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Larain60
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Posted: 3/16/2009 1:55:30 AM
Im curious if any WWII water mines are still floating around?

Any stories?
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TNROBOCOP
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Posted: 3/16/2009 2:01:44 AM
I am pretty sure some are. But for the most part mines were anchored to the sea floor a few feet under the surface so that the ships wouldn't see them as well as blow up under the waterline, causing more damage. Most of the loose ones come from the sea floor anchors rusting through.

Considering how many were laid during WWII, there has to be some stories out there of them being found.
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torafermi
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Posted: 3/16/2009 2:02:27 AM
Yes, mine sweeper that was forward deployed out of someplace in texas and forward deployed in Sasebo Japan (i forgot the name of the sweeper) got sent to PI (philipines Islands) to deal with some that drifted off some of their islands.

They come up once in a while and there are a lot on the seabed.

USN 95-02
torafermi
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Posted: 3/16/2009 2:04:31 AM
[Last Edit: 3/16/2009 2:05:31 AM by torafermi]
The Japs "Japnese" would mine up harbors on the harbors and leave litterly 10's of thousands so there was no way to clear them.

ETA to switch word to more politicallu correct version.
TNROBOCOP
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Posted: 3/16/2009 2:10:05 AM
Just read an article that said between 500,000 and 1,000,000 mines were laid during WWII.

It also mentioned that the Kursk russian sub is suspected of hitting a sea mine. Several were found in the vicinity during salvage operations after the sinking of the Kursk.
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torafermi
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Posted: 3/16/2009 2:15:00 AM
Side note, you know they used to call mines torpedoes??????

honorabledog
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Posted: 3/16/2009 2:24:11 AM
I recently saw a brief segment on either National Geo or Discovery Channel that went into detail about the current removal of mines from areas around England, Ireland, etc. Here there were valuable waterways and inlets for shipping that they feared would be seized so they lay 2 sections of mines. One section was floating a few feet to a hundred feet to stop Enemy ships but the second layer was lower to the sea floor, chained as mentioned earlier. These were to stop subs. The topic of the segment was about the local peoples believing the mines were waisted because though there were some skirmishes there were never any sub attacks. Well when the mine removers came through recently they did indeed find some Enemy sub debris from WWII and the mines had done there job.

I appologize for not having any better details. It was something that was on t.v while visiting a friend and though I was trying to listen to what was said, I was also involved in a conversation. ya'll know how that goes. I tried to do a search but I came up with alot of items unrelated. I'll do further research to give better details later.
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max229
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Posted: 3/16/2009 2:25:39 AM
Ocean mines are an interesting topic.
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Cyclic240B
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Posted: 3/16/2009 2:27:32 AM
[Last Edit: 3/16/2009 2:30:28 AM by Cyclic240B]
France

England - With Video

Scotland

Ukraine

ETA: EOD guys, from the (England) 3rd video down, is that an air dropped depth charge?
against all enemies, foreign and domestic....

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Posted: 3/16/2009 9:53:40 AM
Achtung baby,

Minen.

Willkommen!

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Posted: 3/16/2009 10:01:05 AM
Here's a link to interesting article from Iceland on this very subject:


Sea Mines in Iceland
bcw107
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Posted: 3/16/2009 10:01:41 AM
Originally Posted By torafermi:
Yes, mine sweeper that was forward deployed out of someplace in texas and forward deployed in Sasebo Japan (i forgot the name of the sweeper) got sent to PI (philipines Islands) to deal with some that drifted off some of their islands.

They come up once in a while and there are a lot on the seabed.

