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German sea mines

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Dear all,

anyone here with knowledge on german sea mines like UMA type??


Peter Hommes

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Contact, Magnetic, and Acoustic, types. later ones with photo synthetic anti defusing. Thats the limit of my knowledge.

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Have a look here - Minewarfare and Clearance Divers Association website


Theres a good episode on German magnetic mines and mine countermeasures in the BBC 1970's "Secret War" documentary series. Its available on YouTube or DVD (the whole series).

There is also a good book on how the Royal Navy minewarfare officers went about dealing with the German mines - "Service Most Secret" by Robert Frayn Turner. Doesn't have lots of technical details of the mines but more the story of the various countermeasures deployed to defeat the various types as they were deployed. Its from the 1950's so a bit dated in style but still a good story.

The ground mines, primarily the magnetic were used as blast bombs in the same manner as the high capacity "Cookie" that the RAF dropped in conjunction with incendiaries. The blast would take off roofs opening up buildings for the incendiaries. The magnetic mine had a hydrostatic pistol so that in the event of not being dropped into a column of water then the mine would detonate. The air dropped version included a short delay timer to ensure the aircraft was safely clear of the mine before it was live (in much the same way as the conventional German GP bombs electric fuses protected the dropping aircraft). It was the failure or stoppage of the timer that resulted in these mines ending up as UXB's.

Both the magnetic and acoustic devices were eventually fitted with a very early photovoltaic cell. Basically this acted as an anti handling device. If exposed to light (the cell was concealed in the tail housing of the mine) during the defusing process the mine detonated.

In addition to the acoustic types there was the Oyster mine which detected the pressure wave created by a ships passage though the water column near the mine.


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