The Info List - Minelayer

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Minelaying is the act of deploying explosive mines. Historically this has been carried out by ships, submarines and aircraft. Additionally, since World War I
World War I
the term minelayer refers specifically to a naval ship used for deploying naval mines.[1] "Mine planting" was the term used for installing controlled mines at predetermined positions in connection with coastal fortifications or harbor approaches that would be detonated by shore control when a ship was fixed as being within the mine's effective range.[2][3] Before World War I, mine ships were termed mine planters generally. For example, in an address to the United States Navy
United States Navy
ships of Mine Squadron One at Portland, England Admiral Sims used the term “mine layer” while the introduction speaks of the men assembled from the “mine planters”.[4] During and after that war the term "mine planter" became particularly associated with defensive coastal fortifications. The term "minelayer" was applied to vessels deploying both defensive- and offensive mine barrages and large scale sea mining. "Minelayer" lasted well past the last common use of "mine planter" in the late 1940s. An army's special-purpose combat engineering vehicles used to lay landmines are sometimes called "minelayers".


1 Naval minelayers 2 Aerial minelaying 3 Landmine
laying 4 See also 5 Notes 6 References

Naval minelayers[edit]

Amiral Murgescu of the Romanian Navy, a successful World War II minelayer that was also employed as a destroyer escort

Swedish minelayer Älvsborg (1974)

Finnish Navy
Finnish Navy
Hämeenmaa-class minelayer
Hämeenmaa-class minelayer
FNS Uusimaa

The most common use of the term "minelayer" is a naval ship used for deploying sea mines. In the Gallipoli Campaign
Gallipoli Campaign
of World War I, mines laid by the Ottoman Empire's Navy's Nusret sank HMS Irresistible, HMS Ocean, and the French battleship Bouvet[5] in the Dardanelles
on 18 March 1915.[6] Russian minelayers were also efficient; sinking the Japanese battleships Hatsuse and Yashima in 1904 in the Russo-Japanese War.[7] In World War II, the British employed the Abdiel minelayers both as minelayers and as transports to isolated garrisons, such as Malta
and Tobruk. Their combination of high speed (up to 40 knots) and carrying capacity was highly valued. The French used the same concept for the cruiser Pluton. A naval minelayer can vary considerably in size, from coastal boats of several hundred tonnes in displacement to destroyer-like ships of several thousand tonnes displacement. Apart from their loads of sea mines, most would also carry other weapons for self-defense, with some armed well enough to carry out other combat operations besides minelaying, such as the World War II
World War II
Romanian minelayer Amiral Murgescu, which was successfully employed as a convoy escort due to her armament (2 x 105 mm, 2 x 37 mm, 4 x 20 mm, 2 machine guns, 2 depth charge throwers). Submarines can also be minelayers. The first submarine to be designed as such was the Russian submarine Krab. USS Argonaut (SM-1) was another such minelaying submarine. Although there are no modern submarine minelayers, mines sized to be deployed from a submarine's torpedo tubes, such as the Stonefish, allow any submarine to be a minelayer. In modern times, few navies worldwide still possess minelaying vessels. The United States Navy, for example, uses aircraft to lay sea mines instead. Mines themselves have evolved from purely passive to active; for example the US CAPTOR (enCAPsulated TORpedo) that sits as a mine until detecting a target upon which a torpedo is launched. A few navies still have dedicated minelayers in commission, including those of South Korea, Poland, Sweden and Finland; countries with long, shallow coastlines where sea mines are most effective. Other navies have plans to create extemporised minelayers in times of war, for example by rolling sea-mines into the sea from the vehicle deck through the open aft doors of a Roll-on/roll-off
ferry. In 1984 the Libyan Navy was suspected of having mined the Red Sea
Red Sea
a few nautical miles south of the Suez Canal using the Ro-Ro ferry Ghat, other nations suspected of having similar wartime plans include Iran and North Korea. Aerial minelaying[edit] Beginning in World War II, military aircraft were used to deliver naval mines by dropping them, attached to a parachute. Germany, Britain and the United States made significant use of aerial minelaying. A new type of magnetic mine dropped by a German aircraft in a campaign of mining the Thames Estuary in 1939 landed in a mudflat, where disposal experts determined how it worked, which allowed Britain to fashion appropriate mine countermeasures. The British Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
minelaying operations were codenamed "Gardening". As well as mining the North Sea and approaches to German ports, mines were laid in the Danube River
Danube River
near Belgrade, Yugoslavia, starting on 8 April 1944, to block the shipments of petroleum products from the refineries at Ploieşti, Romania.[8] In the Pacific, the US dropped thousands of mines in Japanese home waters, contributing to that country's defeat. Aerial mining was also used in the Korean and Vietnam Wars. In Vietnam, rivers and coastal waters were extensively mined with a modified bomb called a destructor that proved very successful. Landmine