USN 95-02


I know this has nothing to do with the thread but IIRC all of the mine ships were out of Home Port, Naval Station Ingleside/Corpus Christi.
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joker581
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Posted: 3/16/2009 10:06:32 AM
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Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.
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Posted: 3/16/2009 10:14:26 AM
I did a post in GD a couple of years ago about a mine that popped up in an harbor up noirth. Not sure if it can be found.
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Posted: 3/16/2009 10:21:55 AM
[Last Edit: 3/16/2009 11:06:28 AM by Plumbata]
Don't know a lot about mines but I'm pretty sure that dent and hole in the side of the English one is from some fisherman's outboard motor.
neilfj
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Posted: 3/16/2009 10:49:33 AM
There are always reports of fishing trawlers pulling up old WWII mines off the New England Coast. It has to occur at least 1-2 times per year that it is reported that the Navy/Coast Guard are called and dispatch EOD teams because a mine is caught in a net, or has been torn free from their base and float up to the surface. Seems to occurs most frequently to those that are fishing off of Georges Bank and up around Nova Scotia.

MrKandiyohi
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Posted: 3/16/2009 11:04:17 AM
Originally Posted By torafermi:
Side note, you know they used to call mines torpedoes??????



"Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!" Battle of Mobile Bay
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Posted: 3/16/2009 11:42:05 AM
Too bad the greenies didn't come along in time to assure that all land and sea mines were environmentally friendly. That would have actually been a decent idea!
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GENESMITH
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Posted: 3/16/2009 11:49:13 AM
Retired US NAVY MINEMAN here.

Here is a really good histry lesson on sea mines: Hstory of Sea Mines

The History of the Sea Mine and its Continued Importance in Today's Navy
By Diana Schroeder

“A Sea Mine is a weapon which lies in wait for its victim. This silent weapon hides under
the surface of the water or on the bottom in the sand and can remain there undetected for months
at a time until an unsuspecting vessel comes across it."

Sea mines continue to be important in naval warfare because they can be used
defensively or offensively and because of mines demonstrated success and capabilities.


Early Pioneers in the development of Sea Mines

The term "sea mine" was first applied in the early 16th century when the Dutch loaded vessels
with large amounts of explosives and sent these drifting mines against an enemy ship or an
enemy's shore fortification.

In 1585 Federico Gianibelli, an Italian working for the Dutch, sent two
"bomb ships" to drift into a bridge over the river Scheldt at Antwerp, Belgium. The bomb ships
exploded against the bridge, tearing a 200-foot gap in it.

This was the first time a large explosive charge was used in naval warfare. The successful destruction of the bridge showed the potential
for a drifting mine.

David Bushnell has become known as the father of mine warfare. As a student at Yale
University, he worked on the development of underwater explosives. In his research, he
discovered that gunpowder could be exploded underwater.

During the American Revolution Bushnell was authorized to design a sea mine (usually referred to as a "torpedo" by Bushnell) to
be used against the British fleet. He filled kegs with gunpowder and assembled a flintlock
mechanism adjusted so that a light shock would release the hammer and fire the powder.

Bushnell sent the floating kegs down the Delaware River in December 1777 with the hope that
one or all of these kegs would drift into the British ships anchored at Philadelphia.

Although this attempt by Bushnell is referred to in history books as the "Battle of the Kegs", there was no actual
battle. The keg mines or "torpedoes" did not meet with success. One of the kegs that had been
spotted by two boys exploded when they tried to retrieve it, killing them and alerting the British to
be on the lookout for the kegs. “

The British destroyed the rest of the kegs by firing into them as they floated by.

Robert Fulton continued the development of floating mines. In 1797, he proposed to the
British that they use drifting mines to attack the French fleet. “

These mines were supplied with a clockwork mechanism which could be started when the mine was released and would explode 5
to 10 minutes later. This attempt failed when the French fired on the small boats carrying the mines and they had to be released early.

In his next experiment Fulton attempted to destroy a French frigate by building a weapon that
consisted of a cable with a mine connected to each end. Fulton released the mine and cable
such that the cable would snag the ship's bow drawing the mines into contact with the ship's
sides as it sailed by.

This attempt had also meet with failure when the mines exploded without
sinking the ship. He concluded that the experiment failed because the mines were not
submerged.

