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Scythe gun

for when you absolutely, positively have to bisect everyone in the room.
  [vote for,

Having lots of guns, or at least a gun with lots of barrels seems like it must weigh one down unnecessarily.
Presumably what the shooter wants in these cases is a wide horizontal spread of high-velocity particles for scything down a wave of enemies at short range.
Effectively a manually aimed and triggered claymore mine.

I suggest that this could be achieved by simultaneously firing two relatively large particles at an angle, but joined together by a relatively lightweight wire or chain.
In designing such a beast, one then encounters the difficulty of how to project this suite. Gun barrels are long and thin, with the projectile forming a seal so it can be efficiently accelerated by gas pressure. A triangular barrel is unlikely to function well.
Suppose that one had a V-shaped tube, with each side representing one barrel. A specially designed cartridge could simultaneously fire a bullet down each barrel. I propose using a similar method to the rifle-fired grenade. In modern use these sit over the end of the barrel; the bullet embeds itself into the rear end of this with the combined mass proceeding to the target. So I propose that the same could be done here, with the terminal caps of the chain sitting over each barrel.

To reduce drag, much of the chain may be packed into a sabot, to unreel during flight. This could potentially be projected in-between the end-caps to promote a more linear form in flight.

Re-loading might be a little slow.

Loris, May 23 2012

Sobering reading http://nuremberg.la...?DI=1&text=overview
[Phrontistery, May 23 2012]

King Leopold II http://en.wikipedia...opold_II_of_Belgium
[not_morrison_rm, May 26 2012]

Major-General Sir Millis Rowland Jefferis KBE MC http://en.wikipedia...iki/Millis_Jefferis
A man who boldy blew up stuff that no man had blown up before… [8th of 7, Jun 02 2012]

Claymore Command-Detonated Anti-Personnel Directional Explosive Device http://en.wikipedia.../wiki/Claymore_mine
Technically, it's not a mine. [Alterother, Jun 02 2012]

Unit 731 http://www.japantim...t/nn20040917f2.html
[not_morrison_rm, Jun 06 2012]


       Similar - I did consider mentioning chain shot - two cannonballs, or half-balls joined by a chain. The mythbusters arn't exactly using that, just a chain - and in the video you link to that acts more like a bullet.   

       The intent of the extra complexity here is to have a high extension rate so that a wide angle can be targetted.   

       I see from the wiki article on chain shot that shotguns can fire 'bolo' rounds, although these again have a small angle of attack.
Loris, May 23 2012

       You do realise that this is the half-bakery rather than a serious weapons design forum, right?   

       Incidentally, regarding your edited first comment - yes I know this wouldn't have the power to cut a row of people in half. It's a joke. I'm surprised you don't get the reference.   

       Honestly, if I thought this would work (as in, being an effective and efficient way of killing people) I wouldn't have posted it.   

       Two chained rockets, though - now you're talking.
Loris, May 23 2012

       // there are some serious weapon hobbyists that frequent the HB //   

       Quite right, and mightily do we restrain ourselves, in the knowledge that not everyone can draw a distinct line between weapons and violence. We have learned to respect the fact that not everyone wants to talk about guns, and we try not to get over-excited when given an opportunity to do so.   

Alterother, May 23 2012

       //We have learned to respect the fact that not everyone wants to talk about guns//   

       B.S. Common sense tells me that nobody doesn't really want to talk about guns.
ytk, May 23 2012


       Consider a 12-gauge shotgun round.   

       It is possible to make a handgun capable of discharging a 12-gauge round. Make sure your medical insurance is paid up to date; the musculo-skeletal damage to your hand, forearm, and elbow may require at the very least analgesics, anti-inflammatories, and physiotherapy before you can grasp a beer glass again.   

       A 32g projectile from a nominal 3-inch 12-gauge casing is normal. That gives you a cylinder about 66mm long and 19mm in diameter.   

       So, if the round contained a longitudinally bisected cylinder with an ogive at the forward end, and a hollow centre (with maybe an annular pusher sabot at the base), on discharge the two segments would splay apart; link them by a thin yet strong wire, and you have your weapon.   

       Correct orientation in the breech could be assured by a notch, or a side primer.   

