Mines seriously hampered progress tank columns of the Wehrmacht
In the prewar period to the problem of creating a mine weapons Germany and the Soviet Union showed the greatest interest compared to other countries. You can also note Finland.
It should be emphasized that, despite the not quite adequate opinion about Germany’s technical advantage in various weapons, the technical level of mine development in the Soviet Union was at a higher level. This applies both to the originality and perfection of many technical solutions, which were later copied in Germany and other countries (even in the post-war period), as well as the developed type of mines.
An important advantage of the Soviet mine design school in the prewar period and especially during the war should also be recognized the high adaptation of the proposed technical solutions to the capabilities of the industry of that period and the availability of materials while ensuring high efficiency of defeating enemy targets.
By the beginning of the Second World War, the Wehrmacht approached with one T.Mi.35 anti-tank mine (PTM) model (in two versions), one Sprengmine 35 anti-personnel mine (PPM) model (in two versions - pressure and tension action) and a special light PTM le .Pz.Mi. for landing troops. Although in August 1929, for the first time in the world in Germany, a mine development program was adopted: one type of river mine (Flussmine) with a fuse (Zunder), a fire bomb (Brandmine), a radio detonator mine (drahtlose Fernzundung für Minen), according to one anti-tank model (Panzermine) and anti-personnel (Shuetzenmine) mines and special mine laying machine (Minenleger). Their projects were based on fundamental principles: safety (in installation), reliability, economy, simplicity, non-recoverability and durability.
So, Tellermine 35 mine (T.Mi.35) was the most advanced mine weapon model during this period. She had a very reliable and safe to use fuse T.Mi.Z 35, which had two stages of protection, which allowed to carry and carry a mine, fully equipped and ready for use, and also to transfer the fuse from a combat position to a safe position without removing it from mines. With a mass of a bursting charge of 5,5 kg and a triggering force of the 90 – 180 kg fuse, effective destruction of all tanks known at that time was ensured.
Even more famous was the Sprengmine 35 (S.Mi.35) jumping fragmentation mine of a circular defeat (it was usually called either the "frog mine" or in the German style of "springman") by the Red Army. A mine buried in the ground was thrown to a height of up to 1,5 m in 4,5 seconds after the triggering of the fuse. When 365 exploded steel balls (shrapnel) and shell fragments hit targets at a range of 15 – 20 m. It weighed about 5 kg and had a bursting charge around 450 g. It could be used as a push action mine with S.Mi.Z.35 fuse or as mine tension action with two fuses ZZ 35 (later ZZ 42). This mine could also be used as a controlled one by twisting an electric detonator instead of a fuse.
Before the war, she received another push-action electric fuse ESMi.Z.40, which was not installed in a mine, but stuck into the ground at some distance from it and connected to the mine via a special adapter adapter. This adapter allowed the ESMi.Z.18 fuses to be connected to the mine to 40, which sharply increased the likelihood of triggering and allowed it to keep the surrounding terrain under control. Or vice versa - one fuse could trigger at the same time up to 18 min.
However, already at the beginning of 1942, the system deficiency of these high-performance mines (T.Mi.35 and S.Mi.35) was fully manifested - a large labor intensity in manufacturing, high price and the need for highly accurate equipment and skilled workforce in the manufacture of highly sophisticated and reliable fuses T.Mi.Z.35, S.Mi.Z.35, ZZ 35, ZuZZ 35. German industry did not have time to supply the Wehrmacht with such mines in necessary quantities.
The development of mines in Germany, as a powerful defensive means, especially in the fight against tanks, left its mark on the adoption of a blitzkrieg strategy, in which mines were assigned a supporting role (up to 1942 – 1943).
The success of German designers in creating the world's first is worthy of special mention in terms of the originality of technical solutions. aviation remote mining systems. By 87, the Spreng Dickenwend-1939 (SD-2) Schmetterling universal fragmentation mini-bomb was developed for the diving bombers of the Ju-2.
They were equipped with three types of fuses: a) providing an explosion of a bomb in the air or when touching the ground; b) slow motion (5 – 30 minutes); C) triggered by changing the position of the bomb lying on the ground.
These 2 bombs were weighed in kg and placed in drop cassettes - Mk-500 (6 pcs.), AB-23 (23 pcs.), AB-24t (24 pcs.), AB-250 (96 pcs.), AB-250 -2 (144 units). For the first time, the Germans successfully used bomb cassettes in the Polish campaign (September 1939 of the year), and then used them throughout the war. Discharged cassettes were used for bombing infantry columns and infantry positions, and the use of mini-bombs SD-2 in a mine variant aimed only at making it difficult for the enemy to use this terrain and the work of orderlies. Usually part of the bombs in the cassette had delayed-action fuses and shear-sensitive fuses, most of which were conventional fuses. However, the dumping cassettes were not used for staging minefields, since the tactics of remote mining did not exist at that time, and nobody guessed to develop it.
