Mine warfare (Tunneling) on the British front.

First World War 1914-1918 from the German perspective.

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Mine warfare (Tunneling) on the British front.

Post by tigre » Sat Sep 05, 2015 8:34 am

Hello to all :D; an interesting article that I've found overthere.......................

LA GUERRE DE MINES SUR LE FRONT ANGLAIS. [Mine warfare on the British front.] Captain Misson.

The question is often asked, "Will mine warfare be used in future wars?" From a study of the results obtained in the World War, the answer seems to be that mining will always be an important phase of warfare.

In 1914 things happened so suddenly that no one had time to think of mines.

In 1915 the Germans completed the first mine, the explosion of which came as a complete surprise to the British. In this same year, the British began to organize their mining units or "Tunneling Companies" as they called them. These companies were composed chiefly of men who had been employed in building the tunnel of Liverpool. Each company consisted of one major-company commander, one captain-adjutant, one medical officer, one geologist, four captains-chiefs of sections, and 350 troops. By June 1918, 35 such companies had been formed.

During 1915 many mines were dug but all of them without any single purpose in view. In 1916, the British created the "Service of Inspection and of Control of Mines," thus coordinating all mining activities, and on 6 June 1917 the war of mines was over, the British being the complete masters of the situation.

Source: REVIEW OF MILITARY LlTERATURE. Dec 1935.

Anyone has on hand more details about it? Any reported case in World War II? TIA. Cheers. Raúl M 8).
Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.

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Re: Mine warfare (Tunneling) on the British front.

Post by tigre » Sun Sep 06, 2015 5:24 am

Hello to all :D; not on the British front but in the Austro-Hungarian / Italian front.......................

DIE SPRENGUNG DES CIMONE-KOPFES DURCH DIE ÖSTERR-UNGARISCHEN TRUPPEN. [The blowing up of the summit of Mount Cimone by Austro-Hungarian troops.] Kaldor.

The Austro-Hungarian offensive from the Tyrol in May 1916, broke through the Italian position between Mt. Pasubio and Asiago as far as the edge of the Tonezza Plateau, overlooking Arsiero. Here it was held by the Italians gallantly recapturing Mount Cimone, which rises 230 yards above the rest of the plateau and is its farthest point. The Italians thus saved the Venetian plain, and the rear of their Isonzo armies, but it was touch and go. The summit of the mountain was quickly fortified, and defended by over 20 machine guns.

The Austrian line settled within 100 yards of the top with its sentries only 30 to 40 yards from the Italian wire. Their position was very uncomfortable, as the plateau was so narrow as to constitute a defile, and the prospect of capturing the summit was negligibly small. Here technique intervened, Lieutenant Makler of the sapper battalion proposing to mine the mountain top. Starting his galleries so close that working was interfered with even by hand grenades, he drove three shafts, spoil being removed at night. The Italians at once got busy counter-mining. Fortunately for the miners' nerves both sides used pneumatic borers, so that as long as the noise of the enemy's boring continued the miners felt safe. The work lasted weeks. At length, when the Austrians were ready to blow, a patrol brought in an Italian prisoner who had on him the date and time of the next battalion relief. Ten tons of ecrasite were built into the mine chambers (while the automatic borers were kept studiously working elsewhere), and fired at 5:45 AM, on 23 September, while the battalion relief was in progress. The whole position was wrecked. An Austrian officer and 100 selected men went forward and occupied the crater.

At 8:00 AM the Italians opened barrage fire on the position, and 28-cm. air torpedoes could be watched coming up from the valley. The author, a captain in a mountain battery, noted that the barrage, which had at first been deadly accurate, diminished in efficiency as the sun got higher and the air hotter. The Italian shells then started passing over the position and bursting in the valleys on either side of the narrow spur. An Italian searchlight directed on Mount Cimone all night served the Austrian working parties for putting the crater in a state of defense. The Austrians had two men killed; they took 600 prisoners, whom they had first to release from their blocked dugouts, and calculated that they had killed 900 more. Their successful enterprise against this mountain-top was an appropriate answer to a similar Italian success on the Col di Lana the winter before.

Source: REVIEW OF MILITARY LlTERATURE. Dec 1935.

Cheers. Raúl M 8).
Serás lo que debas ser o no serás nada. General José de San Martín.

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