TM-E 30-451 Handbook on German Military Forces

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department Technical Manual, TM-E 30-451: Handbook on German Military Forces published in March 1945. — Figures and illustrations are not reproduced, see source details. — As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. — Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]



6. Antitank Mines

a. GENERAL. The Germans use about 40 types of antitank mines, but the four types of Tellermines are used most extensively.

b. TELLERMINE 43 (MUSHROOM). (1) Description. In place of the usual cover, this mine has a mushroom head pressure plate which screws into the igniter socket. Two threaded sockets are provided for subsidiary anti-lifting igniters, one in the side of the mine and the other in the base. The positions of these two sockets vary, although they always have been found on a diameter of the mine.

(2) Characteristics.

Diameter over-all   . . . . .   12.5 inches.
Depth of body   . . . . .   2.6 inches.
Maximum height of mine   . . . . .   3.5 inches.
Diameter of mushroom head   . . . . .   7.5 inches.
Depth of mushroom head   . . . . .   1 inch.
Total weight of mine   . . . . .   17 pounds 5 ounces.

c. TELLERMINE 1942 (T.Mi.42) (1) Description. This mine consists of a cylindrical, pressed-steel body, containing a central detonator pocket which is surrounded by a priming cylinder of a composition resembling penthrite. Two pull igniter sockets are provided, one in the side of the mine 4 inches from the carrying handle, and the other in the base 2 inches from the center of the mine. These sockets are screwed into the body of the mine and waterproofed by rubber washers. A cylindrical cavity on the top of the mine contains the pressure-plate assembly. This pressure plate carries a rubber washer or aluminum strip, which is secured to it by a steel ring spot-welded to the plate and forming a seal where it passes under the lower edge of the flanged ring. A strong spring provides the resistance which must be overcome to depress the pressure plate. A central, threaded socket serves for the insertion of the igniter assembly, T.Mi.Z.42/45), consisting of a spring-loaded striker retained by a shear pin. The detonator resembles that used in the Tellermine 35, but it screws into the body of the mine.

(2) Characteristics.

Diameter of base   . . . . .   12 3/4 inches.
Diameter of case   . . . . .   12 1/2 inches.
Diameter of pressure plate   . . . . .   5 3/4 inches.
Maximum height   . . . . .   4 inches.
Type of filling   . . . . .   TNT.
Weight of filling   . . . . .   12 pounds.
Weight of mine   . . . . .   18 pounds (approximately)

(3) Functioning. The mine functions when a minimum pressure of 495 pounds on the pressure plate causes the hexagonal cap to descend on the head of the plunger and shear the pin which retains the striker in the body of the igniter.

d. TELLERMINE 35 (STEEL) (T.Mi.35 Stahl). This mine, 12 1/2 inches in diameter, weighs 21 pounds. Painted a mat gray, it is marked T.Mi.S 31 T Vii 242 on the top in white paint; S88 12 42A, on the top in black paint; and WO 42, stamped on the top. In this model the pressure plate which extends over the entire mine is fluted, probably to prevent sand from blowing off when the mine is buried. In the center of the pressure plate is a threaded socket, closed by a screwed plug with a milled head. This socket will take the standard T.Mi. Z.35 igniter, but the mine can also be used with the igniter assembly of the Tellermine 42. The subsidiary igniter sockets are located on the bottom and side of the mine.

e. TELLERMINE 35 (T.Mi.35). (1) Description. This is a circular mine with a flat base and slightly convex cover. A strong spiral spring inside the mine holds the cover against the turned-in flange of a skirt screwed to the outside of the main body. The central hole for the main igniter (T.Mi.Z.35 or T.Mi.Z.42) is provided with a rubber washer to make a close joint with the body. When the T.Mi.Z.42 is used, a steel plug must be placed in the central well. Two holes for additional igniters are provided. The central tube, which takes the exploder system, contains the detonator, above which are two metal collars. Above these is a rubber ring, capable of compression to make the assembly watertight. The igniter screws into the cover of the mine, so that the lower face of the igniter presses hard against the rubber ring. One collar is a retaining collar for the detonator; the other is an adjusting or positioning collar for the igniter. The igniter is screwed into the correct position by a special tool, and when positioned it is secured by a small grub passing through the collar. If this collar has been removed, it cannot be replaced correctly unless the special tool is available. Incorrect positioning makes the mine either too sluggish or too sensitive.