In 1805, while working in England, Fulton succeeded in sinking the Dorothea, a 200-
ton brig. Fulton made each mine heavier so that it would sink beneath the surface and the
connecting cable would draw the mine underneath the ship where it was most vulnerable.

This successful experiment led to the conclusion that a weighted mine beneath the surface was more
effective than a floating surface mine in destroying a ship's hull.

Samuel Colt, later of revolver fame, perfected the use of electric current to detonate a mine in
1844 on the Potomac River. He used an electric current that flowed through a wire to heat the
powder and set off the explosion. Colt also invented a moored minefield that could be detonated
on command by an operator on shore when a ship passed over. “

Colt conceived the moored minefield as a defensive controlled-weapon system and was very concerned about not only firing
the moored mines, but about firing each at the right time when a target vessel would be over a
particular mine or within damage range.

Sea Mines' Effectiveness in Naval Warfare

Mines are effective in naval warfare because they are not seen until the mines are almost
upon a ship's hull. The effectiveness of a mine depends on its being invisible to its target.

A submerged mine has the advantage of striking a ship where it is most vulnerable, the underwater
portion of the hull. Mines are only effective if they are submerged enough under the water so a
passing ship will sail into it setting off the firing mechanism. Stealth is the principal advantage to
undersea weapons.

Undersea weapons such as mines are a relatively inexpensive way to wage naval warfare.
During the Civil War the Confederate Navy, which lacked adequate funding, used sea mines on a
large scale due to their cheapness. The Confederates sought to counteract the effectiveness of
the much larger Union Navy by planting minefields in Southern harbors as a deterrent naval
tactic.

The fact that twenty-seven federal vessels were sunk by mines, while only nine were
sunk by artillery fire,”shows the success the Confederate Navy had with this type of weapon.

Mines in the collection of the Naval Undersea Museum



Frame torpedoes were one of the most successful torpedoes (mines) used during the
American Civil War by the Confederate Navy. Frame torpedoes are large artillery shells, each
with a fuse in its nose, attached to wooden frames and anchored in shallow waterway where an
unsuspecting ship might strike and detonate it. So effective were these frame torpedoes (mines)
that all during the war Union gunboats never attempted to force their way up the water approach
to a city defended by them.





The Mk 6 mine played an important role during World War I by protecting allied shipping. In
1918, the United States and British navies planted more than 76,000 Mk 6 mines in the North
Sea. This mine barrage limited the ability of German subs to break out of the Atlantic Ocean and
attack Allied shipping.



The Mk 6 mine was a moored contact mine. This mine was dropped from rails off the stern of
surface vessels in water 30 to 3,000 feet deep. The mine carried 300 pounds of TNT. Detonation
occurred when a ship or submarine came in contact with the copper antenna connected to a float
above the mine case. Detonation could also occur if a submarine encountered one of the two hertz
horns located on the case, thus breaking a glass tube that released electrolyte and completed the firing circuit.




In World War II the Mk 25 mine was used by Allied nations. These mines were airdropped into
position. Japan had laid defensive minefields to keep U.S. submarines from entering and mining
the Sea of Japan. In March 1945, U.S. B-29 bombers leapt this barrier. Allied aircraft dropped
more than 12,000 mines during "Operation Starvation"”- the code name for mining the waters in
and around the islands of Japan. These mines carried 1120 pounds of TNT each and by the time
Japan surrendered in 1945, airdropped offensive mines had done extensive damage to Japanese
shipping.




Destructor mines were the first mines used on both land and sea. When dropped on land, they
buried themselves in the ground. When dropped in canals or other shallow waterways, they went
to the bottom where they lay ready to be set off by a passing vessel.

In May 1972 U.S. aircraft planted more than 11,000 destructor mines in Haiphong Harbor.
This was key to the January 1973 peace accord ending the Vietnam War.
More than 330,000 destructor mines were dropped during the Vietnam War.