In addition, for conventional high-explosive aerial bombs (100, 250, 500 kg), the Germans developed time-delayed fuses with delays of up to two or three days. They actually turned aerial bombs into object mines of a remote installation, which excluded the possibility of rescue and recovery work at the site of the bombing.
In the Soviet Union, as early as 1924, military engineer Dmitry Karbyshev proposed the first sample of a fuse with an arcuate target sensor for a PTM. The mine itself represented a charge of explosives into which this fuse was put, incorporating an 200-gram trotyl piece as an intermediate detonator. It was adopted by the Red Army as the first model of the service PTM.
One of the first Soviet anti-tank trucks, which were supposed to be produced on an industrial scale, was the mine of T-1932 proposed in 4 year by Nikolai Simonov with a charge of 2,8 kg explosives. It was not possible to organize the mass production of these mines in the factories due to problems with production capacity, but a certain number of these mines were manufactured at military workshops.
Troop tests revealed a number of significant shortcomings of both the Karbyshevsky fuze and this mine. In 1935, it is removed from service and replaced with a metal PTM TM-35. The new mine had a steel rectangular case with a pressure cap and a multipurpose multi-purpose mine explosive hydrocarbon.
In 1932, a prototype of the subsequently widely known MUV fuse, a “simplified hydrocarbon fuse,” appears, which could be used both as a tension and pressure action fuse. For many years, this fuse will become the main mine fuse of the Red Army, and its modifications MUV-2, MUV-3 and MUV-4 are in service today. In 1942, the Germans copied it and released it under the symbol ZZ 42. After the war in Czechoslovakia, it will exist under the symbol RO-1. Under various names, it will be copied by China, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Poland, Israel and some more around 30 countries.
In 1932, the Red Army received a PM-2 dynamo-electric blasting machine, which could, with a total trunk length of up to 1 km, simultaneously detonate up to 25 series-connected electric detonators.
By 1936, the delayed-action fuse of the MZD-35 was adopted for arming the engineering units of the Red Army for completing object mines with a time delay from 12 hours to 35 days.
In 1933, a high-explosive anti-personnel mine, arr, is being developed and put into service. 1933 of the year. In 1934, the DP-1 road bomber, designed to destroy combat and transport vehicles on the roads. Actually, it was one of the first anti-vehicle mines.
In 1939, the TM-35 mine was upgraded and produced under the TM-35M index. Following it was developed and put into service an elongated metal anti-tank anti-track mine TM-39, its wooden version TMD-40, metal anti-tank anti-track mine PMZ-40, anti-tank mine EZ-1, which was activated using an electric lock.
Here we should note the priority of the Soviet design school in the development of a whole series of mines back in the pre-war period, which ensured a reduction in the required consumption of anti-personnel equipment in a minefield. Firstly, it is an elongated mine TM-39, reducing the required consumption in 1,5 times. The Germans came to the realization of this idea only in the 1943 year, having created the Riegelmine 43 mine (R.Mi.43). Secondly, the anti-bottom mine AKS, developed in the second half of 1930-s and entered service with the Red Army at the end of 1939 - the beginning of 1940. It reduced the consumption already twice and ideologically was copied by the Germans only in 1943, as part of the construction of the Tellermine Pilz 43 mine (T.-Mi. – Pilz 43). Third, the absolute priority in the creation of the first anti-aircraft mine in the pre-war period belongs to the Soviet designers. It is known under the name LMG and has reduced the consumption of mines almost 20 times.
However, the capabilities of the then Soviet industry and raw material base were very limited, especially with regard to the metal. Begin the search for alternative materials for mines, which leads to the appearance of two samples of mines from cellulose PTM TMB and PPM PMK-40.
With regard to anti-personnel planning, the Red Army command at first decided to limit the use of universal mine-type fuses (later - MUV), an HMF fuse, which could work as a tension fuse and as an oblique fuse. And the mines themselves were to be assembled in the army on the spot as needed from available means.
