Rare WW2 Type Italian Mina Antiuomo V / V1 AP Mine

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Time Left 15 min rule
3d +
10/20/2019 8:02 PM
Item 823828804
Location North Pole, AK 99705
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Offered is a rare INERT original “Italiana Mina Antiuomo V” or Italian Mine Antipersonnel V or V1! The “V” is believed to stand for “Vaudagna”, the name of the original mine designer. This Italian version of a WW2 era antipersonnel blast fragmentation “picket” stake mine is seldom encountered and this particular example is in very good overall condition, appearing to have been demilled from government stockpiles with only slight use in the field? This type of antipersonnel blast mine was generally rigged in the field in rows or clusters, often having their detonations linked in series together. They most often were set to explode with trip-wire pull type detonators and had an effective 360 degree blast radius of about 10 yards. This example offered is not complete and is comprised of two primary components – the hafted wooden stake has retained 90% and the cast iron fragmentation head about 75% (with light patina) of the original Italian military exterior gray / green paint. As far as WW2 stake mines go...this Italian production appears exceedingly well made with the fit and finish above par. The cast iron head has nine rows of square preformed fragments neatly arranged. Of course this INERT example has the explosive charge chamber empty. Unfortunately the open threaded top end of the cast iron head is missing its thread-on, brass end cap and a secured inert pull type detonator screwed in at the top. An Italian Wikipedia selection entitled “Mina V1” – (being one of several selections discussing WW2 Italian landmines) shows not only a Italian military field manual drawing of our exact type of stake mine with the simple brass type of end cap and detonator as described above (see Italian Wikipedia photo #10), but also a photograph of another of the same type of mine with a production variation factory built-in spool of tripwire threaded at the end of the cast fragmentation head that effectively caps and seals the detonation chamber with the threaded fuse well set above for securing the detonator, the firing passage passing inline through the integral spool into the detonation chamber (see Italian Wikipedia photo #9). It would seem that under combat conditions this innovative provision no doubt made for convenient field deployment. The piece is 15 ¾ inches in overall length with the diameter of the fragmentation head 1 ¾ inches. The tapered wooden stake has a couple of gouges from use but is still well set in the cast steel head about one inch and neatly secured with a set pin leaving 10 ¼ inches of stake exposed.

There is ongoing debate on both sides of the pond regarding this style of “Italiana Mina Antiuomo V” or “V1” as to it being an actual WW2 Italian antipersonnel mine or a post war version and to my knowledge this debate has yet to be resolved? Some prewar and wartime Italian military manuals illustrate a seemingly more complex and less refined version labeled “Mina Italiana Antiuomo Tipo - V1”(see photo #12). This same “type – V1” is also illustrated in a mid-war, 1943 dated American field manual, designated “Italian Picket Mine” (see photo #11). However, we see the updated version, the exact type as I’m offering, illustrated in yet another Italian Army field manual and labeled “Mina Italiana Antiuomo “V” ”(Italian Wikipedia photo #10). Those affirming that this type of improved Type “V” stake mine is “post-war” generally suggest the Italian military began using it immediately after the war in 1946…no later than 1947 and was used primarily for training purposes! I don’t agree, first, I’ve known dozens of American WW2 veterans who fought and occupied Italy, my late father in law for one, and they described the country as a complete mess after the war. Italians at that time didn’t have access to even the most common items like shoes, razor blades or pot and pans let alone the latest design in fragmentation stake mines! Yes, it is true that in 1946 Italy did have a landmine problem but it wasn’t that they didn’t have enough mines with a need to develop more – the problem was that Italy was literally saturated with hidden landmines of every description deployed urban and rural throughout the war years, by all factions, Axis and Allies! We must understand that new ordnance designs take time to develop – they don’t just pop out of thin air. Having an Italian improved version of stake mine stored in military supply depots by 1946 – 47 would suggest that the design was conceived, perfected and produced perhaps several years earlier? We must ask - why would any Italian arms manufacturer gear up to design and speedily produce an improved anti-personnel stake mine to contract with a national Army which was then in total disarray? Furthermore, why would you design and manufacturer a superior example of a fragmentation stake mine only to peddle it to a shattered post-war government to be used as a trip-wire fired smoke bomb for training a hand-full of active troops ? In short, you wouldn’t! The alternative scenario put forth by many Italian munitions / ordnance collectors is that the early type Italian stake mine, as illustrated in the prewar to mid-WW2 era manuals, was actually an older, late 1930s, Italian manufactured stake mine and that the type I’m offering here was a late WW2 improved version, designed and produced while Italy was still in the Axis and perhaps even with German assistance seeing limited wartime use against the Allies. After the war, stockpiles of these improved stake mines were disarmed and used by the Italian military primarily for training purposes - booby trap smoke bombs – what else could they use them for – the average Italian wasn’t fighting anywhere but perhaps in the marketplace for a pack of cigarettes or loaf of bread? I tend to accept this as the more likely scenario, and it should be recognized that regardless of what camp you are “WW2 made” or “post war made”…all sides agree that the early “Italian Picket Mine” type, as depicted and discussed in the earlier prewar up to mid-war field manuals (Italian or American), are seldom if ever encounter in WW2 collections. It generally is the later improved version “Italiana Mina Antiuomo V or V1” stake mine, such as offered here, that Italian citizens find from time to time available in the collecting market, sold as “WW2” or picked-up or dug from the ground in WW2 battle areas?

Please take a look at the pictures as they are a part of the description. This item is described to the best of my ability, therefore, all sales are considered final with no returns unless some gross error was made by the seller in the listing description. Full payment must be received by the seller (in hand) not more than ten calendar days after auction’s end. As offered this piece of Italian ordnance history is completely inert and harmless and as such is legal to purchase to most USA buyers without any restrictions. Sorry, domestic USA sale only and it is the buyer’s responsibility to determine if his or her state and/ or local laws prohibit the purchase and/or ownership of such an item. Furthermore, the seller does not assume any liabilities resulting from the purchase or subsequent usage of items once sold.

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