The Mle 1939
(Model 1939) was a French
bounding anti-personnel mine used at the start of the Second World War
, it was developed largely in response to the
bounding mine . It saw very limited service before the fall of France
. The plans escaped to the US via Major Pierre Delalande
, a member of the French Corps of Engineers, and were used as the basis for the American M2 bounding mine
which saw wider service during the war but was considered largely ineffective. The M2 mine was replaced almost immediately afterwards with the M16 bounding mine
, an almost exact copy of the German S-mine. The French also later produced a copy of the S-mine - the Mle 1951 mine
The mine consisted of a large cylindrical main body containing a 60 millimeter mortar shell linked by a steel tube to a fuse holder which held either a pressure fuse or a pull fuse for use with tripwires. A rectangular thin metal plate positioned halfway up the main body of the mine provides additional support. When the fuse is triggered, a flash travels along the steel tube to the base of the main body, where it ignites a black powder
charge, launching the mortar shell from the mine and igniting a pyrotechnic delay.
The delay triggers the mine once it has risen to a height of between 0.5 and 2 meters, where it detonates scattering shrapnel.