Mine plow

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U.S. Army M1A1 Abrams tank with mine plough from 1995 or earlier
TROJAN AVRE of the Royal Engineers with full-width mine plough and fascine.

A mine plough (plow in American English) is a tank-mounted device designed to clear a lane through a minefield, allowing other vehicles to follow. Buried land mines are ploughed up and pushed outside the tank's track path or tipped over. Since anti-tank mines rely on a concentrated explosion to destroy a tank, they are useless when turned upside-down; as the tank runs over the mine, it will expend its blast down instead of upwards, causing insignificant damage, if any.

Towards the end of the First World War, the French mounted a plough on their Renault FT tank. The first recorded combat use is by the British 79th Armoured Division, using a "Bullshorn" plow on a Churchill tank on Sword Beach during the Allied invasion of Normandy (this was one of Hobart's Funnies). The "Bullshorn" was just one of various designs of plough that were tested and used by the British.

The mine plough is still in use by many Combat Engineer units. The Royal Engineers have deployed the TROJAN to Afghanistan [1] where it is usually fitted with a plow on the front, which enables it to clear mines, either detonating them on contact, or pushing them out of the way to clear a safe channel for following vehicles.

Other similar devices are mine rollers and mine flails.


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