       // serious weapon hobbyists //   

       Are there any non-serious weapon hobbyists ? We ask merely for information ...
8th of 7, May 23 2012

       // Are there any non-serious weapon hobbyists ?   

       I think there have been quite a few. Whoever thought up most of the firearms for the Japanese Army pre-1945 for a start.   

       Sounds like you want a cartridge that makes the shot end up in one plane. I'm guessing a well thought out sabot with a drogue chute, or the same but with mercury.
not_morrison_rm, May 23 2012

       // you realize there are some serious weapon hobbyists//
I wondered about that too and thought the clown weapon hobbyists were probably far more dangerous.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, May 23 2012

       Some fairly typical quotes about IJA arms and ammunition...   

       "Type 92 heavy machine gun...while the round chambered by the Arisaka rifle used a rimless case, rimmed and semi-rimmed variants were produced for use in some Japanese machine guns."   

       (Three or more different types of machine gun ammunition)   

       "However, arms designer Kijiro Nambu did nothing to address the dimensional tolerance issue between the bolt and gun barrel, which led to frequent failures when fired cases became stuck in the chamber. In order to ensure reliable feeding (theoretically), Nambu resorted to oiling the cartridges via an oil pump in the magazine ... the oiled cartridges tended to become coated with dust and sand."
not_morrison_rm, May 23 2012

       So, just avoid dusty and sandy environments.   

       Oh look, that seems to include most of the Asian mainland and the Pacific islands.   

       Makes you wonder how they managed to hold out as long as they did. Maybe it was something to do with their Emperor being divine (allegedly).   

       Or just luck.   

       Or the way they treated prisoners with unbelievable harshness and brutality.   

       Oh, if only the U.S.A. were just a little more patient - they could have dropped half a dozen fission weapons on those ghastly little yellow buggers...   

       Mind you, there's still time. They haven't apologized or paid compensation yet.
8th of 7, May 23 2012

       Wrong. Go read about 'Operation Paperclip'. Many, many, many Germans who furthured the Nazi cause got free rides after the war. They actually got off lightly compared to what MacArthur did to the Japanese scientific community. For example, Verner von Braun, the brains behind the V2 rocket, became NASA's top man. A little research will lead you to hundreds of others like him.   

       After that, if you still don't believe me, go look in your medicine cabinet; odds are good you have something in there made by Bayer, a company that performed live human experimentation in the concentration camps. Less than a decade later every American G.I. had Bayer aspirin in his aid kit.
Alterother, May 23 2012

       //live human experimentation//   

       Like waterboarding; sleep deprivation and a range of torture methods that haven't been properly classified as torture, just yet.
UnaBubba, May 24 2012

       There's nothing experimental about any of that; they're all tried and true methods that are far past the proving stage.
Alterother, May 24 2012

       //They haven't apologized or paid compensation yet.   

       That's not entirely true. There was some compo paid out for the agent Orange stuff. However as for the deliberate infections of STD's in Guatemala, I don't know the latest on that.
not_morrison_rm, May 24 2012

       I think they're waiting for Japan to apologise for:
The rape of Nanking
Korean and Filippino "Comfort Girls"
Eating a few Australian POWs in Papua New Guinea, at Buna and Sanananda...

       That sort of thing.
UnaBubba, May 24 2012

       Wholesale mistreatment of Korean, Chinese and Malay civilians ...
Slaughtering Filipino civilians as the US forces closed in in Manilla ....
The Burma Railway ....
Summary execution of downed Allied pilots ....
Mistreatment and starvation of Allied civilian internees ...
Transporting Allied POWs in the holds of merchant ships and leaving them locked in there if the ship was torpedoed ...

       ... and some other stuff. Yup, still waiting.
8th of 7, May 24 2012

       Remind me why we're talking about Japanese war crimes again?   

       And why do we want to hate the Japanese particularly for their war crimes, as opposed to ... um, Russia, Britain, the USA ... you know, pretty much every country which has ever had a war?
Loris, May 24 2012

       Because they're easy targets and utterly fucking unrepentant about the excesses in which they engaged.
UnaBubba, May 24 2012

       What [UB] said.   

       // why do we want to hate the Japanese particularly for their war crimes, as opposed to ... um, Russia, Britain, the USA ... //   

       British, American and other Allied troops committed many atrocities; this is not denied. But these acts were typically the work of individuals or small groups. Barbarity was not "institutionalized" as it was by the Germans and the Russians. And in Allied forces, those guilty of recognizable atrocities had a reasonable expectation of being arraigned and punished in some way through legal channels.   

