Its been a busy week (...actually it's been a busy few months!!) so this week I have just a single three-man team painted. These are US Mine Clearance Engineers from Peter Pig. Although the models have a square plate detector head I expect this is a variation or development of the widely used SCR-625 Mine Detector which was used extensively by US engineers.
The SCR-625 was the original portable mine detector, developed in the early days of World War II. It saw first use in 1942 in North Africa and consisted of a six-foot pole with a coil mounted under a plate at its head. The coil was connected to dry-cell batteries usually carried in a haversack, the entire detector weighing about 7.5 pounds. The detector produced a low humin the operator's headset and the pitch would change if a metal object was detected. The detector could locate objects up to 12 inches below the surface although technically mines were supposed to be laid 18 inches deep although thankfully that was rarely the case.
The operators would often work in pairs and swing the detectors across the ground earning them the nickname 'Outdoor carpet sweepers'. The operator didn't clear the mines, instead, he would point out the location of the mine and another man following him would mark the spot. Other teams would then follow and deactivate the mines. It all sounds very hazardous but the process was quite effective, especially in the dry and often flat landscape of North Africa. However, in wet conditions such as in North-West Europe, the machines lack of waterproofing proved to be a bit of a disadvantage!