Skorpion Minelayer

JGSDF Type 94 Minelayer

Some examples of minelaying vehicles:

Shielder minelaying system GMZ family of minelayers, which the 2S4 Tyulpan
2S4 Tyulpan
is based on, using TM-62 series mines Minenwerfer Skorpion Type 94 Minelayer Istrice (M113 variant)

See also[edit]

List of mine warfare vessels of the US Navy in the Second World War Mine Planter Service (U.S. Army) Minesweeper
(ship) Submarine
mines in United States harbor defense


^ "minelayer". Definitions from Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com. Retrieved 6 October 2007.  ^ Chappel, Gordon. " Submarine
Mine Defense of San Francisco Bay". Historic California Posts — Forts Under the Sea. California State Military Museum. Retrieved 23 May 2013.  ^ "Principle Armament – Mine Field". FortMiles.org. Retrieved 23 May 2013.  ^ All Hands, ed. (1919). "Speech of Admiral W. S. Sims, U. S. Navy". The Northern Barrage, Mine Force, United States Atlantic Fleet, The North Sea, 1918. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. p. 108.  ^ Smith, Gordon. "Naval War in Outline". World War 1 at Sea: French Navy.  ^ "Irresistible, Ocean and Bouvet Go Down, Hitting Mines in Strait". The New York Times. 20 March 1915.  ^ Fitzsimons, B (ed.). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of 20th Century Weapons and Warfare. p. 104.  ^ Adkins, Paul (1997). Codeword Dictionary. Osceola, WI: Motorbooks International. p. 79. 


Hartcup, Guy (1970). The Challenge of War. New York: Taplinger Publishing Company.  Hartmann, Gregory K (1979). Weapons that Wait: Mine Warfare in the U.S. Navy. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-753-4. 

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Naval ships and warships in the Late Modern period

Naval ship
Naval ship
classes in service

submarine auxiliary

Operational zones

Blue-water navy Brown-water navy Green-water navy

Gun placement

Broadside Central battery Casemate Turrets

Aircraft carriers

Aircraft cruiser Amphibious assault ship Anti-submarine warfare carrier Balloon carrier CAM ship Escort carrier Fighter catapult ship Fleet carrier Helicopter carrier Light aircraft carrier Merchant aircraft carrier Seaplane tender Submarine
aircraft carrier Supercarrier


Coastal defence ship Dreadnought Fast battleship Pre-dreadnought battleship Super-dreadnought (Standard-type battleship) Treaty battleship


Armored cruiser Battlecruiser Flight deck cruiser Heavy cruiser

Pocket battleship

Light cruiser Merchant raider Protected cruiser Strike cruiser Torpedo cruiser Unprotected cruiser


Aviso Convoy rescue ship Destroyer Destroyer
escort Destroyer
leader Escort destroyer Escorteur Frigate Guided missile destroyer Kaibōkan Sloop


Amphibious transport dock Amphibious warfare ship Attack transport Dock landing ship Landing craft Landing craft
Landing craft
carrier Landing Craft Support Landing Ship Heavy Landing ship, infantry Landing Ship Medium Landing Ship, Tank Landing Ship Vehicle Troopship

Patrol craft

Armed boarding steamer Armed yacht Coastal Motor Boat Corvette Gunboat Harbour Defence Motor Launch Motor Launch Naval drifter Naval trawler Ocean boarding vessel Patrol boat Q-ship Steam Gun Boat Submarine
chaser Torpedo boat

