Sea mines

Discussions on all (non-biographical) aspects of the Kriegsmarine except those dealing with the U-Boat forces.
Sturm78
Member
Posts: 16402
Joined: 02 Oct 2008 17:18
Location: Spain

Sea mines

Post by Sturm78 » 29 Jul 2010 14:52

Hi all,

Does anyone have information about these two sea mines? I do not know if they are of german origin or not

Please to see too this link http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 4&start=30

Images from Ebay
Regards Sturm78
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Vaeltaja
Member
Posts: 886
Joined: 27 Jul 2010 20:42

Re: Sea mines

Post by Vaeltaja » 29 Jul 2010 21:12

Can't really be certain of these (haven't got books with me) but... First mine appears to be part of German EMC mine series (EMC II) or a copy of one (5 of the 7 horns visible). As the mine is not fully visible and the size is not available it might be difficult to identify accurately.

Torpedo
Member
Posts: 15
Joined: 02 May 2010 19:34

Re: Sea mines

Post by Torpedo » 30 Jul 2010 12:08

Hi,

I agree with Vaeltaja, the first mine appears to be German made, belonging most certainly to the EMC class.
As for the second mine, it doesn't seem to be referenced in the 'German Underwater Ordnance Mines' file issued by the U.S. Navy in 1946.

You can access the pdf file at the following address:
http://www.lexpev.nl/downloads/germanun ... es1946.pdf

Hope it helps a bit.

Vaeltaja
Member
Posts: 886
Joined: 27 Jul 2010 20:42

Re: Sea mines

Post by Vaeltaja » 31 Jul 2010 07:33

Following is just my opinion on the second mine...

Assuming that is WWII era photo.. That mine is set on a baseplate and seems to be a memorial or decoration of sorts. So it could well be of EMA/EMB series WWI era mine. Or some variant of them.

The linked underwater ordnance manual (like nearly all the copies i have seen of it) lacks the chapters handling German 'non-contact' or air dropped mines.

Sturm78
Member
Posts: 16402
Joined: 02 Oct 2008 17:18
Location: Spain

Re: Sea mines

Post by Sturm78 » 31 Jul 2010 14:55

Thank you very much for your help, Vaeltaja and Torpedo.

This is a topic not much studied and there is little information in the Net.

Regards Sturm78

Vaeltaja
Member
Posts: 886
Joined: 27 Jul 2010 20:42

Re: Sea mines

Post by Vaeltaja » 01 Aug 2010 12:21

Yeah, the lack of information is annoying as these - WWII (and possibly even WWI) era naval mines - are still sort of current issue. Given how WWII and even post WWII era contact mine sweeping was performed there are still plenty of these steel balls in the depths - that is using sweeping gear to cut the mooring wire and then usually sinking the mine with gunfire. Some are still fairly intact and some have failed to break loose from their anchors.

AFAIK most of the seas have not been surveyed with sonar with the degree of accuracy required to locate and identify naval mines (though that probably requires diver/remotely operated minisub confirmation). And they might have become covered with the yuck the seabottom is filled with (sediments being the polite term). With bad luck some one might still hit these... with even much worse it might manage to disturb old moistened and unstable explosives enough to make them explode...

As proven by the North Stream pipeline project and its woes with naval mines on Baltic Sea. http://www.hs.fi/english/article/Nord+S ... 5250903585 and http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7153924.stm

User avatar
Andy H
Forum Staff
Posts: 15326
Joined: 12 Mar 2002 20:51
Location: UK and USA

Re: Sea mines

Post by Andy H » 01 Aug 2010 18:02

Some are still fairly intact and some have failed to break loose from their anchors.
Its my understanding that on the whole that those mines still intact are also inactive, given the degradation of the components/explosives?

Regards

Andy H

Vaeltaja
Member
Posts: 886
Joined: 27 Jul 2010 20:42

Re: Sea mines

Post by Vaeltaja » 01 Aug 2010 20:10

As a face value you shouldn't really do that. Regardless of the state or degradation of the components. The explosives themselves... I doubt any one knows what explosives they placed as blocks, or poured (cast) or otherwise set into the mines during the wars. And some explosives (picrate based) start to form crystals as they age. Getting more and more sensitive. In worst case you'll have a full ton of sensitized explosives inside a thin metal tube just waiting for some one to hit it hard enough.

As for the rest of the mine... Not exactly an expert but... as rules of thumbs.. Batteries of WWII era magnetic/acoustic have long since run out of power and any arming or triggering mechanism should be inactive. WWII era electric (Herz horn) based contact mines are probably aged enough as well to be relatively safe - but given that those are self-contained it might not be as straightforward as it seems... But then there were some mechanical contact mines which have could have stayed 'active'.

In short you'll have a whole lot of explosives of unknown type - with usually totally forgotten chemistry - in unknown state. So sure... it is quite likely that most of the mines are relatively safe now. But given that any 'decent' naval mine packs 100 kg or more of explosives (usually a lot more) taking chances with those would be... well.. unwise (IMO at least).