       Post-WW2, the German and Austrian nations accepted their burden of guilt, apologized to survivors, and paid compensation. In the last decades of the 20th Century, even the Russians admitted that "mistakes were made" and "some decisions and actions were in retrospect unjustified".   

       The Japanese have never apologised, never paid any compensation, and even today continue to deny their guilt, both publicly and privately. They institutionalized the mistreatment of natives of occupied countries, interned civilians, and POWs.
8th of 7, May 24 2012

       Which is why [21Quest]'s statement seemed so misguided to me. While it's true that the Japanese 'scientists' involved in things like Installation 401 and Operation Black Lotus/Black Dragon were never prosecuted and their confiscated data was made available to the American scientific community, they didn't exactly receive a 'full pardon'. In some cases, they were allowed to return to Japan and continue scientific work (under the condition they never even _thought_ about using human test subjects again). In other cases, Doug MacArthur personally saw to it that they were given jobs as janitors. Likewise, some Japanese military commanders who commited vile atrocities were never tried and punished, they were simply stripped of rank and pension, sent home in dishonor, and lived the remainder of their lives in shameful obscurity. A few of them, mostly those who had something useful to offer the world (Mac didn't give a shit about family connections, he liked guys with skills), got off scot free and became corporate executives.   

       In Japan, there were no Nuremberg Trials, there was only the god-like provenance of Douglas MacArthur. This can make it seem like there was no justice, and in some cases there wasn't.   

       But as part of Operation Paperclip, plenty of despicable Nazi brainiacs were transported to Britain or America to get them out of the reach of not only the Red Menace but also the war crimes prosecution. (I'm not calling Verner von Braun a desbicable Nazi--he wasn't, though he was still complicit to the use of slave labor at Peenamunde (sp?). I'm calling the executives and cheif scientists of Bayer Pharmaceuticals despicable Nazi bastards, as well as the heads of I.G. Farben, Krupp, and a few other industrialists who were part of the 'inner circle'.)   

       //       Remind me why we're talking about Japanese war crimes again?    //   

       Because the topic came up, and because the Halfbakery is (or has become), in part, a forum where intelligent people discuss and debate whatever the hell they want to with the unchartered goal of sharing our individual education and insight for the furtherance of both idle entertainment and a greater mutual understanding of the world in general.
Alterother, May 24 2012

       To some extent, I share the animosity toward the Japanese that other forum members openly exhibit, despite my general loathing of bigotry in all forms. Many Japanese still cling to the notion that they are superior as a race to Westerners, and regard us boorish, uneducated, braying, smelly louts* whose existence they must tolerate, preferably from afar.   

       Other Japanese, particularly, the last couple of generations, seem to regard WWII as some sort of curious anomaly that should not have happened yet has no direct bearing on our lives. They bear no such sense of superiority, and are for the most part obsessed with Western culture and in their own utterly bizarre ways are emulating and deifying us. I predict that the Japanese superiority complex will disappear entirely within my lifetime.   

       I've done a fair amount of traveling in Europe and North Africa, and to do so is impossible without encountering hordes of camcorder-wielding, windbreaker-clad, animatedly-chattering Japanese tourists. They are everywhere, traveling about in thick swarms and overrunning individual travelers as they stampede from one curio or landmark to the next. They are, however, unfailingly polite and respectful to a fault, and they never leave any garbage behind (although I have seen a bit of Konji grafitti in places like the stairwells of Yorkminster Abbey, which puzzled me a bit until I realized that _every_ culture has ignorant kids who feel compelled to scratch their names on stone walls). Whether genuinely or not, every Japanese person I've personally met has been very pleasant to be around, although it's possible this is because they find me intimidating.   

       *okay, so they're not far off the mark, but that doesn't mean we're inferior to anyone
Alterother, May 24 2012

       Jim Crow laws and internment of Japanese- Americans? America vetoing Palestine’s bid for statehood? Doctrine of clean hands and all that...
Phrontistery, May 24 2012

       [Phront], run while you still can. The Big Israel Argument only died down a few weeks before you arrived, and it's still smoldering. You know what backdraft is, right? Well, this doorknob is very hot.
Alterother, May 24 2012

       Either the Palestinians, or the Israelis, or both (or neither), are acting like Nazis. So there.   

