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The German S-mine (Schrapnellmine) is the most well-known version of a class of mines known as bounding mines, which launch into the air about waist height to then explode, propelling shrapnel horizontally at lethal speeds. The S-mine was an antipersonnel landmine developed by Nazi Germany in the 1930s and used extensively by German forces during World War II. It was designed to be used in open areas and to attack unshielded infantry. Two versions were produced, designated by the year of their first production: the SMi-35 and SMi-44. There are only minor differences between the two models (TM-E 30-451, 1945). The S-mine entered production in 1935 and served as a key part of the defensive strategy of the Third Reich. Until production ceased with the defeat of Germany in 1945, Germany produced over 1.93 million S-mines (Valias, 2005). These mines were responsible for inflicting heavy casualties and slowing, or even repelling, drives into German-held territory throughout the war. The design was lethal, successful and much imitated, and remains one of the definitive weapons of World War II.
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