Captor Mines, also known as Mk 60 mines, combine the elements of a mine and a torpedo in
a single weapon. It is an independent, self-contained, unmanned attack system. Captor detects
and verifies submarine presence. When required, it deploys an Mk 46 torpedo to attack and
destroy its target.

Mine Classification

Mines can be classified three different ways: by the position they assume in the water, by the
method of delivery, or by method of activation.

1. Position in the Water. Mines fall into three different categories when they are classified by the
position they assume in the water: bottom, moored, and drifting.

Bottom mines are most effective in shallow waters. These mines rest on the ocean floor.

Moored mines are used for deepwater plants and are effective against submarines and
surface ships. The charge and firing mechanism are in a case that floats with a cable attached
to the anchor which allows it to position the mine at a predetermined depth.

Drifting mines are not anchored to the bottom and are allowed to float free; the U.S. Navy no
longer uses these.

2. Delivery Method. Mines can also be categorized according to the delivery method: aircraft-laid,
surface-laid, and submarine-laid.

Aircraft-laid mines are dropped from an aircraft in the same method as a bomb is. Fins or
parachutes that are packed in the back of the mine are used to slow the mine's velocity to lessen
the impact when it hits the water's surface. These mines were used extensively in World War II in
order to combat waterways held by the enemy.

Surface-laid mines are planted by surface ships. These mines are used primarily for
defensive purposes. The Navy used surface-laid mines in and around allied waterways during
World War II to protect the shipping lanes from enemy attack.

Submarine-laid mines are used when stealth and secrecy are important. Submarine-laid
mines are used primarily as offensive weapons. During World War II submarines planted a total
of 576 mines, resulting in 27 ships sunk and 27 damaged, or approximately one ship sunk or
damaged per each 10 mines planted.


3. Method of Activation. (The Influence Sensing Device). A mine's target detection device
(TDD) is the electronic component that observes changes in the underwater environment in order
to detect enemy ships and/or submarines and decides whether they are close enough to damage
via the mine's blast effects.

These detection devices can use one or a combination of four different types of influence sensors.
Pressure, magnetic, acoustic, and seismic are four types of influence sensing devices used
to detect changes in the mines surroundings.

If the change exceeds a pre-set level, the sensing device responds and starts a sequence that explodes the
mine.

Pressure: When pressure sensors detect a change in pressure, a disturbance in the local
magnetic field, or ship noise, they cause a switch to close. This switch closes the firing circuit,
enabling electric current to travel from the firing battery to the detonator. The detonator explodes,
setting off the main charge in the mine. Completion of this sequence takes a fraction of a second.
Pressure sensors identify a change in pressure in the water caused by a passing ship as it
displaces a given volume of water beneath its hull throughout the course of its passage over the
submerged mine.

Magnetic: Magnetic sensors detect changes along the Earth's magnetic field. When the hull of a
steel ship disturbs the lines of flux of the Earth's local magnetic field a firing mechanism initiates
the detonation of the mine.

Acoustic: Acoustic sensors use a hydrophone to detect propellers, engines, and other machinery
that makes noise as the ship moves through the water. The sounds must meet a predetermined
acoustic signature for the firing mechanism to initiate.

Seismic: Seismic Sensors also use sound detection technology to initiate the mine's firing
sequence. The extremely sensitive seismic sensor within the mine is designed to detect small
movements of the mine case. This feature is unlike the acoustic sensor where the hydrophone
picks up the sound signatures.


Future mine technology

The Naval Surface Weapons Center White Oak, Maryland, Laboratory continues to develop
and improve naval sea mines and how to protect ships from them. Research is always being
done to improve a sea mine's influence sensor, so that it can differentiate between a target, a
fake, and the background. New developments will allow the sensors to process information
they have collected and make a decision on whether to start the firing sequence or wait. This
technology will allow mines to more accurately pinpoint a target, destroy it, and keep false
readings at a minimum.