       Having thus thrown myself on Godwin's sword, I think we can go ahead and put a fork in this discussion.
ytk, May 24 2012

       It's a far cry to say that anyone's acting like Nazis; being prejudiced and very unpleasant and underhanded in a way that's not fair at all and sometimes escalates to rock- throwing pales in comparison to full-on fascism.   

       I think we should say that Isreal and the Palestinians and possibly the USA are being unacceptably naughty.
Alterother, May 24 2012

       //I think we should say that Isreal and the Palestinians and possibly the USA are being unacceptably naughty.//   

       I think we shouldn't say that. That's why I Godwinned this thread, which is destined to go nowhere good.
ytk, May 24 2012

       ytk/Alterother, as one of my favourite authors wrote, 'the past is a foreign country: they do things differently there'. It's how we do things now and how we will do them tomorrow that's really worth discussing.
Phrontistery, May 24 2012

       Well put. I'm joining [ytk] in once more declaring the horse dead.
Alterother, May 24 2012

       <hefting stick thoughtfully>   

       Y'know, [Quest], in this light, you look a little like a pony...
Alterother, May 24 2012

       Borg-sama, I think we really need to give up on this as it's almost 100% symmetrical -   

       >Wholesale mistreatment of Korean   

       Machine gunning of refugee columns in the Korean war   

       >Chinese and Malay civilians ...   

       read Iraqi, Afghani.   

       >Slaughtering Filipino civilians as the US forces closed in in Manilla .... Now that's an interesting one, as why were there American forces in the Philippines anyway? It's a bit of a walk from California after all.   

       'cos they got it from the Spanish in some kind of "lets swap chunks of geography about" deal and if fact the Filipinos were so happy at the new arrangement they started fighting the US soldiers, leading to the development of the M1911 as they dis-obligingly didn't die quickly enough.   

       >The Burma Railway .... "...US railways...had been done by Chinese migrants, who appeared more willing to tolerate the harsh conditions than whites. Explosives had been used and the death rate among the workers had been high..." or more currently post-war Saipan.   

       >Summary execution of downed Allied pilots .... Summary execution by drone of people who might, or might not be militants, as no one's actually bothered to go there and find out beforehand.   

       >Mistreatment and starvation of Allied civilian internees   

       Of course all foreign nationals from axis countries became internees in the US in WWII..Didn't they? Let's not mention the original internees, the native Americans who got such a great deal.   

       There is a great deal of really shitty stuff in every country's history, there's not a lot of purpose in finger-pointing...<he says typing this with a Nambu pressed against his head by the Kempetai>
not_morrison_rm, May 25 2012

       ..and on a more pedantic note "bisect everyone" doesn't necessarily mean "into two parts of the same size" so I'm guessing you could do this with bit of blu-tack, and remove a few skin cells...
not_morrison_rm, May 25 2012

       Let's see... 20th century   

       1900-08 - Belgian Congo, 8,000,000 dead
1915-20 - Turks kill 2,300,000 Armenian, Greek & Assyrian non-combatants
1932-39 - Stalin kills 6,000,000 (own goals)
1937-45 - Japan kills 5,500,000 non-combatants
1939-45 - Germany kills 12,000,000 non- combatants
1948-94 - North Korea 1,600,000 (own goals)
1958-69 - China kills 78,000,000 (own goals)
1967-70 - Biafra 1,000,000 (own goals)
1975-78 - Ethiopia 1,500,000 (own goals)
1975-79 - Cambodia 1,700,00 (own goals)
1979-82 - Russia kills 900,000 Afghans

       Talking about it is not going to stop it guys. Worst of it is that most of these 122,000,000 civilian and non-combatant deaths were by governments against their own people.
UnaBubba, May 25 2012

       // "bisect everyone" doesn't necessarily mean "into two parts of the same size" //   


       Actually it means precisely that. The roots are "Bi", which means "two", and "sect", which derives from the verb "to cut".   

       In geometry, to bisect an angle is to divide it into two exactly equal halves; a diameter by definition bisects a circle.   

       Rigorously, therefore, "Bisect" is precisely defined as "Cut into two exactly equal, indeed symmetrical, portions".   

