The explosive history of land mines
Caltrop: Before the use of explosives, the nearest device resembling a mine was that used by the Romans—the caltrop.
First land mines: The arrival of gunpowder in China in the 13th century enabled the manufacture of the first bombs used in warfare.
The land mine evolves: The 17th-century Chinese military handbook Wubei Zhi.
The fladdermine: The invention in 1573 by German military engineer Samuel Zimmermann of the fladdermine.
The fougasse: Zimmermann's weapon was modified as an improvised mortar, known as a fougasse.
Explosives technology: Advances in explosives technology and military know-how in the 18th century included the invention of the safety fuse.
First pressure-operated mines: The first pressure-operated mines using percussion caps were deployed on land.
First use of anti-personnel mines: Precursors of the modern-day mine were used during the American Civil War.
Explosive booby traps: Rains pioneered the use of "torpedo" or "subterra shells" consisting of munitions with pressure caps.
A barbaric weapon: Many on both sides of the conflict were appalled by the use of such an arbitrary weapon.