Mine debris

Aug 24, 2005
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Was any mine debris ,casings ,anchor chain ,etc ever found on or near the wreck? I heard Ballard went looking for an anchor chain but didn't find one.
 

Jason D. Tiller

Moderator
Member
Dec 3, 2000
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Niagara Falls, Ontario
Hello Bradley,

Yes, a few pieces of the mine cradle were found with sonar imaging, one mile south of the wreck. Plus, a possible smashed open mine and the little arms that held the mine before it was dropped were also found. This information was shown on a documentary titled 'The Curse of the Titanic Sisters', which is only a couple of years old.

The information is consistent with British Intelligence reports from 1916 and with the claims from U73's Commander Gustav Siess that his sub was in the Aegean Sea, near where Britannic sank.

If you catch this documentary, it's very worthwhile to watch, even though they do make a few errors. In the meantime, I recommend checking out this excellent site for more info:

Hospital Ship Britannic

I hope this helps.
 
Jan 14, 2001
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Hi Bradley,

Here is the specific page with the info regarding the mine barrier located near the wreck.

http://www.hospitalshipbritannic.com/the_enigma.htm

Take notice that this area is not explored by divers yet, so there is no substantial evidence regarding the type of those mines. This is important because the Kea Channel was also mined during the second World War.

Best regards,
Michail
 
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Wayne Keen

Guest
This is fascinating. I wonder how many mines are still out there...

Wayne
 
Nov 26, 2005
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Question...forgive my ignorance on this. It's probably a dumb question.

If there are still mines out there as some research would suggest...if they're messed with, couldn't they still explode? Or do mines somehow wear out over time? I've just never really studied warships or war weapons so I'm going to take my chances with the "dumb question"
happy.gif


Thanks!
 
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Wayne Keen

Guest
I recall there being speculation at the time of the Kursk sinking that she might have struck a WW2 mine - not, I know that is not what happened, but people seemed to be taking the possibility semi-seriously.

Wayne
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>if they're messed with, couldn't they still explode?<<

Yes they could. Especially some of the older weapons that are little more then simple eggshells filled with explosives and contact detonators to help them hatch. There are some areas where they are or have been something of a problem since maps with their locations aren't always accurate...if maps are kept at all.

Saddam Hussien's joyboys simply dumped them anywhere during the First Gulf War without bothering to note their location. Finding them post war was an ongoing effort that took several years to complete. You might find some of the following links of interest:

http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ship/weaps/mines.htm
http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/dumb/mines.htm
http://members.aol.com/helmineron/minehist.htm
http://www.exwar.org/Htm/ConceptDocs/Navy_USMC/MWP4thEd/appendix_a.htm
 
Nov 26, 2005
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Thank you much, Mike.

I found all those links to be very interesting and have saved them to my favorites for future review. There's a lot of info there to absorb!

Sheesh those things are scary! I didn't know their history went as far back as over 200 years, and how simple they really are to construct.

It's also really scary that, like you said, their almost eggshell like as far as how fragile they are. Won't the shells get even thinner and become more of an explosive threat as time goes on and they, like everything else down there, start to rust away?

I'll try to read through the rest of what you sent later on tonight. Very interesting stuff.

Thanks again!
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Won't the shells get even thinner and become more of an explosive threat as time goes on and they, like everything else down there, start to rust away?<<

I suppose they will, but depending on where they are and how deep into the mud they've sunk if at all, it may take awhile for it to happen. Hopefully, most will just fall apart without something to trigger the detonator.

Mines aren't the only danger under the sea there are any number of old warships and transports in Davy Jones Locker that are loaded down with ammunition that won't need much persuasion to go BOOM! Some wrecksites such as that of the Lusitania have unexploded depth charges on and around them which make these vessels particularly dangerous.
 
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Wayne Keen

Guest
"Mines aren't the only danger under the sea there are any number of old warships and transports in Davy Jones Locker that are loaded down with ammunition that won't need much persuasion to go BOOM!"

I know that there are a lot of wrecks that are, as you say, armed and dangerous, but I have not heard any definitive stories of it actually happening.

I do recall seeing a special quite a few years ago where natives of Truk were getting UXO and using it to go fishing with...

Wayne
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>but I have not heard any definitive stories of it actually happening.<<

I think the people who have been mucking around with this stuff have been very lucky or have handled it with the respect it deserves. The ones who haven't been messing with the ammunition have been the people who have been warned off and/or have had the good sense to leave these things alone. While the concerns may have been overblown, they are not unfounded.

Anyone who plays goofy games with ammunition is simply asking to be "Darwined."
 
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Wayne Keen

Guest
"they are not unfounded."

I did not intend to imply that. I apologize if it came across that way. I was actually kind of "fishing" to find out if someone has a neat "war story" that they could share.

Wayne
 

James Smith

Member
Dec 5, 2001
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Apparently there is an expedition on-site right now, and Michail Michailakis posted an invitation to the Titanic model forum to develop a "wish list" of areas to explore. In response to a subsequent request for a search for the mine anchor, Michail posted the following:

Just received word from the ship. Well, you were lucky with your wish because this time we actually found something! Please, allow me to be cryptic at this stage.There are certain rules I must follow.
Stay tuned . . .

--Jim
 
Jan 14, 2001
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Hi,

No mine anchors were found. However, an interesting object was retrieved by the R.O.V. but unless it is examined by experts we can't say if it is mine-related or not. The debris field is littered by many not Britannic-related objects. Have some patience.

Best regards,
Michail
 
Mar 18, 2008
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Hi Michail!

Thank you for the news! Sorry to hear the different problems on the expedition! Hope you can publish any interesting discoveries soon.

Regards
Ioannis