8th of 7, May 25 2012

       That's going to be hard, if your target dresses left or right.
UnaBubba, May 25 2012

       The issue is not 'Japanese/Germans evil, Americans/Brits squeaky clean'. We were all very nasty to each other back then, and the US and Britain have been very nasty to various people before and since, and so on and so forth. Yes, the US had to invent my beloved 1911 to slaughter Huks because you could empty all six shots from a Navy .38 eight into one and the bugger would still run up and stick his spear into your belly. Yes, the Brits subjugated nearly half of the globe before foolishly overextending themselves and pissing away the Empire's resources and influence trying to get it all back. But today the Philipinos love us and our greenbacks and Mother England is blessed with the miracle of takeaway curry.   

       No, my Halfbaking compatriats, my brothers in bun, the point is that the Germans and the Japanese, as somebody already pointed out, _industrialized_ human slaughter. Death camps. Gas chambers. Murder games. Terminal slavery. Ethnic cleansing on a scale unprecedented before or since. Do you know what the WWII-era Japanese called the nations of the Pacific region (including Australia and New Zealand)? They called them _resource zones_. To them, non- Nipponese human beings were little more than industrial resources like coal or steel.   

       Much savagery has been committed in war. That's what war is. Even when we've tried to draw up rules dictating how wars should be fought, those rules have been broken by all parties involved. But _nobody_ has ever crossed the line like the Axis Powers*. That is the issue here.   

       *Don't tell me about Stalin. Stalin fought a pretty clean war. He saved the atrocities for his own people (and about 6,000 polish officers).
Alterother, May 25 2012

       //*Don't tell me about Stalin.   

       And don't get me started on King Leopold II..."that 10 million Congolese were either murdered or worked to death by Leopold's private army, that women were systematically raped, that people's hands were cut off" if they failed to meet the rubber quota " and that the local populace endured kidnapping, looting and village burnings, have never been the subject of serious debate in Belgium, let alone brought an apology. " Industrialised murder and slavery.   

       But of course, Belgians are nice guys, quaint towns, many beers, tasty chocolate and waffles, they are just like us.   

       If anyone wants to send me a photo of themselves protesting outside the Belgian embassy I'll shut up.
not_morrison_rm, May 26 2012

       Okay, so we'll add the Belgians to the list. Anybody else?
Alterother, May 26 2012

       //Okay, so we'll add the Belgians to the list. Anybody else?   

       I think the problem is, a list with the name of every country isn't going to mean much. I'm still wondering about Bhutan though...
not_morrison_rm, May 26 2012

       "Bhutan, so-called last Shangri-La cannot forget the bitter experiences of challenges that continue to haunt the people by those horrendous episodes of the 1990s and the 1997. It sometimes traumatizes people who were the eyewitnesses and victims of the oppressive regime that launched the merciless crackdown first on the Lhotshampas followed by Sharchops community."   

       Ok, Bhutan goes on the list...   

       Antarctica? <grasping at straws>
not_morrison_rm, May 26 2012

       What really stuns me is that it keeps on happening; it's only ever a matter of where.
Phrontistery, May 26 2012

       You cannot pedantically bisect people; they are not anatomically symmetrical.
RayfordSteele, May 30 2012

       I apologise for dragging this conversation back off-topic.   

       From dictionary.com :
bisect : to cut or divide into two equal or nearly equal parts.
(The mathematical definition is also given)

       The term would therefore seem appropriate provided one fired at at waist-height - if that were not hyperbole.
If the thread were a lightweight carrier for beads then presumably these would have improved penetrance, if that's what you care about.

       //There's a reason that even the Halfbakery considers bad science grounds for deletion. This is an example of the difference between poorly thought out (ie, not feasible) and not possible.//   

       I don't think this actually is 'bad science' by the standards of the bakery. To be honest, I think it's even possible, in a sense - although highly impractical. Presumably you agree - I note with pleasure the absence of your traditional mfd.   

       //Honestly, you'd be better off carrying a satchel packed with Claymores or fragmentation grenades.//   

       My understanding is that while claymore mines have a certain directionality, you wouldn't want to be holding one when it went off. Is that incorrect? Could you strap one to a board to hold - and still have usable appendages afterwards?
Loris, Jun 02 2012

       Claymore mines (a misnomer, they aren't actually a mine) have a considerable back-blast, lethal within 7- 10 meters. You don't want to be anywhere near one when it is detonated.   

