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Encyclopedia > Booby trap

In warfare, a booby trap is an antipersonnel device placed in building or in a noncombat area that has a psychological draw for enemy soldiers. The term comes from the implication such a trap will be set off by a foolish person (a booby). The first use of the term is from the 1850s, when it was first used to describe practical jokes that are set off by their victim. In fact, the term is still used to describe a type of firework which explodes loudly when strings protruding from either end are pulled, and which is often tied to door handles and the like. A common misunderstanding is that the term comes from traps used by fishermen and sailors short on fresh meat to catch seabirds, specifically the Booby. Booby Trap is a third season episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. ... Boobytrap is a supervillain in the Marvel Comics. ... For other uses of War, see War (disambiguation). ... An anti-personnel weapon is one primarily used to injure or kill people. ... A practical joke or prank is a practice intended to be humorous (usually in action, not just in words) in which another person is fooled, annoyed, or embarrassed in what the perpetrator imagines to be a mild and light-hearted fashion. ... Fourth of July fireworks in San Diego, California New Years Day fireworks at Seaport Village, California Preparing fireworks at Sayn Castle A firework is classified as a low explosive pyrotechnic device used primarily for aesthetic and entertainment purposes. ... For other uses, see Booby (disambiguation). ...


A booby trap is distinguished from a land mine by the fact that it is an improvised weapon, perhaps made from an artillery shell, or a grenade, or a quantity of high explosives, whereas a land mine is manufactured for its specific purpose. A booby trap may be buried in the manner common with land mines, or not, though as a rule it is concealed in some fashion, and set to be detonated by means of pressure or a trip wire. During World War II retreating British and Canadian soldiers in France in 1940 made booby traps from artillery and mortar shells, burying them in roads behind them as they retreated, or hanging them from trees concealed by the leaves and rigged with tripwires concealed in the grass around the tree. A land mine is a type of self-contained explosive device which is placed onto or into the ground, exploding when triggered by a vehicle, a person, or an animal. ... A land mine is a type of self-contained explosive device which is placed onto or into the ground, exploding when triggered by a vehicle, a person, or an animal. ... A land mine is a type of self-contained explosive device which is placed onto or into the ground, exploding when triggered by a vehicle, a person, or an animal. ... A tripwire is a passive triggering mechanism, usually/originally employed for military purposes, although its principle has been used since prehistory for methods of trapping game. ... Combatants Major Allied powers: United Kingdom France Soviet Union United States Republic of China and others Major Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Winston Churchill Charles de Gaulle Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Chiang Kai-Shek Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tojo Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian...


Booby traps can also be applied as defensive weapons against unwelcomed guests or against non-military trespassers, and some people set up traps in their homes to keep people from entering. These civilian booby traps might use a non-lethal method, such as a strong electric shock, rather than explosives. As laws vary, the creator of the trap can sometimes be immune from prosecution since the victim is technically trespassing or may be held strictly liable for injuries caused to the trespasser. In some jurisdictions some types of traps are specified as illegal. Such traps have also been known to injure or kill the person setting the trap. Criminals, especially those manufacturing illegal drugs, often set these to deter law enforcement and inquisitive civilians. A sign warning against trespassing // In law, trespass can be: the criminal act of going into somebody elses land or property without permission of the owner or lessee; it is also a civil law tort that may be a valid cause of action to seek judicial relief and possibly...


A booby trap does not necessarily incorporate explosives in its construction, though they commonly do. Massive objects, such as a heavy log, or a boulder, arranged in such a manner as to fall down and crush the unfortunate person who disturbs the trigger mechanism, are also booby traps. So is a concealed pit with sharpened stakes in the bottom (often referred to as Punji sticks). Perhaps the best-known book about boobytraps is US Army's FM 5-31 Boobytraps. An American marine walks through a gully of punji sticks during the Vietnam War The Punji stick or Punji stake is a type of a non-explosive booby trap. ... U.S. Army Field Manuals are published by the United States Armys Army Publishing Directorate. ...

Contents

Usage throughout history

Winter war

During the Winter War between Finnish and Soviet forces, Finnish guerrilla fighters would modify dud Soviet bombs to be improvised anti-tank and personnel mines. The modified bombs were buried with the trigger exposed in roads, so that they were activated by a passing tank. Combatants Finland Soviet Union Commanders Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim Kliment Voroshilov, later Semyon Timoshenko Strength 250,000 men 30 tanks 130 aircraft[1][2] 1,000,000 men 3,000 tanks 3,800 aircraft[3][4] Casualties 26,662 dead 39,886 wounded 1,000 captured[5] 126,875 dead... Soviet redirects here. ... Look up guerrilla in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


WWII

During the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, Jewish resistance fighters severely worsened Nazi casualties through a vast array of improvised and often elaborate booby traps, set up inside the ghetto buildings and basements. They were so effective that the German forces eventually decided to demolish every building systematically rather than risk entering. Combatants Nazi Germany {SS, SD, Gestapo, Order Police, Wehrmacht} Collaborators {Blue Police, Jewish Ghetto Police} Jewish resistance (ŻOB, ŻZW) Polish resistance (Armia Krajowa Gwardia Ludowa) Commanders Ferdinand von Sammern-Frankenegg Jürgen Stroop Mordechai Anielewicz†, Dawid Apfelbaum†, Paweł Frenkiel†, Icchak Cukierman, Marek Edelman, Zivia Lubetkin, Henryk Iwański Strength Official... National Socialism redirects here. ...


