Malice Aforethought: The History of Booby Traps from World War One to Vietnam
In Italy in 1943 British troops came upon a highly desirable billet abandoned by the retreating Germans, its front door invitingly half open. Entering cautiously through a window, to avoid the likely booby trap, they approached the front door from inside and found attached to it the expected explosive charge apparently designed to function when the door was moved. They left the house and attached a line to the doorknob of the front door. They retreated across the road to a conveniently sited slit trench and pulled the line. A second trap hidden in the trench and connected to the door exploded and killed them all. This fiendish and lethal attack illustrates the effectiveness of booby traps and the ingenuity with which they can be laid. A booby trap is any device which is designed, constructed or adapted to kill or injure, and which functions unexpectedly when a person disturbs or approaches an apparently harmless object or performs an apparently safe act. Also included are manually emplaced munitions designed to kill or injure, which are set off by remote control or automatically after a lapse of time. Malice Aforethought covers the period from WWI to Vietnam, and examines the malicious use of explosives in booby traps and sabotage devices by all sides during this period. It looks at their design, development, deployment and effectiveness, and is fully illustrated with photographs and illustrations of many of the devices used.
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List of Illustrations
Chapter One Motivation and Methods
Chapter Two The Devils Own Game Dealing with Booby
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