M18 claymore

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M18 claymore

An M18A1 Claymore with accessories

General Information
Designation: M18 claymore
Type: Anti-personnel mine with directional effect
Country of origin: United States
Commissioning: 1963
Technical specifications
Combat weight: 3.5 lbs (1.58 kg)
Charge: 1.5 lbs (680 grams) of C-4 and 700 steel balls of 0.68 g (10.5 grains ) each
Length: 8.5 in (21.59 cm)
Diameter: 1.375 in (3.493 cm), refers to the depth of the cuboid body
Height: 3.25 in (8.255 cm)
Detonator: electrically, triggered for example by a trip wire or remote ignition cable
Lists on the subject
M18 Claymore mine in action

The M18A1 Claymore - anti-personnel mine , usually only briefly as Claymore called, is during the Korean War developed directional mine , which is a land mine , the explosion effect is concentrated in a particular direction relative to the explosive charge. Its developer, Norman A. MacLeod , gave it its name after the Scottish claymore sword.

The Claymore is originally based on a German anti-rifle mine from the Second World War and has been in service with the US Army since 1963 . It is still in use. At peak times during the Vietnam War, up to 80,000 claymores were produced per month.

Structure and technology

The Claymore consists of an olive-colored plastic housing that is horizontally convex and vertically concave. The practice version of the mine has a blue housing. The shape of the housing was chosen to achieve the best possible dispersion effect. On the underside of the housing there are four fold-out scissor-like metal feet to insert or fix the mine in the ground. To avoid fatal misunderstandings and operating errors , the claymores are labeled Front Toward Enemy on the front . The mine itself is 210 millimeters (mm) wide and 30 mm thick.

The mine weighs just under 1.6 kilograms, of which 682 grams are accounted for by the plastic explosives used . The C3 or C4 explosive is applied to a rectangular cast iron metal plate on the back of the mine. In front of it there are around 700 steel balls embedded in a synthetic resin layer.

There is a simple visor on the top of the mine in order to be able to optimally align the explosion cone. The ignition takes place either by remote ignition via an ignition cable or via a tripwire . The tripwire triggered by the victim is outlawed by the Ottawa Convention in many countries , but not by the US armed forces.

Effect and commitment

The mine is primarily used defensively, i.e. to defend a position, trenches or to secure an object. But it can also be used offensively for an ambush or fire attack .

In the case of an ignition triggered by remote ignition or by a tripwire, the pressure wave of the explosion moves largely away from the metal plate and thus shoots the metal balls forward at a 60 ° angle. At a distance of 50 meters, the steel balls are distributed over a width of 50 meters and a height of around 2 meters. At this distance, the steel balls are fatal to humans and have a 30 percent chance of hitting a man target. The maximum range of the balls is 250 m. The effective range is less, just under 100 m. The safety distance all around is 100 m, whereby the area 16 m behind the mine should be completely cleared.

During the Vietnam War , the mine was often used by the United States Army , which, however, had to attribute a third of its own casualties to mines. Most of these US mines were discovered by enemy soldiers and used for their own purposes.

Another practical use is the attachment to (armored) vehicles so that they can work against infantry and unarmored opponents in extreme close proximity. If your own vehicle is not or insufficiently armored, it can also be damaged by the mine. For this reason, among other things, this type of use is not officially intended by any army.

The Claymore was exported from the USA to 28 countries between 1969 and 1992. In the meantime, copies of the mine have been made in various countries, including South Korea, and have been sold to other countries.


The use of anti-personnel mines is controversial around the world and is now outlawed in many countries. The claymore is usually laid in a controlled manner and ignited by remote ignition, which reduces the risk of collateral damage . Use of a contactor's directional charge is permitted according to the Ottawa Convention , in contrast to ignition by a tripwire.

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b c Information on Claymore on Lcompanyranger.com (February 22, 2009)
  2. a b Information Claymore on the website of the British Army (Engl.)
  3. a b Tech.military.com with information on Claymore (English) ( Memento of the original from August 15, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / tech.military.com
  4. a b FAS.org with data from the M18 Claymore (engl.)
  5. ↑ Possible uses of the Claymore on Eliteforces.info (English, accessed on August 17, 2009)
  6. Kitsune.addr.com with data on Claymore ( Memento of October 11, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  7. a b Information about Claymore and the exports on the website of ICBL (International Campaign to Ban on Landmines) (English) (PDF; 91 kB)