AFTER THE FINNISH WAR
During the Soviet-Finnish 1939 – 1940 war, the Red Army command faced the fact that Finnish rifle units on skis easily penetrate into the rear between the units, and it is impossible to close the entire front line with infantry. Immediately at the end of 1939, a wooden anti-ski mine was developed and introduced into production, and by the beginning of 1940, the Red Army received a metal anti-personnel high-explosive fragmentation mine, PMM-6, which was primarily intended against Finnish skiers and used a target metal sensor in its design. bows. Then, a powerful fragmentation jumping anti-personnel guided mine OZM-152 comes into service with the Red Army. By this time, the Red Army is already forming the division of mines into controlled and automatic ones. Mina OZM-152 belonged to managed mines. To control the explosions of such mines, by this time, the Red Army had switches LSI and KRAB-A, which allowed them to be connected to 12 mines. This allowed the creation of controlled minefields.
By the middle of 1940, the anti-personnel high-explosive push-action mine PMK-40, very successful in design, but completely unsatisfactory in terms of the material of the hull, was put into service. The Soviet designers will return to the idea of this mine after the war in 1949, creating a PMN plastic mine, which will become as popular in the world as the Kalashnikov assault rifle.
By the spring of 1941, a wooden anti-personnel high-explosive mine of pressure action PMD-6 was developed, which became the main mine in the war years (by the way, also copied later by the Germans) and has been in service for many decades.
In the 1940, a very successful, reliable and extremely simple push fuse MB-5 was developed and put into service. It consisted of only five parts and could be made in any metalworking workshop. Although he did not have any safety devices at all, however, a rather large response force (10 – 30 kg) and an easy-to-use design practically excluded accidental operation. It is enough to say that this design was used in all Soviet PTM fuses up to the fuses to the post-war mines of the TM-62 series inclusive. Initially, it was used only in the TMB mine. But then, under this fuse, in 1941, the most perfect of all Soviet anti-tank guns of that time, the mine TM-41, is created. Mina was anti-tracked pressure, had a sealed body and was very easy to use. When installing it, all that was required was to unscrew the plug, insert the MB-5 fuse with the MD-2 fuse into the socket and screw the plug back into place.
In winter, the 1940 / 41 of the year, the armament of the Red Army adopts an object mine exploded by radio using a coded radio signal. The range of reliable operation of the radio mine was up to 1200 km. In this regard, the USSR was ahead of Western countries by more than half a century.
By the time Germany attacked the USSR, the Red Army had the following types of mines:
PTM - anti-track TM-35, TM-39, PMZ-40, TMD-40, TM-41, TMB, anti-bottom line AKS;
PPM - PMM-6, PPM, DP-1, OZM-152, PMK-40, PMD-6;
radio-controlled object TOC (F-10).
In addition, there was a whole range of different types of explosives, including delayed-action fuses, push-and-pull fuses, blasting caps, electric detonators, igniter and detonating cords, which made it possible to improvise on-site mines of any purpose and power.
SIMPLE AND EFFICIENT
With the beginning of the war, the development of mine weapons in the USSR received an additional impetus, naturally, given the many restrictions that had developed in industry as a result of the course of hostilities (the loss of a significant part of enterprises in the territory seized by the Germans, the lack of many materials, the insufficiently high technological level of newly deployed industries almost complete lack of qualified personnel).
During the war, the RKKA was armed with a very simple, but very effective anti-personnel fragmentation mine POMZ-2 with a cast iron body. In the summer of 1942, versions of the PMD-6 anti-personnel high-explosive mine, which had been used since 1941, appeared:
a) PMD-BF, in which powdered explosive was placed in a glass vial;
b) PMD-6 in a metal case;
c) more powerful (400 g of TNT) PMD-57;
d) mines of lower power PMD-7 and PMD-7ц (75 g of TNT).
The construction of these mines, with their high reliability, envisaged the possibility of mass production not only by industry, but also in any woodworking workshop, as well as directly in the army. The construction industry enterprises have also joined the production of mines of this type. In particular, the so-called slate mine, which had the appearance and construction of PMD-6, but made of slate, appeared.
In the field of PTM 1942, the year was characterized by the creation of two new wooden, or, as they said, “box” mines. Firstly, it is a mine of NM-5 in several modifications, differing from each other in size and some differences in the design of key elements. Secondly, a very successful mine design TM-42.
In the NM-5 mine, the experience of the 1941 mine control of the year was taken into account, in particular, the insufficient mass of explosive charge in the PTM of the pre-war construction. So, if in the base mine of NM-5 the charge was 2,7 – 3,1 kg, then in the mine of NM-5 it increased to 4,2 – 5 kg, and in the mine NM-5М - to 5,6 – 6,6 kg. Two mines of the YM-5 series (YM-5K and YM-Yu) had a particularly large charge, reaching up to 18 kg. In the mines of the YM-5 series, a truly universal HC fuze and its modifications (HC, MUV) were used. Although this is a tension action fuse, the ingenious design of the mine ensured that the combat checks were pulled out of the fuse when the tank hit the pressure bar of the mine cover.
