A Deep Dive into the Types and Mechanisms of Landmines Commonly Seen in Movies


What Types of Landmines Exist?

Landmines can be broadly categorized into two types: anti-personnel mines and anti-tank mines.

Anti-personnel mines, as the name suggests, are designed to target people. They are triggered when a person steps on them. Examples of anti-personnel mines include the M14 mine and the PMN mine. These mines aim to hinder the movement of enemy soldiers and cause injuries.

On the other hand, anti-tank mines are designed to destroy tanks and armored vehicles. They have a larger explosive force compared to anti-personnel mines and are engineered to withstand the weight of vehicles without detonating.

Do the “Step-and-Freeze” Landmines Seen in Movies Really Exist?

In movies and TV shows, we often see scenes where the protagonist steps on a mine and is told, “Don’t move, or you’ll die!” But does this type of landmine exist in reality?

In fact, these landmines are a type of improvised explosive device (IED). They are designed to detonate when pressure is released from the pressure plate. However, these are not military-grade landmines; they are primarily used in conflict zones as makeshift explosives.

So, Do Military Landmines Explode Immediately When Stepped On?

Absolutely! Military-grade anti-personnel mines are designed to detonate the moment they are stepped on. This is to ensure that enemy soldiers are either injured or killed.

However, the delayed detonation of IEDs serves a sinister purpose.

The Reason Behind the Delayed Detonation of IEDs

The delayed detonation of IEDs is believed to target landmine removal experts.

These experts are trained to approach and handle landmines with caution. If a landmine were to explode immediately when stepped on, the experts wouldn’t even be able to get close.

However, with IEDs that don’t detonate until the foot is moved, the explosives can be triggered at the exact moment when the expert attempts to handle the device. In other words, those who set up IEDs are laying despicable traps to cause more casualties.

This highlights the terrifying characteristics of IEDs that differ from military landmines.

The Threat of Landmines and International Efforts

Landmines are dangerous weapons that have caused numerous casualties worldwide. Particularly in post-conflict areas, buried landmines continue to pose a threat to civilians.

In response, the international community adopted the Mine Ban Treaty (Ottawa Treaty), which prohibits the use, production, stockpiling, and transfer of landmines. Governments, international organizations, and NGOs are collaborating on landmine removal efforts.

Landmines, with their various types and mechanisms, cause diverse forms of harm. While movie depictions may not always align with reality, the threat of landmines remains a serious issue. It’s crucial for each of us to be aware of the existence of underhanded traps like IEDs and to have an interest in the landmine problem. Most importantly, the international community must work together to strive for a peaceful world free of landmines.