War has always provided a stimulus to technological development, and throughout the twentieth century this new technology was harnessed to produce increasingly deadly and malicious types of explosives in the form of these deadly devices, mines, delayed-action devices and mobile charges. Designed, constructed or adopted to kill or injure, these lethal mechanisms function when a person disturbs or approaches a seemingly harmless object or performs an apparently safe act. In other instances they are set off by remote control or automatically after a lapse of time. Fully illustrated with diagrams and photographs.
MALICE AFORETHOUGHT A History of Booby Traps from the First World War to Vietnam
Malice Aforethought traces the design, deployment and effectiveness of booby traps throughout both world wars to the Vietnam War. Expertly and compellingly written, this study is a tribute to the brave men who risked their lives daily to neutralise the booby traps laid in the dimly lit dugouts of the Western Front, on the beaches of Normandy, or in the dark and dangerous tunnels of Chu Chi.
The unlucky, clumsy, fatigued or greedy soldier is the greatest asset that an enemy has for these devices. A nice warm dugout with a stove ready to light, but with a length of fuse and a block of explosive up the chimney. A picture hanging at an angle, an invitation to an officer to straighten, with a grenade recessed in the wall behind it. These and many more such devices really started to be used on an organised mass scale with the German retreat of 1917.