes to) they popped an explosive up in the air before it would detonate, causing much greater damage to personnel.
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  #63  
Old 05 January 2012, 08:02 AM
Troberg Troberg is offline
 
 
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As far as any documentation I've managed to find says, the Bouncing Betty was triggered by stepping on it, then time delayed to allow time for the target to step off it (and possibly other targets getting closer, assuming it was one of the first targets who stepped on it, which is likely as, if mines are expected, following soldiers step in the footsteps of the previous). After that initial time delay, it was launched in the air, where, after another, much shorter, time delay, the main charge was detonated, spraying the area with shrapnel.

Wikipedia goes through the details, complete with a nice diagram and images from manuals.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bouncing_betty
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  #64  
Old 05 January 2012, 07:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seburiel View Post
that's where I first remember seeing this - for some reason my brain was trying to remember it as 'Vietnam War Story'
Thanks for digging up memories of childhood
I remember watching this with my uncle, who was a Marine during the conflict, and who scoffed at the series, and, as I recall, the movie The Boys in Company C as being horrifically unrealistic.
Although, having just called him - he recalls being told about pressure-delay mines when he was in basic combat rifleman training. so who knows?
Vietnam War Story did an episode called "The Mine" featuring this idea also but I forget if they were purposefully going for the idea of the mine only explodes when you remove pressure or if they just had it as a malfunctioning mine.
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  #65  
Old 05 January 2012, 08:05 PM
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The Wiki article on the Bouncing betty: AKA the German S-Mine says that it had a delayed charge of aproximately 4 seconds. There is also this bit:

Quote:
A common misconception prevailed that the S-mine would not detonate until its victim stepped off the trigger. This fallacy was propagated by incorrect United States propaganda during World War II. The mine would detonate whether the trigger was released or not. Standing still or attempting to run from the S-mine would be equally dangerous. The most effective way to survive the mine's detonation would not be to flee but to fall to the ground lying face down as quickly as possible.
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  #66  
Old 06 January 2012, 01:49 PM
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Remaining standing on the mine might be safer for everybody else. The charge designed to shoot the mine up through the ground and into the air would use much of its power blasting past the foot of the poor sod standing on it. So the burst charge would fire when it was on the ground or at an odd angle. So much of the shrapnel would fire into the ground or into the air, away from the other soldiers.
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  #67  
Old 06 January 2012, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firefighter_raven View Post
Vietnam War Story did an episode called "The Mine" featuring this idea also but I forget if they were purposefully going for the idea of the mine only explodes when you remove pressure or if they just had it as a malfunctioning mine.
Was that the one with the black M60 gunner?, He wouldn't even put down his relatively heavy M60, or take off his ammo belts, as he was afraid the change in weight would detonate it.

I had thought that was an old episode of China Beach. It popped back into brain and stuck with me when the Army gave me an M240B to lug around.
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  #68  
Old 06 January 2012, 06:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lost_Cavalier View Post
Was that the one with the black M60 gunner?, He wouldn't even put down his relatively heavy M60, or take off his ammo belts, as he was afraid the change in weight would detonate it.

I had thought that was an old episode of China Beach. It popped back into brain and stuck with me when the Army gave me an M240B to lug around.
That's the one, I had to look it up to refresh my memory and it turns out the gunner was played by Eric LaSalle.
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  #69  
Old 11 January 2012, 04:40 AM
Right U R Ken Right U R Ken is offline
 
 
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All this sounds like the E.Z. 44 Pressure Release Mine which did exist and operated exactly like described. Pressure on the mine activated it and releasing that pressure allowed the striker to release that denonated it. The only thing is that it was not normally used as a anti personal mine. It was used by Germany in WW2 as a booby trap for larger anti tank mines. The anti tank mine was placed on top of the E.Z. 44 which activated it and then it would go off when someone tried to move the anti tank mine.
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  #70  
Old 14 January 2012, 02:29 PM
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I also rember this happening in an episode of "The A Team", which I was sadly addicted to in the '80's. Funny thing is I have been watching repeats of this show on a digital station in the last week or so, and even before reading this thread and without having seen the episode in question, this was the one episode I kept thinking about.

I think they poured milk on it to "disarm it" which even to the uninformed teenager I was at the time seemed silly.

I also have memories of this trope in other shows and movies but the only other one I can specfically name is the "MASH" one already mentioned.

I agree it is just a plot device to raise the tension.
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  #71  
Old 14 January 2012, 06:35 PM
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The UL appeared in an episode of Flashpoint from a couple years ago. It's slightly more plausible at the beginning, because it's set up as someone in present day planting explosives. So, they could presumably have created a bomb that would do this. But, IIRC, they wind up referring to it as a "bouncing betty" and I think even concluding that it has a military origin (I can't remember exactly, but I think so).
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  #72  
Old 19 January 2012, 08:53 PM
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Another FOAF story - my friend's ex-H lost both his legs to a land mine in Vietnam. He told her that their training taught him that if he heard a click, to stand still - if he were standing on it he'd lose his legs but if he were in motion next to it, he'd lose his life. So, he stood there and waited for it to go off. Apparently where they were at least, it was a time delay and not the release of pressure.
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