Found this on an AskMadghosts thread

Land mines are rather odd when you think about it. They seemingly exist for a singular purpose – causing death and mayhem – and yet that apparent role is not what they’re actually for in a military sense. The goal isn’t to kill or maim, but to prevent someone from going wherever. Convincing a person on foot to avoid an area doesn’t take much of an explosive at all given that all of us are little more than temporarily solid sacks of water who are mighty inconvenienced by having even a smallish chunk of said solid water forcefully removed. As a result, the kind of land mine required to convince a person on foot from avoiding an area is usually quite a bit smaller than the sort required to convince the crew of a heavily-armored vehicle to choose a different route.

Of course, land mines do not necessarily need to be used for that intended military function. They are, after all, just bombs, and one could, if sufficiently motivated and knowledgeable, use one or more of them to make a completely different sort of bomb. One such enterprising person did exactly this, stuffing a cargo van with mines in order to make a crudely-guided bomb. When this vehicle was noticed and inspected, relevant bomb disposal experts were called out.

There are plenty of movies that suggest that bombs are disposed of by carefully disarming them. This is quite a bit harder than even movies suggest, especially when dealing with bombs made outside of anything resembling a standard process. As a result the usual way of getting rid of a bomb is rather counterintuitively to *make* it go off at a convenient time rather than trying to prevent it going off at all. The experts in this case determined that this bomb, which consisted of several dozen mines of the sort which would convince people on foot to choose a different route, was the kind of bomb that you’d want to explode at a convenient time rather than not at all. By some process known only to such experts, they determined how far away they needed to move people for the sake of safety, and then prepared the small explosive which would be used to convince the larger bomb to explode on a non maiming and mayhem schedule.

The bomb leveled a city block, blasted out windows for hundreds of meters beyond, and generally ruined the day for a *lot* of people. It turns out that the several dozen bombs meant to convince people on foot to go elsewhere were, in fact, several dozen bombs meant to convince main battle tanks to go elsewhere. Rather than the dozen or so kilograms of high explosives they estimated, there were several *hundred*.

*Oops*.

#AskMadghosts #thread

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  1. Land mines are rather odd when you think about it. They seemingly exist for a singular purpose – causing death and mayhem – and yet that apparent role is not what they’re actually for in a military sense. The goal isn’t to kill or maim, but to prevent someone from going wherever. Convincing a person on foot to avoid an area doesn’t take much of an explosive at all given that all of us are little more than temporarily solid sacks of water who are mighty inconvenienced by having even a smallish chunk of said solid water forcefully removed. As a result, the kind of land mine required to convince a person on foot from avoiding an area is usually quite a bit smaller than the sort required to convince the crew of a heavily-armored vehicle to choose a different route.

    Of course, land mines do not necessarily need to be used for that intended military function. They are, after all, just bombs, and one could, if sufficiently motivated and knowledgeable, use one or more of them to make a completely different sort of bomb. One such enterprising person did exactly this, stuffing a cargo van with mines in order to make a crudely-guided bomb. When this vehicle was noticed and inspected, relevant bomb disposal experts were called out.

    There are plenty of movies that suggest that bombs are disposed of by carefully disarming them. This is quite a bit harder than even movies suggest, especially when dealing with bombs made outside of anything resembling a standard process. As a result the usual way of getting rid of a bomb is rather counterintuitively to *make* it go off at a convenient time rather than trying to prevent it going off at all. The experts in this case determined that this bomb, which consisted of several dozen mines of the sort which would convince people on foot to choose a different route, was the kind of bomb that you’d want to explode at a convenient time rather than not at all. By some process known only to such experts, they determined how far away they needed to move people for the sake of safety, and then prepared the small explosive which would be used to convince the larger bomb to explode on a non maiming and mayhem schedule.

    The bomb leveled a city block, blasted out windows for hundreds of meters beyond, and generally ruined the day for a *lot* of people. It turns out that the several dozen bombs meant to convince people on foot to go elsewhere were, in fact, several dozen bombs meant to convince main battle tanks to go elsewhere. Rather than the dozen or so kilograms of high explosives they estimated, there were several *hundred*.

    *Oops*.

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