Fast attack craft

E-boat MAS MGB Missile boat MTB MTM MTSM PT boat Shin'yō

Mine warfare

Danlayer Destroyer
minesweeper Mine countermeasures vessel Mine planter Minehunter Minelayer Minesweeper

Command and support

Amenities ship Ammunition ship Auxiliary repair dock Auxiliary ship Collier Combat stores ship Command ship Crane vessel Depot ship Destroyer
tender Dispatch boat Fast combat support ship General stores issue ship Hospital ship Naval tugboat Net laying ship Repair ship Replenishment oiler Submarine


Attack submarine Ballistic missile submarine Coastal submarine Cruise missile submarine Cruiser
submarine Deep-submergence vehicle


Fleet submarine Midget submarine U-boat


Arsenal ship Barracks ship Breastwork monitor Capital ship Flagship Guard ship Littoral combat ship Monitor River monitor Training ship

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United States naval ship classes of World War II

Aircraft carriers

Lexington RangerS Yorktown WaspS Essex MidwayC

Light aircraft carriers

Independence SaipanC

Escort carriers

Long Island Charger Bogue Sangamon Casablanca Commencement Bay


Wyoming New York Nevada Pennsylvania New Mexico Tennessee Colorado North Carolina South Dakota Iowa MontanaX

Large cruisers


Heavy cruisers

Pensacola Northampton Portland New Orleans WichitaS Baltimore Oregon CityC Des MoinesC

Light cruisers

Omaha Brooklyn St. Louis Atlanta Cleveland FargoC JuneauC WorcesterC


Asheville Tulsa Dubuque PlymouthS WilliamsburgS St. AugustineS VixenS Erie


Sampson Caldwell Wickes Clemson Farragut Porter Mahan Gridley Bagley Somers Benham Sims Benson Gleaves Fletcher Allen M. Sumner Robert H. Smith Gearing


Evarts Buckley Cannon Edsall Rudderow John C. Butler

Patrol frigates

Asheville Tacoma

Patrol boats

Action PT boat


Lapwing Raven Auk EagleS Hawk Admirable


O R S Barracuda ArgonautS Narwhal DolphinS Cachalot Porpoise Salmon Sargo Tambor Mackerel Gato Balao Tench


T1 tanker T2 tanker T3 tanker


Camanche Class Chimo Class Other minelayers


Liberty Victory Haskell Andromeda Arcturus Artemis Tolland Alstede Aldebaran Adria Acubens Arctic Denebola Hyades Mizar

S Single ship of class C Completed after the war X Cancelled

Camanche-class minelayers

Camanche Canonicus Miantonomah Monadnock Nausett Puritan

List of minesweepers of the United States Navy

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Chimo-class minelayers

 United States Army

General Henry Knox Colonel Henry J. Hunt Colonel George Armistead 1st Lt. William G. Sylvester Colonel John Storey Maj. Gen. Arthur Murray Colonel George Ricker Colonel Charles W. Bundy

 United States Navy

Chimo (ex-Colonel Charles W. Bundy) Planter (ex-Colonel George Ricker) Barricade (ex-Colonel John Storey) Barbican (ex-Colonel George Armistead) Bastion (ex-Colonel Henry J. Hunt) Obstructor (ex-1st Lt. William G. Sylvester) Picket (ex-General Henry Knox) Trapper / Yamacraw (ex-Maj. Gen. Arthur Murray)

 United States Navy

Magnolia (ex-Barricade) Ivy (ex-Barbican) Jonquil (ex-Bastion) Heather (ex-Obstructor) Willow (ex-Picket) Yamacraw (ex-Trapper)

Preceded by: None Followed by: USS Monadnock

List of mine planters of the United States Army List of mine warfare vessels of the United States Navy List of cutters of the United States Coast Guard

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Linnet-class minelayer

Linnet Redstart Ringdove

Preceded by: HMS Plover Followed by: M class


Authority control

GND: 4196120-1 KulturNav: bed59843-f1c9-4b90-8298-