Monday, 21 November 2016

French Explosive Ordnance - Mines and Traps

French Explosive Ordnance

Mines and Traps

60mm Model 1939 - Anti-Personnel Mine

Overall length: 8.25 inches
Supporting plate: 6.4 in x 4 in
Type of filling: Melinite
Weight of filling: 5 ounces
Total weight: 5.5 pounds

Description: The steel projector tube, of 60.3mm bore, is closed at its upper end by a cap with a rubber sealing washer, which is held in position by clips.  At the lower end, it is closed by a machined base plate driven into position and fixed by dowels into which a flash tube is screwed.

An igniter adapter is screwed onto the open end of the flash tube.  Located in the flash tube is a propelling charge, consisting of 0.8 grams of black powder.  Inside the projector tub, the pressed steel cap, to which is welded the fuze holder, is a push fit over the base plate.

The fuze holder is threaded externally to fit into the mortar bomb and internally to take the holder containing a detonator.  The bush containing a delay pellet is screwed into the fuze holder.  There is a small distance piece to prevent the detonator from being screwed down onto the delay pellet.  The projector tube and flash tube are fixed to a rectangular plate.  This plate is designed to fit over the hole, in which the lower part of the mine is placed, to insure that the mine remains vertical and also to prevent it from sinking if it is used with a pressure igniter.  A winged plug is provided to screw into the tail of the bomb to assist screwing it into the fuze assembly.

Operation: This mine is designed to throw a 60mm mortar bomb into the air so that it will explode at a height of between 1 foot, 7 inches, and 6 feet, 6 inches.  The flash from the cap in the igniter fires the propelling charge.  The gases produced from this charge expand into the space in the base of the projector tube and throw up the pressed-steel cap together with the mortar bomb screwed to it.  At the same time, the delay pellet is ignited and, after a delay of about 1/3 second, the detonator and the bomb are exploded.

Light Anti-Tank Mine

Overall length: 12.11 inches
Overall width: 8.11 inches
Overall height: 4.4 inches
Wall thickness: 0.5 inches
Type of filling: Picric Acid
Weight of filling: 6.09 ? (Note: No unit of measurement is given)
Total weight: 13.41 pounds
Igniter: Pressure type Models 1935 and 1936

Color and markings:
-Camouflage: Brown and Black
Markings on upper surface within fuze well: ASS, 10.39, M.F.

Description: The mine consists of a rectangular metal container loaded with picric acid.  A metal cover, which fits over the loaded container, rests on two pressure-type igniters or fuzes.  An aluminum safety ba? prevents functioning of the igniter until removed, presumable after setting the mine in the ground.

The base plate has drilling at each corner to receive the holding-down lugs.  The cover is corrugated and is strengthened internally by the two metal supports.  The mine lid is held loosely in position by the mine-cover chains which are attached at either end to the base of the mine.

Heavy Anti-Tank Mine

Overall length: 16.2 inches
Overall width: 9.85 inches
Overall height: 4.75 inches
Weight of filling: 3.25 pounds
Total weight: 27 pounds

Description: The mine consists of a rectangular pressed-steel base plate, to which is welded the explosive container, and a thin pressed-steel cover.  In the top of the explosive container is a single socket for the igniter, detonator, and primer.  The lid is hinged to the base plate along one side, while two wing nuts are provided on the opposite side to hold the lid shut.  The igniter is similar to that fitted in the French light A.T. mine.  Igniters of either type may therefore be fitted as follows:

Model 1935:
-Material of body and striker: Steel
Material of cap and detonator assembly: Brass
Diameter of shear pin: 0.36 inches

Model 1936:
-Material of body and striker: Aluminum
-Material of cap and detonator assembly: Aluminum
Diameter of shear pin: 0.28 inches

In arming the mine, the plug protecting the igniter socket is removed and the primer is placed in position; this latter consists of a small circular metal container with a central hole to receive the detonator.  The igniter, with detonator, is then screwed in place.

Operation: The igniter functions when a load on the mine crushes the cover and, descending onto the striker head, shears the igniter pin.  A strong steel spring then forces the striker onto the cap, thus firing the detonator, primer, and mine.  The igniter is normally supplied with a loose metal safety collar.  This collar is placed in position on the head of the igniter body during transportation to prevent any load falling on the striker head.

Next Time:  British Explosive Ordnance

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