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World War II Axis Booby Traps and Sabotage Tactics

World War II Axis Booby Traps and Sabotage Tactics

World War II Axis Booby Traps and Sabotage Tactics

World War II Axis Booby Traps and Sabotage Tactics
Elite 100
Author: Gordon L Rottman
Illustrator: Peter Dennis
Paperback; April 2009; 64 pages
ISBN: 9781846034503

World War II Axis Booby Traps and Sabotage Tactics at Osprey...

Finding the subject interesting but not quite sure what to expect in the book, I began reading. The author starts by clearly stating that the book contains information on German and Japanese booby-traps extracted from American Intelligence documents and an immediate disclaimer that it is not intended to be a “how to” book on booby-traps.

From that point, the author defines booby-traps as defensive devices used for early warning, harassing, demoralizing and delaying the enemy or protecting defensive positions.

With these points covered, he turns to the hand grenade as the most typical trigger device for booby traps emphasizing that the Germans routinely utilized them. Through numerous references to specific uses highlighted in American Intelligence reports on booby-traps, the author identifies their wide and varied employment.

His emphasis on the ingenuity of the Germans in their usage of booby-traps in contrast to the rudimentary usage of the Japanese either speaks to the greater availability of data concerning the Germans or a weakness in the Japanese ability to utilize booby-traps beyond the use of the grenade.

The author’s conclusions are neither revolutionary nor unexpected. Booby-traps did not cause excessive casualties, they have a greater psychological affect than killing effect, and a higher proportion of injuries occurred to those disarming them than those falling prey to them. They are essentially used to delay and demoralize an enemy.
The book is interesting and informative but is more anecdotal than definitive. It relates numerous stories on the usage of booby-traps and gives a general overview on their usage in World War II by the Axis.

Ken Camel


Last Updated On Thursday, July 2, 2009 by Wayne at Battlefront