       Attaching a Claymore to a wooden board would manufacture a few thousand odd-sized toothpicks. Even if you attached it to a thick steel plate which you then held or hid behind, the concussive shockwave would likely jelly your spleen, liver, kidneys, and/or brain. It would definitely fracture your eardrums and destroy your inner ear structure, and it could possibly also collapse your sinuses and rupture your eyeballs.   

       I'm sure [8th] will be around shortly to grade my work.
Alterother, Jun 02 2012

       I think that's pretty much in line with my expectations.   

       //Claymore mines (a misnomer, they aren't actually a mine) //   

       I did initially just wrote claymore, but then thought that this might be misconstrued as the two-handed sword. However, I can't claim that I can see what the distinction you're making here is - at least, not given the wikipedia land-mine article.
I guess 21 Quest could argue for a much reduced claymore-like weapon, but then I think the multi-barrelled gun would be back with a look-in.
Loris, Jun 02 2012

       No, I wasn't trying to correct you, [Loris], it was objective pedantry. Everybody calls them Claymore 'mines' because it's easier than 'Claymore multiple-placement remote- detonated anti-personnel / area-denial directed-explosive device'.
Alterother, Jun 02 2012

       // I'm sure [8th] will be around shortly to grade my work //   

       "76%; more than a passing grade, but with a little revision could do better. He has a tendency to get distracted and chatter to his friends in class, but is otherwise a good student with a retentive memory and a grasp of detail".   

       Hope your parents don't give you a hardt time over your school report…   


       [Alterother] is pretty much rright in the broad details, the most noteworthy of which is that being ANYWHERE in the vicinity of a pad mine when it initiates is Bad Thing. There are degrees of badness; the Naughty side is distinctly and intentionally worse than the Nice side, but even that is pretty damned unpleasant..   

       <immensely long and Vernon-worthy technical discourse, packed with obscure acronyms and detailed explanations (with diagrams) omitted for reasons of space, confidentiality, and an awareness that most iff not all readers would prompltly lose their lunch just from the descriptions, let alone the detailed "before" and" after" colour photos in Appendix II (however if you wish to see an actual appendix, please refer to the monochrome illustration in Appendix III, under 'furthest-travelled objects from point of detonation')>
8th of 7, Jun 02 2012

       76%?! Aww, come on, teach, I done my best! I even read the 'suggested supplementary material'!   

       Shucks, now Pops ain't gonna buy me that Accuracy International .338 AWSM I had my eye on, not lessen I study real hard for finals...
Alterother, Jun 02 2012

       // 'suggested supplementary material' //   

       Ahem… the said 'suggested supplementary material' refered to "Work done by Major Jefferis" <link>, not" Workouts for Drum Majorettes". And if you're caught with publications like that in your posession again, you'll be out. That does NOT count as "studying magazine designs".
8th of 7, Jun 02 2012

       // Claymore mines (a misnomer, they aren't actually a mine)//
What are they?
Non-improvised explosive devices?
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Jun 02 2012

       They are command-detonated anti-personnel directional explosive devices. <link toward enemy>   

       They differ in definition from a traditional mine because they are not self-initiating, they are not intended to be buried or concealed for long periods of time for purposes of permanent area denial, and because they can be quickly recovered and removed from deployment without a disarming procedure. It's just easier to call them a mine in casual reference.
Alterother, Jun 02 2012

       The original land-mines were manually dug tunnels to chambers packed with explosives, underneath the enemy lines. They were command-detonated just before a big assult. So clearly there was a change in the definition at some point - perhaps due to the Ottawa Treaty?   

       The wikipedia article you link to is interesting Alterother. It's the first thing I checked. Not only does it ubiquitously refer to the device as a mine, even being titled "M18 Claymore mine" , but it never uses the full phrases you give.
I'm not arguing that you're wrong - rather I think that if you have a good reliable (and ideally linkable) source you could update the wikipedia article to clarify the difference. Perhaps in the short section 'Ottawa treaty'.
Loris, Jun 03 2012

       I think there was an another earlier use, which was very claymore-y.   

