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Thread: Button Bombs

  1. #21
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    Button Gravel Mines

    I have more info on Gravel Button mines then you can imagine, First the cholrate/RP was used in only one of them, the rest of the HE ones used lead azide and RDX, one did use tetryl. A couple has a sodium hydroxide tablet in it to act as a self neutralizer (sorry miss spelled). If anyone needs some info let me know, I also have some manufacturing SOPS. though I trained ont hese int he early years I enver really worked ion any until the Suez Canal clearnace, the Israilis (OK misspelled again) dropped a shit laod of them.

    I am very interested in their deployment during the VN years, I know the A1 SKyraider carried the dispenser, but I have never read any accounts of the mines being dscovered or being a problem for SOG troops operting alongthe HoChiMinh trail.

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    SOG did use this mine to cover their back trail while running for their lives. They were only used if they (The NVA) were at least a kilometer behind the RT.

    Also, they were used for defensive use on SOG's flanks to funnel the NVA into a certain kill zone, whereby the 560's Snakes or Skyraiders, and A-37's (Later in the War)could do them in. I have not read of any fast movers using the dispensers, however. The above aforementioned airplanes did use the the dispenser too. The gravel mines were effective along the Ho Chi Mihn trail as dispensed by aircraft "seeding" them on to the Trail and around enemy strong holds. SOG had allot of amazing power during Vietnam. They could also use the dispenser of CS canisters if need be (cannot remember which dispenser this one was named)?

    The only other thing that SOG may run into was some laziness of other "1-0's" who planted M-14's on the trail and not mark their location on any map.

    Getting as close to the Trail as humanly possible could get you killed, guarenteed within 5 minutes of stading on the trail. People who did this were almost all crazy for attempting it even at night. Some RT's were never heard from again doing this stunt.

  3. #23
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    gravel mines

    I'm surprised about hand emplaced gravel mines - of all the data I have on them I have yet to find a reference to that tactic (but I did like the vid). Seeing as how these items were armed and how sensitive the ones with lead azide were I'd not like to be the one who would hand plant them.

    M-14s left in Laos, yes a real problem, I've done 2 jobs in VN (one along the DMZ and one just inside Laos doing UXO removal, everyyear there are at least 10,000 + hurt or killed by UXO in VN, stats for Laos are hard to confirm, but they are high up there. The one good thing is that after 40 years the plastic mines are breaking apart and not functioning very well, all the gravel mines are jsut too weathered and falling apart to be a problem, then the rain washs away the explosives in them since the cloth bags are rotted away.

  4. #24
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    U.S. subs

    Hello,This is a very interesting subject.
    In your display case you have I think 3 lazy dog bomblets,what is the larger item next to them?
    Thanks in advance.
    vinny

  5. #25
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    It's another variant, three fins. Some have suggested Canadian, but I've seen no documentation to confirm it.
    All dug or live ordnance shown in my posts is under EOD control and has been or will be dealt with accordingly by EOD personnel

  6. #26
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    Hi
    (sorry for my English)
    Quote Originally Posted by weberoed View Post
    I'm surprised about hand emplaced gravel mines - of all the data I have on them I have yet to find a reference to that tactic (but I did like the vid). Seeing as how these items were armed and how sensitive the ones with lead azide were I'd not like to be the one who would hand plant them..
    I' shock a little - how this is possible at all???
    Gravels has no safety/arm/disarm device. Mines were packed in factory in a liquid freon-filled containers in the temperature below -5 centigrades. The containers needs to be permanently cooled by in-build electrical system so they must be still externally powered - when they were transported and stored, and before the drop from the board of airplane or helicopter. After the drop freon quickly evaporated, mines heated over -5C and activated by this.
    I have no idea how it can be maked in pure infantry unit like SOG. Maybe they use a kind of portable thermos-pack, or something?

  7. #27
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    I suspect that this was one of the concepts pushed by whoever developed the mines, which never took off or was used. You see some of the old films like this with all sorts of interesting ideas and conceepts which often times just didn't hold up in the field.

    As Webereod already mentioned, these mines were extremely sensitive and commanded a lot of respect from those that worked with them. I cannot imagine anyone who has actually worked with them being willing to do what is shown in the video.
    All dug or live ordnance shown in my posts is under EOD control and has been or will be dealt with accordingly by EOD personnel

  8. #28
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    I have seen no documentation on hand enplaced gravel mines, But there were other types of munitions for the area denial mission at that time.
    "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have" - Thomas Jefferson

  9. #29
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    Attached is a photo of my "Button" mine and a chart on the various types that I know of. Also included are the larger Gravel Mines, including the XM-65 which looks like a Button Mine on steroids. Evidently there was also an M41 gravel mine that was very similar to the XM-65, but I have no information on it. I know of no way to determine the difference visually amongst any of the various small button mines. They are basically all the same size, same design, same colors, etc. Generically most, and maybe all but I have never found anything that said every one of them, were also called Microgravel Mines. The only one I have a reference to being referred to as the Sandwich Button Mine is the XM40E5. Officially they were Mine, Warning, Anti-intrusion, XM***. The interesting one to me is the XM44 which although only an inch square and not very thick actually had a battery and a small electronic circuit board with a capacitor, silicon controlled rectifier, antidisturbance switch, battery, arming switch, etc. It used the XM144 detonator as the "main charge" no doubt because there wasn't any room left for anything else! The chart does not address the plastic Dragon's Tooth mines (BLU-3/B, BLU-43 (D-1)/B, BLU-43 (T-1)/B, BLU-43(T-2)/B, BLU-44/B, and BLU-44A/B) Sorry for the quality of the chart, but apparently I am not smart enough to figure out how to post a Word document since none of my attempts were successful.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #30
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    The XM44:


 

 
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