Evolution of United States Military Landmine Doctrine and Employment
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
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This study examines the development of the U.S. militarys approach to landmine warfare, from its earliest beginnings in the first half of the 1800s to the modern era. It addresses both technological innovation, in response to new enemy tactics, as well as shifts in doctrine. Examining different eras, it explores the way soldiers improvised employment methods and leaders shifted doctrinal guidance. The study concludes that American landmine warfare grew in a haphazard manner, characterized by many discrete fits and starts, influenced directly by newly-encountered enemy tactics and styles of warfare. Technical development grew as soldiers adapted in the field doctrine adapted as leaders attempted to incorporate their soldiers innovations into written guidance, or to counter particularly troublesome enemy tactics. Further, landmines can be a great equalizer, allowing an outmatched belligerent to even the playing field against a larger or better-equipped one. Landmines will not cease to be a factor in planning or execution of operations simply because they have fallen out of favor, or because a treaty has been signed banning their use. Many opponents, and several allies, will continue to employ them. Millions of them remain, armed and waiting, on battlefields all over the planet. The study of landmine warfare therefore remains relevant.
- Land Mine Warfare