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.

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