Claymore



Commonly used in Vietnam, the claymore antipersonnel mine was designed to produce a directionalized, fan-shaped pattern of fragments. The claymore used a curved block of C-4 explosive, shaped to blow all its force outward in a semicircular pattern. A large number of pellets were embedded in the face of the explosive, creating a shocking blast of fragments comparable to the effect of an oversized shotgun.

With their directional pattern, claymores were well-suited as a perimeter-defense weapon. With electronic firing, defenders in bunkers could set claymores in a pattern to cover all approaches and fire them at will. One problem with this was the tendency of the enemy to use infiltrators to sneak into the defense perimeter before an attack and simply turn the claymores around. Then when defenders fired the mine, its fragments peppered their own position.

The Vietcong liked to use captured claymores as booby traps. Set off by trip wires, a claymore mounted close to the ground was capable of cutting the legs off an unwary enemy.

A more unusual use was found for claymores by many American GIs. The explosive burned with intense heat, and a small amount of explosive could rapidly heat a can of C-rations in the field. While never designed for it, and undoubtedly never sanctioned, claymores became one of the most popular field stoves in the war.


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