(2) Characteristics.

Diameter   . . . . .   12.6 inches.
Weight of mine   . . . . .   19.2 pounds.
Weight of filling   . . . . .   11 pounds.
Type of filling   . . . . .   TNT.

(3) Functioning. The mine functions when the pressure on the cover compresses the mine spring, causing the body of the igniter to descend and shear the pin holding the striker. Pressure of 175 to 400 pounds will explode the mine.

(4) To neutralize. Examine the sides and bottom of the mine for anti-handling igniters. Identify the igniters and neutralize. Remove the main igniter from the mine, manipulate the safety device, and immediately replace the igniter.

f. TELLERMINE 29 (T. Mi. 29). (1) Description. This mine was the first of the Tellermine series and was thought to have become obsolete, but it has been found in France since D-Day. It consists of a cylindrical body the lid of which is provided with three sockets for the reception of three Z.D.Z. 29 push-pull igniters. These igniters, according to a German document, are to be set at the heavy pressure setting (marked S or 125 kg.). Three additional sockets, two in the side and one in the base provide means of attaching anti-handling igniters.

(2) Characteristics.

Diameter   . . . . .   10 inches.
Height   . . . . .   7 inches.
Weight   . . . . .   13.2 pounds.
Weight of filling   . . . . .   10 pounds.
Type of filling   . . . . .   TNT.
Firing pressure   . . . . .   100-275 pounds.

(3) Neutralization. Search for and neutralize anti-handling devices. Unscrew the three igniters. The mine is now safe.

g. L. Pz. ANTITANK MINE. (1) Description. This is a circular mine with flat top and bottom, enclosed in two saucer-shaped covers. In the center of the top is a small cover plate secured by bayonet catches under which is a safety screw, which when screwed tightly clockwise closes the entry to the detonator. Above the blasting cap is a small chamber from which fire tubes lead radially to the five special pressure igniters action of which is similar to that of the D.Z. 35 pressure igniter.

(2) Characteristics.

Diameter of mine   . . . . .   1 foot.
Height   . . . . .   3 inches.
Weight of mine   . . . . .   8 pounds.
Weight of filling   . . . . .   5 pounds.
Nature of filling   . . . . .   TNT.

(3) Functioning. Pressure on the lid causes one or more of the igniters to fire, setting off the mine.

(4) Neutralization. Search for and neutralize any anti-handling devices. Remove cap and screw safety screw clockwise until line marked SICHER coincides with white mark on case. If all the nuts on the bottom of the mine are present and screwed up, mine is safe.

h. Topf MINE. (1) Description. The mine body is a hollow cylindrical disc of plastic material filled with HE. Its top face is formed as a circular pressure plate surrounded by a shear groove. The cylindrical recess in the center of the mine body accommodates the primer plug. The carrying handle is fixed to the mine bottom by two glass screws.

The primer plug assembly consists of a glass screw cap and the cylindrical igniter seating, made of bituminous cardboard material.

(2) Action. Under a load of 330 pounds, the pressure plate shears along its shear groove and comes to rest on the pressure head of igniter, crushing it and causing the mine to explode.

(3) To neutralize:

(a) Search for and neutralize any anti-handling devices.

(b) Ensure that the mine is undamaged.

(c) Lift carefully, rest on one side, and unscrew the primer plug.

(d) Remove the igniter.

(e) Unscrew protective detonator pocket.