Mina TM-42 was notable for different equipment variations and was produced in two sizes. In addition, it could have been manufactured either under a pressure fuse MB-5 or under a fuse of MD-4 (that is, there could be no fuse at all in a mine, and the mine went off during deformation of the fuse under the action of a tank caterpillar). In total, there were eight variants of the TMD-42 mine. This made it possible to produce them on the basis of available types of explosives and explosives. Due to the shortage of TNT in the year 1942, surrogate explosives (dynamo) or ammonium nitrate (ammonite, ammonal) were used to equip this mine. The charge of mines in all versions was 5 – 5,5 kg, which ensured reliable disabling of all types of tanks that were available to the Germans. Mina TMD-42 was produced for about a year, but it turned out to be the most successful of all the existing mine mines. Therefore, when the situation with explosives improved, production of its modification, TMD-B, began in 1943, which was replaced by TMD-1944 in 44.
TMD-44 before the beginning of the XXI century was listed in the list of Russian PTM as a fallback for a special period. Its production can be very easily organized in a matter of hours at any woodworking enterprise.
By the spring of the 1943, the Red Army adopted a new metal PTM - TM-43. The advantage of this mine over wooden ones consisted of a longer service life and a much smaller effect on the soil moisture of its combat effectiveness. The Red Army, up to the middle of 1944, used mainly wooden anti-tank and anti-personnel mines, making extensive use of the capabilities of the troops themselves and the population of the front line. Basically fabricated PTM type TMDM-B, variations of NM-5 mines (NM-5K, NM-5M, NM-5i, NM-10) and MRP PMD-6 (variation MIT bf, PMD-7, MIT 7ts, PMD-57). To a greater extent than the mines themselves, mine means of blasting were delivered to the troops - fuses MUV, MV-5, VPF. As the production of metal developed, more and more POMZ-2 fragmentation mines appeared on the front.
In 1944, the production of metal round PTM TM-41, which received the name TM-44 after modernization, was restored. At the same time, a modernized version of the TMD-B mine, called TMD-44, appeared.
The mine war on the Soviet-German front was not limited to anti-tank and anti-personnel mines. The third most common type of mines in the Red Army were anti-vehicle mines, primarily used on railways. The peculiarities of the theater of military operations on the territory of the USSR predetermined the wider use of rail transport than on other fronts, and the great length of German communications made strikes on rail tracks particularly sensitive.
Basically, specially targeted army sabotage groups and special groups of the NKVD were engaged in mining the railways in the occupied territory. The most widely used mines are PDM-1, ПМС, МЗД-4, МЗД-5, МЗД-10, МЗД-35, ДМ-3, ДМ-4, АС.
In the development of mine weapons in the USSR in the prewar period and in the war years, the Military Engineering Test Site (settlement of Nakhabino, Moscow Region), created in 1919, played a special role. Under him, special laboratories were organized, the tasks of which were to conduct experimental work with explosives and explosives, develop new and modernize old mine-explosive means. This was the beginning of the planned work on the development of mine weapons for the Red Army. In the pre-war period, a large number of samples of anti-tank and anti-train mines, fuses and contactors, means and accessories for blasting were tested and tested. The Red Army took E3 and TM-35 mines, П-8 and П-12 fuses, PM-1 and ПМ-2 demolition machines, self-produced metering devices LV, OK-27 and DS-34. A large role in the development and creation of these funds belongs to I.Volkov, N.P.Ivanov, P.G.Radevich, D.V. Chernyshov, I.A.Shipilov and B.A. Epov.
The sharply increased need for mine-explosives in the initial period of the war and the need to manufacture them in non-specialized enterprises (except for explosives and blasting caps) necessitated the urgent creation of new types of anti-tank and anti-personnel mines. It required mines of high combat effectiveness, simplified structures, precluding the use of scarce materials. The development of many mines in the team of the Military Engineering Landfill was headed by Nikolai Ivanov and Pavel Radevich. In 1946, they were awarded the Stalin (State) Prize for their many years of fruitful work in the creation and improvement of mine-explosives.
In total, during the period of the Great Patriotic War, the Red Army installed more than 70 million mines, which exploded up to 10 thousands of tanks and other enemy vehicles.