This War Office pamphlet, issued in 1952 at the dawn of the Cold War, updates one issued ten years earlier at the start of the Second World War. Its purpose is to introduce soldiers to booby trap bombs (’a cunning contrivance’) commonly used by the British army – and to warn them against similar devices set by the enemy. The devices described and illustrated are of four basic types : a ‘Pull’ type – triggered by the pulling of a trip wire; ‘Push’ types, triggered by the application of pressure such as a foot stepping on a plunger; ‘Release’ devices triggered by the lifting of an apparently harmless object; and ‘Delayed’ devices, triggered by some form of automatic delayed mechanism – ranging from a few hours to several days. This is a concise but comprehensive guide to what it calls ‘lethal practical jokes’ designed to impede and delay the enemy.
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2009 N&M Press reprint (original pub 1952). SB. 75pp. Illustrated.