Lesson 1: Laying an M14 antipersonnel Mine
The M14 antipersonnel mine, also known as the Toepopper, was designed to disable rather than kill. The logic being the logistic drain on caring for a wounded man was more than a dead one., not nice but simple. Recon team members would all carry M14 mines and they would be used to booby trap the back trail if the team was being tracked. Here you can see one of the RT digging a small hole and placing the M14 in, they are armed by removed the metal safety spoon and twisting the mine head.
Lesson 2: Laying M142 Booby Trap firing Device
Project Eldest Son (also known as “Italian Green” or “Pole Bean”) was a program of covert operations conducted by the United States Studies and Observation Group during the Vietnam War. The goal of the project was to replace a portion of enemy ammunition with highly explosive and dangerous sabotaged ammunition, and thus to cause the enemy to question the safety of their ordnance. The missions under this program were implemented successfully in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos.
In this training scenario a Russion AK47 ammo crate is being booby trapped using an M142 firing device. This was a multi purpose device that allowed many firing settings, in this case when the pressure is taken off the device (when teh box is lifted)it will activate the C4. The M142 was an Australian issue device used by the US Forces.
Lesson 3: Using an induction Type Wire-tap device
North Vietnamese Forces made great use of telephones for communication so a number of techniques were used to get intelligence from this communication channel. Early wire-tapping used by SOG teams used splicing or threading a wire into the cable but this could be detected by the PAVN by the drop in signal strength, thus sending a welcoming party.The later method was an induction device, placed around the wire with no actual contact,that was developed by the SOE during the Second World War. This was linked to the then new portable cassette recorder as seen here.
Improvised Siesmic Sensor and Claymore Booby Trap
This is a technique explained to us by SOG veteran Lynne Black and was again designed around the need to deter NVA trackers on a teams back trail. A US issue Seismic intrusion device was rigged up to a standard M18 Claymore Mine, thus when any movement was detected the device would send an electrical charge to the claymore and set it off. THis would deter trackers but also alert the team to the presence of enemy forces.
Prisoner Snatch Demo Practice
The prisoner snatch was one of teh hardest but most valuable in terms of inteligence gathering missions SOG undertook, the rewards were high (an RnR trip to Thailand)but so was teh chance of failure. Many methods were tried such as injuring the prisoner with slileced weapons, this did leave the prisoner injured and hard to handle to teh extraction site.
One other method was aimed at getting one prisoner from a patrol of enemoy soldiers. A number of C4 demo charges were linked together in sewuence with a cap left for the prisoner, teh theory being the C4 would kill the patrol and the prisoner would be lfect alive, but shocked, in teh gap. You can see the team here practising this method. The charges would be taken on teh mission pre-prepared and attached to an M60 detonator for command activation of an M142 firing device for trip wire activation,