Torpedo
Member
Posts: 15
Joined: 02 May 2010 19:34

Re: Sea mines

Post by Torpedo » 05 Aug 2010 18:37

Hi Sturm78 and Vaeltaja,

I surfed the forum lately and came across this pic. depicting a British-made mine. Has quite some similarity with the one with Churchill's face painted on, hasn't it?

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 1&t=113265

Think now you've got your answers. ;-)
Cheers.

For Schnellboote fans only: http://rpalmacci.free.fr

Vaeltaja
Member
Posts: 886
Joined: 27 Jul 2010 20:42

Re: Sea mines

Post by Vaeltaja » 09 Aug 2010 08:11

Ah.. Yeah.. Older English naval mine. Looking from the links provided here http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WAMBR_Mines.htm it seems to be part of that family of mines.

User avatar
phylo_roadking
Member
Posts: 17487
Joined: 30 Apr 2006 23:31
Location: Belfast

Re: Sea mines

Post by phylo_roadking » 10 Aug 2010 00:16

Actually - the type of mine in the second pic is still relatively common today...many British seaside towns had (still have) them placed on plinths minus their horns, painted...and used as charity money boxes...! 8O
Twenty years ago we had Johnny Cash, Bob Hope and Steve Jobs. Now we have no Cash, no Hope and no Jobs....
Lord, please keep Kevin Bacon alive...

Dave Bender
Member
Posts: 3533
Joined: 24 Apr 2006 21:21
Location: Michigan U.S.A.

You think old sea mines are bad.....

Post by Dave Bender » 13 Aug 2010 01:48

how about 500,000 tons of chemical and biological weapons dumped into the ocean during the late 1940s?
http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/40/209.html
After the Second World War, Canada and Britain declared much of their chemical and biological stockpiles as surplus and dumped them both inland and in the ocean. There is an estimated one billion pounds of mustard gas and related chemical weapons munitions at the bottom of the world's oceans, but more insidiously, there is a large number of dumpsites that were never officially recorded.

Vaeltaja
Member
Posts: 886
Joined: 27 Jul 2010 20:42

Re: Sea mines

Post by Vaeltaja » 13 Aug 2010 07:03

Yeah. Lots of that in the sea. Quite a bit dumped by USA, British and USSR after the WW2. That is AFAIK they dumped the Nazi Germany's stockpile of 'unconventional weapons' into sea next to island of Bornholm and also in the middle of Baltic next to Gotland. IIRC Danish fishermen still occasionally get chemical burns from the water when they are fishing and their fishing boats need occasionally scrubbing from clean up teams to prevent excessive contaminations. I think USSR they had their own site for those near Estonian coast - that could have been 'only' for conventional weapons. Also i doubt any of the 'big players' have ever taken any responsibility of the dumpings.

In addition to the chemical weapons there have been whole lot of outdated conventional munitions dumped to sea as well. But those should be limited to dump sites (and to waterways leading to dumpsites - crews usually didnt want to keep unstable explosives onboard and started dumping as soon as they could without port authorities being able to see it).

http://mercw.org/index.php?option=com_c ... e&Itemid=1

There probably are more of those but that is the one i am familiar with.

Vaeltaja
Member
Posts: 886
Joined: 27 Jul 2010 20:42

Re: Sea mines

Post by Vaeltaja » 14 Aug 2010 09:34

Andy H wrote:
Some are still fairly intact and some have failed to break loose from their anchors.
Its my understanding that on the whole that those mines still intact are also inactive, given the degradation of the components/explosives?

Regards

Andy H
Could post something i spotted on the newspaper today (Iltasanomat, 14.8.2010 page 10. "Merimiina väijyi mökkirannassa" (en: 'naval mine was hiding in the shore of the summer cottage').. WW II era naval mine was found near the shore couple of days back in Finland. Apparently the horns were damaged so navy was able to drag the mine to deeper water where it was demolished with small explosive charge on 9.8.2010. The mine (S-41-I, Finnish copy of German EMC II type mine) contained 300 kg of explosives which were still just as good as they were when the mine was laid and exploded with the demolition charge in sympathetic explosion. So even though the mine had laid on the bottom for more than 60 years and the cover had all but rusted away it was still dangerous. Given that the kids in the shore had used to swim around and stand over the 'buoy' (as they believed it was) it was really lucky that the horns were damaged (or had failed explode the first time around).

-- Edit: Also news like this http://www.acus.org/natosource/nato-uni ... ltops-2010

Sturm78
Member
Posts: 16402
Joined: 02 Oct 2008 17:18
Location: Spain

Re: Sea mines

Post by Sturm78 » 03 Sep 2010 12:03

Hi all,

I found this image on Ebay. Does somebody know the model of these german sea mines? I think they are on MFP vessels, but I am not sure.

Regards Sturm78
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Return to “Kriegsmarine surface ships and Kriegsmarine in general”