       Outside the fortification (best to remember that bit) dig trench at angle to vertical (pointing away from the fortification, that's a good one to remember too), put gunpowder and fuses at the bottom, fill trench with stones. Wait for enemy to approach aforementioned fortification.
not_morrison_rm, Jun 03 2012

       The original use of "mine" predates gunpowder by many centuries.   

       The method of attack involved "undermining" the foundations of a fortification bby tunneling underneath and excavating a chamber the roof of which was strongly supported by numerous wooden props. A fire was then set and lit, and the miners retreated to safety. When the props burned through, the chamber would collapse, bringing down the wall above.   

       Such an attack was employed in 1216 against Dover Castle, where portions of the tunnels can still be viewed by visitors.   

       The same ancient but still effective technique was frequently used by the Bolton steeplejack Fred Dibnah, who employed it to demolish mill chimneys without resort to explosives.   

       Hence a "mine" became, in military terms, synonymous with any weapon concealed below ground or underwater.
8th of 7, Jun 03 2012

       // rather I think that if you have a good reliable (and ideally linkable) source you could update the wikipedia article to clarify the difference. //   

       Well, there's Jane's, which is where the terminology comes from, but it's not linkable; all you'd get is a page asking if you have a subscription. There is also the AKD, which again is restricted-access. As I said, my comment was pedantry, and everyone calls the things mines. Even the wiki explains the difference, though it then persists in calling them mines. I've managed to find several other sites that explain how they aren't classified as mines and then go on to use the term anyway, so I haven't bothered to link to them.   

       I didn't mean to stir up so much trouble, and will happily drop the subject. I don't take offense to anyone calling them mines.   

       I know a couple of retired EOD guys who always call them 'Claymore devices', and I picked the habit up from them. If [MikeD] happens to come across this post, he may be able to tell us whether this is widespread.
Alterother, Jun 03 2012

       "Claymores", "Pad mines" .... all these terms are used loosely and interchangeably.
8th of 7, Jun 03 2012

       Someday I'd love to get a decommissioned one to mount on my front door.
Alterother, Jun 03 2012

       // Hence a "mine" became, in military terms, synonymous with any weapon concealed below ground or underwater.//
What about off-route mines, which are neither?
AbsintheWithoutLeave, Jun 05 2012

       The Claymore mine was so named because of its apparent destructive capability, in a reference to the "Claymore" sword. The sword's name comes from an Anglicisation of the original Scots Gaelic "Claidamh mor" (sp.?), or "Great sword", as I recall it.   

       I have seen a Claymore detonated. We were asked to guess how many of 40 balloons suspended in a 30 degree arc at distances of 5-40 metres and from ground level to 5 metres elevation would survive. We all figured maybe 10-15% would make it.   

       The result: Not one balloon survived.
UnaBubba, Jun 05 2012

       //The result: Not one balloon survived   

       So should the human race be embroiled in a war against those evil, vicious, commie balloons we'll be alright.
not_morrison_rm, Jun 05 2012

       Now all you have to worry about is their co- conspirators, the pieces of string …
8th of 7, Jun 05 2012

       And the evil scientist helping them - Dr Stringlove.
AusCan531, Jun 05 2012

       There's a theory in there somewhere, [8th].
UnaBubba, Jun 05 2012

       This post is likely to outlive me...   

       Incidentally, mentioning Unit 731. as we weren't. I once got offered a job out in Yokaichiba, Chiba prefecture. Thought I should check it out and first thing on the list on Google back then was the article (see link) about a former Unit 731 worker living there. Still took the job.
not_morrison_rm, Jun 06 2012

       Is it in bad taste to refuse to apologise for wars lost. I mean I was in Berlin, and they have a memorial to the Glorious Soviet dead for defeating the German Facists next to the Reichstag which is the German Parliment building, and then about a mile from that the German Victory Column. The people of Europe are much more inclined to forgive and forget (until our next localised war). In which the USA will probably start bombing everything (think Balkans) if someone destroyed 2 of my Cities with 2 bombs I might find it hard to say sorry too (especially if I was Royalty).
S-note, Jun 06 2012

       //Someday I'd love to get a decommissioned one to mount on my front door.//   

       In line with the above, could I also suggest a small plaque?   

       "My other front door is kindling"
Loris, Jun 07 2012


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