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U.S. Minefield Markers


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I recently took it into my head to figure out what a U.S. minefield marker should look like ca. 1944 (as opposed to a German or a Commonwealth marker). After drawing a blank from my very meager research facilities, I tried contacting the Army Corps of Engineers.

Much to my surprise, they weren't too clear on this either. Though there are still people for me to contact there, it was suggested that I try looking at one of the old army field manuals. It turns out that they had the appropriate ones from the Korean War, but not from WWII.

I seem to recall that someone once posted a website (if it was the Library of Congress I'll feel very stupid) that seemed to have many of the old army FM's. Unfortunately I can't remember what the subject under discussion was. If someone knows of the website that I'm referring to and could post the address, I would be most appreciative.

Since there's no guarantee that the FM that I want will be in that group, or that it will even contain the information that I'm looking for, does anyone happen to know what a period minefield marker actually looked like ? I have a sneaking suspicion that there really wasn't any such thing, or that if it existed on paper, actual practise was completely different.

Earlier today I grilled a veteran of the Battle of the Bulge (he didn't call it that), and although he certainly remembered mines, he didn't seem to remember markers. Apparently you just knew. Or stepped on one. [The discussion also touched on a couple of interesting topics -- there was lots of snow, the troops improvised their own snow camouflage, and often had to buy the bedsheets from the local farmers with cartons [!] of cigarettes. It didn't take the troops very long to figure out that wearing olive drab in a white landscape was not a good idea. And they were cold, covered with frozen mud, and had trenchfeet.]

Old age and memory are funny things. My source commented that he could recall that winter in vivid detail -- but remebering what he did last Saturday was another story altogether...

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