The concept of landmines apparently dates from the late medieval period in China, with records of their being used by the Song dynasty Chinese to hold off an attack by the Mongols in 1277. During the 16th century, the technology reached Europe, and it appears to have been used for the first time against Italian castles by the Spanish soldier Pedro Navarro (d. 1528). This type of landmine was adapted by Samuel Zimmermann, a German military engineer, and gradually led to improvements in the technology that was used extensively during the American Civil War. In particular, at the Battle of Yorktown in 1862, the Confederates, under Brigadier General Gabriel J. Rains, employed landmines. This entry describes the development and use of antipersonnel landmines in 20th-century ...

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