(f) Remove the detonator and replace the protective pocket on the igniter.

i. Riegel. ANTITANK MINE (R. Mi. 43). (1) Description. The mine consists of an encased explosive charge and of an outer box in two parts, lid and tray. The charge is provided with five standard igniter sockets, one on top, two on one side, and one at each end. Holes in the box correspond with the sockets on top and on the side, enabling igniters to be inserted from outside and fitted as anti-handling devices.

Z.Z. 42 igniters are inserted in the end sockets and their pins rest on shoulders at each end of the tray and are covered by swivel clips. The charge is supported in the tray by two shear wires. For transport, two safety bars are inserted which take the weight of the charge off the shear wires. When the safety bars are withdrawn, spring-loaded shutters close the holes. These shutters can be opened by pushing a pencil or large nail through a hole in the base of the tray.

The lid rests on the charge, and the ends of the shear wires are led up over the lid and windlassed together to keep it on.

(2) Characteristics.

Length   . . . . .   31.5 inches.
Width   . . . . .   3 3/4 inches.
Height   . . . . .   3 1/2 inches.
Weight of mine   . . . . .   20.5 pounds.
Weight of explosive   . . . . .   8.8 pounds.
Nature of explosive   . . . . .   Amatol 50/50.

(3) Functioning. Pressure on the lid of the mine shears the shear wires and the pins of the Z.Z. 42 igniters are pushed out, thus setting off the mine.

(4) Neutralization. Search for and neutralize any anti-handling devices. Turn the mine on its side and by pushing a pencil or nail through the hole in the base raise the shutters covering the safety bar holes. Insert safety bars. Cut shear wires and remove lid. Open swivel clips and, having seen that the pins of the Z.Z. 42 igniters are resting on the shoulders and not beneath, take out the charge case. Unscrew the Z.Z. 42 igniters.

NOTE: The charge case can be inserted with one Z.Z. 42 igniter pin reversed and beneath the shoulders. In this case the charge case must be slid out by lifting the end in which the Z.Z. 42 igniter is used normally.

j. FRENCH LIGHT ANTITANK MINE. (1) Description. The mine body consists of a rectangular steel body filled with 5 3/4 pounds of HE. In the top of the mine are two igniter pockets, one at either end. The body is covered with a slip-on rectangular cover the top of which is corrugated. There is a square hole in either end of the cover through which passes a safety bar which is removed when the mine is laid.

(2) Action. A pressure of from 300 pounds to 500 pounds in the lid causes it to descend on the igniters, exploding the mine.

(3) Characteristics.

Length   . . . . .   9 1/2 inches.
Width   . . . . .   5 1/2 inches.
Height   . . . . .   4 1/2 inches.
Weight   . . . . .   14 1/2 pounds.

(4) To neutralize:

(a) Search for and neutralize any anti-handling devices.

(b) Lift cover and remove both igniters.

(c) Replace the cover.

k. WOODEN-BOX MINE 42 (Holzmine). (1) Description. The body of the mine is a rectangular wooden box containing 11 1/2 pounds of HE. A pressure block protrudes through the lid of the mine, which inside the mine rests on a shear flange secured to the side of the mine by wooden dowels.

The mine is gray or unpainted, with a red band on one side and on the face of the pressure block.

(2) Action. Pressure of 200 pounds or more on the pressure block shears the dowels securing the shear flange, which when forced down pushes out the pin in the Z.Z.42 igniter, exploding the mine.

(3) Characteristics.

Length   . . . . .   13 inches.
Width   . . . . .   12 inches.
Height   . . . . .   4 1/2 inches.
Weight   . . . . .   18 pounds.

(4) Neutralizing. Search for and neutralize any anti-handling devices. Remove the lid avoiding all pressure on the pressure block. Lift pressure block clear of the shear flange. Place the pressure block so it bears on the supporting block in the unarmed position. Replace the lid.

Figure 88: Antitank Mines in Use by the Germans


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