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Anti-tank mines were developed during World War I shortly after the invention of the armored tank. These mines are similar to Anti-Personnel Mines (APM's), but are much larger in size. Anti-tank mines are pressure activated but usually do not respond to the weight of an average person. Typical anti-tank mines require 348 pounds (158 kg) in order to detonate.
All anti-tank mines are blast mines since the goal of an anti-tank mine is to decimate the tank's tracks and as much of the body as possible. Bounding or fragmentation is ineffective against the metal armor of a tank.
A tank is being decimated by an anti-tank mine. The tank's treads are destroyed after the explosion, rendering it ineffective in combat.
M15 Pressure-operated Blast Mine
The M15 is a circular, steel mine that contains a 22.86 pound (10.35 kg) main charge of Composition B explosive. Composition B consists of TNT and cyclotrimethylene trinitramine (RDX).
The mine is armed by rotating the arming switch. As a tank rolls over the mine, the pressure plate pushes down on the Belleville spring, which has a firing pin attached to its underside. The firing pin is driven into the detonator, which fires and ignites the M120 booster charge, which in turn sets off the main Composition B charge.
- Bonsor, Kevin. "M15 Anti-tank Land Mine." HowStuffWorks.com. HSW Media Network. 11 Mar.
2006. <http://science.howstuffworks.com/landmine3.htm>. Used with permission.
- Bonsor, Kevin. "How Landmines Work." HowStuffWorks.com. HSW Media Network. 11 Mar.