Cold War

During the Soviet era in Eastern Europe, the Warsaw Pact attempted to better secure their borders with Western Europe by rigging border fences sporadically with explosive devices. These were usually fairly simple devices, often no more complicated than landmines hung on barbwire. The mines were modified to be sensitive enough to go off if the barbwire was tampered with or cut. Regions of Europe as delineated by the United Nations (UN definition of Eastern Europe marked salmon):  Northern Europe  Western Europe  Eastern Europe  Southern Europe Pre-1989 division between the West (grey) and Eastern Bloc (orange) superimposed on current national boundaries: Russia (dark orange), other countries of the former USSR (medium... Unofficial Seal of the Warsaw Pact Distinguish from the Warsaw Convention, which is an agreement among airlines about financial liability and the Treaty of Warsaw (1970) between West Germany and the Peoples Republic of Poland. ...


During the Vietnam War, motorcycles were rigged with explosives by the NLF and abandoned. US soldiers would be tempted to ride the motorcycle and thus trigger the explosives. As well, NLF soldiers would rig Rubber Band Grenades and place them in huts that US soldiers would likely torch. Another popular booby trap is the Grenade in a Can trap. This involves a primed grenade in a container and a string attached, sometimes with the grenade's fuse mechanism modified to give a much shorter delay than the four to seven seconds typical with grenade fuses. The NLF soldiers primarily used these on doors and attached them to tripwires on jungle paths. Combatants Republic of Vietnam United States Republic of Korea Thailand Australia New Zealand The Philippines National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam Democratic Republic of Vietnam People’s Republic of China Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea Strength US 1,000,000 South Korea 300,000 Australia 48,000... Viet Cong (NLF) flag The Viet Cong, also known as the National Front for the Liberation of Southern Vietnam (Vietnamese Mặt Trận Dân Tộc Giải Phóng Miền Nam), VC, or the National Liberation Front (NLF), was an insurgent (partisan) organization fighting the Republic... The Rubber Band Grenade was a booby trap set by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam war. ... The Grenade in a Can was a simple and effective booby trap set by Viet Cong soldiers during the Vietnam War. ...


The NLF also used far simpler, but also effective, low technology booby traps in the form of punji sticks hidden in pits. Viet Cong (NLF) flag The Viet Cong, also known as the National Front for the Liberation of Southern Vietnam (Vietnamese Mặt Trận Dân Tộc Giải Phóng Miền Nam), VC, or the National Liberation Front (NLF), was an insurgent (partisan) organization fighting the Republic... An American marine walks through a gully of punji sticks during the Vietnam War The Punji stick or Punji stake is a type of a non-explosive booby trap. ...


Middle East

During the Al-Aqsa Intifada, Palestinian fighters used booby traps widely. The largest use of booby traps was in Jenin during Operation Defensive Shield where a large number of explosive devices were planted. Combatants  Israel  Palestinian Authority: Several Palestinian militant groups Commanders Ehud Barak Ariel Sharon Ehud Olmert Yassar Arafat Casualties 1,017 Israeli dead. ... It has been suggested that Anem be merged into this article or section. ... Operation Defensive Shield (In Hebrew, מבצע חומת מגן) was a large-scale military operation conducted by the Israeli Defence Forces in April 2002. ...


The Palestinian fighters had made their own preparations. Booby traps had been laid in the streets of both the camp and the town, ready to be triggered if an Israeli foot or vehicle snagged a tripwire. Some of the bombs were huge—as much as 250 lb (110 kg) of explosives.


Popular culture

Because the term "boob" is also a colloquialism for "breast", punsters say that a brassiere or a Büstenhalter also qualify as "booby traps". A brassiere (Commonwealth English: ; American: , commonly referred to as a bra, ) is an article of clothing that covers and elevates the breasts. ... Two women wearing halternecks Halterneck refers to a type of womens clothing with one strap around the back of the neck instead of two over the shoulders. ...


See also

A US army combat engineer setting up a communications cable. ... Munitions rigged for an IED discovered by Iraqi police in Baghdad, November 2005. ... Man-traps are mechanical devices for catching poachers and trespassers. ...

External links

  • The Straight Dope: What's the origin of "booby trap"?

  Results from FactBites:
 
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booby trap: Definition, Synonyms and Much More From Answers.com (986 words)
A booby trap is distinguished from a land mine by the fact that it is an improvised weapon, perhaps made from an artillery shell, or a grenade, or a quantity of high explosives, whereas a land mine is manufactured for its specific purpose.
A booby trap may be buried in the manner common with land mines, or not, though as a rule it is concealed in some fashion, and set to be detonated by means of pressure or a trip wire.
Booby traps can also be applied as defensive weapons against unwelcomed guests or against non-military trespassers, and some paranoid people set up traps in their homes to keep people from entering.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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