Original WWII German Glass Mine with Lid and Charge Box - Glasmine 43

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. The Glasmine 43 was an anti-personnel mine with a glass body used by the Germans during World War II. This mine was an early form of minimum metal mine, designed to with the minimum amount of metal to reduce the likelihood of detection by the Polish mine detector then in use by Allied forces. The reduced use metal was beneficial because it saved this valuable war resource for other uses.

The mine consists of a glass bowl, 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter containing an explosive charge and a detonator. The top of the mine was covered by a sheet-glass disk 0.25 inches (6.4 mm) thick, under a thick, molded glass pressure plate. Each mine was supplied with a small quantity of cement putty to seal gaps between the main body and the glass disk cover and make the mine waterproof.

Another model used thin sticks or twigs to suspend the glass pressure plate over the detonator fuse. 5lbs-7lbs of pressure would crush the sticks driving the pressure plate onto the detonator causing an explosion.

When stepped on, the pressure plate shattered the glass disk and activated the detonator, detonating the mine's main explosive charge. This was a Sprengkörper 28 – a standard demolition charge with 200 grams (7.1 oz) of explosive. Two types of detonator were used. Early versions of the mine used a mechanical detonator, known as a Hebelzünder 44 which used a percussion cap. Later versions fired the main charge using a device known as a Buck igniter.

The Buck igniter was a small can of thin, corrugated aluminum. This contained a glass ampule of sulfuric acid, surrounded by flash powder that included powdered naphthalene. The can crushed when subjected to a pressure of around 5 pounds (2.3 kg), shattering the ampule and causing the acid to mix with the powder. The resulting chemical reaction produced a flash that ignited the detonator of the main explosive charge.

This excellent example comes complete with the following parts:

- Glass body with thin glass cover for contents

- Hebelzünder 44 fuse (inert) with dust cover.

- Waxed paper covered explosive charge (empty) with small round label on top.

- Sheet steel disc

- Brown glass pressure plate marked 40 with reproduction wooden spacers.

In 1944 and 1945, 11 million mines were produced; at the end of World War II, 9.7 million were still in stock. Along with other companies, the Glashütte Gifhorn participated in the production.

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