While not widely appreciated today, there were once 1,997 minefields in the United Kingdom containing between 338,500–350,000 landmines. If you were to walk today on a beach suitable for amphibious landing on either the south or east coasts of the United Kingdom, chances are that you would be walking on a former 1940s minefield. This article briefly explores the story of the United Kingdom’s coastal minefields, from their hasty installation through their costly clearance. Many of the lessons from this period remain relevant today, as countries seek to apply land release principles to reduce the risk of explosive contamination to tolerable levels.



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