Another development that the Naval Surface Weapons Center is working on is how to limit the
amount of damage a sea mine can cause to U.S. naval and American owned ships. This is one
of the hardest hurdles to cross when dealing with mines, since certain mine combinations are
virtually unsweepable and have to be dealt with, if at all, by the costly, laborious, dangerous, and
time-consuming activities of mine hunting and neutralization.

Mine research and development are cheap in cost compared to most of the weapons in the
naval arsenal. This is one reason that mine warfare is as important today as it was in the 16th
century. Nations are able to use these weapons defensively and offensively without spending a
lot of money. Although fewer defensive dollars may be spent on mines, they can protect a
nation's inland waterways and save millions of dollars in lost shipping or they can halt an enemy's
shipping, costing it millions of dollars in lost revenue and goods.



If you actually took the time to read all of that, I hope you learned a little something. That is what I did for the past 20 years.

There is alot more to the wonderful world of sea mines, but this should give you some back ground on them.

If you have any questions, please ask away,

Gene
Posted By 455SD: Newspaper, man. Newspaper.
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TurdyDingo
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Posted: 3/16/2009 11:49:13 AM
Originally Posted By neilfj:
There are always reports of fishing trawlers pulling up old WWII mines off the New England Coast. It has to occur at least 1-2 times per year that it is reported that the Navy/Coast Guard are called and dispatch EOD teams because a mine is caught in a net, or has been torn free from their base and float up to the surface. Seems to occurs most frequently to those that are fishing off of Georges Bank and up around Nova Scotia.



I bet that makes for some really big eyes when that happens.

I could never do EOD. Those guys walking out there with shovels and turning it over
FDC
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Posted: 3/16/2009 11:54:39 AM
Originally Posted By neilfj:
There are always reports of fishing trawlers pulling up old WWII mines off the New England Coast. It has to occur at least 1-2 times per year that it is reported that the Navy/Coast Guard are called and dispatch EOD teams because a mine is caught in a net, or has been torn free from their base and float up to the surface. Seems to occurs most frequently to those that are fishing off of Georges Bank and up around Nova Scotia.




Yep, My Dad fished out of New Bedford for years. Their were always a few a year that came up for some boat.
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Posted: 3/16/2009 11:57:14 AM
[Last Edit: 3/16/2009 11:57:36 AM by GLHX2112]
October 1987 we had a really nasty storm hit the east coast of England. Surge/Waves washed up a few mines, remains of a viking ship, and exposed some kind of castle. Tore that part of the coast up.
JellyBelly
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Posted: 3/16/2009 12:07:18 PM
I'm suprised mines from WW2 would even still float. You'd think that corrosion around the seals over the past 65 years would make them pretty leaky. Wouldn't they be full of seawater by now and have lost their buoyancy?
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TurdyDingo
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Posted: 3/16/2009 12:09:44 PM
Originally Posted By JellyBelly:
I'm suprised mines from WW2 would even still float. You'd think that corrosion around the seals over the past 65 years would make them pretty leaky. Wouldn't they be full of seawater by now and have lost their buoyancy?


Imagine they were built like brick shithouses. The kind you can't move after you fill them up.

There are people who get blowed up tinkering with civil war era cannonshells that they find in swamps.
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Posted: 3/16/2009 12:11:55 PM
Gilligan found one once.
Patriot328
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Posted: 3/16/2009 12:16:15 PM
[Last Edit: 3/16/2009 12:17:12 PM by Patriot328]
Originally Posted By torafermi:
Side note, you know they used to call mines torpedoes??????




Yeah.. that phrase "Damn the torpedoes!" by Admiral Farragut was referring to what we would call mines today...
Sanderbody
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Posted: 3/16/2009 1:01:02 PM
Originally Posted By KC-130 FLT ENG:
Here's a link to interesting article from Iceland on this very subject:


Sea Mines in Iceland


Very interesting.
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Posted: 3/16/2009 1:24:47 PM
Originally Posted By einnor1040:
Gilligan found one once.


He most certainly did