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M MK1 magnetic moored mine


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Björn

Here is a nice little gadget i came across  in my local area a couple of years ago.
It's a British Mark one Magnetic moored mine. This mine is part of a minefield that the british placed here on the 8.th of April 1940 (The day before the German invasion of Norway in 1940) 
This was actually a breach of Norway's neutrality by the British, as they placed mines in the middle of norwegian civillian sea-lanes.
 

 

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The mine is placed up-side-down, as the Mooring mechanism would be facing down in the water

 

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By the way, this example is empty and does not contain any dangerous substances.

 

The magnetic mine had a rather ingenious trigger mechanism. In a easy and understandeble explanation, It had an elecric coil that would detect the signature of a large metal hull (boat or ship) that was passing by, and if close enough it would generate a low electric current, wich would set of the detonators and the main charge.

 

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The main charges on these mines consisted of a barrel containing 280 pounds (127 Kg) Amatol - wich is a mixture of TNT and Ammonium nitrate, wich would provide a huge detonating effect when set off.

 

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These mines were known to detach themselves from the anchor after some time, and would be washed ashore. The good news with these mines, is that the Mooring mechanism had a very good safety function. If the wire was to break, and the mine lost the tension on the wire from the anchor, a strong springloaded mechanism would disarm the mine, preventing it from detonating.

 

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Anyway, these mines were placed in the middle of shipping lanes in Vestfjorden. The minefield is marked on the map here:
In the upper part of the map you see Narvik. 

 

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And on this I have marked with a small red dot, where I live. Only a few hundred meters from where the minefield started:

 

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The anchoring mechanism on these mines, were alo a brilliant mechanical patent.

 

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Anyway, my example is standing up-side-down as you can see. The top lid is unfortinently missing.

I am looking for a top lid to complete the hull of this mine, so if anyone know where I can find one of these, i would be very interested :)

 

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Best Regards

Björn

 

 

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Desert Rat

Fantastic Bjorn,

Lovely item to have in the garden, where on earth do you find such rare items as this?

Thanks for showing us on MCN, and all the images and text.

Brilliant...!!!

Best to you.....Desert Rat/ Ian

Edited by Desert Rat
correction to text
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Davejb

At last, the Brits did get some things right, now are you sure that its empty, I say this as a Tall boy bomb stood as a gate guard at one of the RAF stations, until they discovered that the dame thing was LIVE and had never been de,activated, you can imagine the storm that this caused !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL

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Desert Rat

A "Tallboy" bomb dropped from a Lancaster during the bombing raid on  - La Coupole - V1 and V2 Rocket construction site in St Omer, France...12, 000 lbs of high explosive (I think?)

Copyright accepted and all legal.

Desert Rat

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Björn
1 hour ago, Davejb said:

At last, the Brits did get some things right, now are you sure that its empty, I say this as a Tall boy bomb stood as a gate guard at one of the RAF stations, until they discovered that the dame thing was LIVE and had never been de,activated, you can imagine the storm that this caused !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL

I'm absolutely sure, Dave. The mine is missing the top lid, and I have been inside it. I would not risk my family or the neighbourhood for that sake, bringing home a live mine :)

A live tallboy. wow. That would make a huge crater.
They did use tallboy's to sink Tirpitz in 1944.

Here's a tallboy crater and the capsized battleship Tirpitz, pictured in 1949.
 

 

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And the same Tallboy crater today:

 

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And another Tallboy crater in the near proximity

 

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Desert Rat

Thanks Bjorn,

I am sure it was the 617 Squadron that bombed it as my Dad worked with William Walters ( Before WW2) who flew on this raid and  - Ian Ross (Australian) was the Pilot....an image of all the crew who flew on this mission.

Best wishes to you all......IanB

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Edited by Desert Rat
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Björn
2 hours ago, Desert Rat said:

Fantastic Bjorn,

Lovely item to have in the garden, where on earth do you find such rare items as this?

Thanks for showing us on MCN, and all the images and text.

Brilliant...!!!

Best to you.....Desert Rat/ Ian

Thanks, Ian :)
I found it in a house garden in my home town. It was almost buried, and only the top was sticking up from a dung of compost. The Grandfather of the woman living in the house was a military officer, and had brought it home as a garden decoration. After he passed away the family placed it in a corner in the garden and almost buried it over several years with garden weed and compost.
I just knocked on their door, and asked if it was possible to buy it from them. I offered them around £200.- and they said yes :)
So I borrowed a truck with crane and brought it home  :)

 

Here are pictures of another one, standing around two kilometers from where I live. This mine was deactivated by the germans, when it drifted ashore. They just removed the ignitors, and set it on fire.
The Amatol has been burning VERY hot in here, as you can see from the hole in the side.
That is not a rust hole - you can clearly see the slag and melted metal inside the mine.

 

 

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Desert Rat

Hello Bjorn,

What a great and wonderful account to find this......one in a million. Glad you have it as a great momento from WW2.

Thanks for showing us and Very Best Wishes.....IanB

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