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The Mine detector (Polish) Mark I was a metal detector for landmines developed during World War II in the winter of 1941/1942 by Polish lieutenant Józef Kosacki.



In the pre-war period the Department of Artillery of the Ministry of National Defence ordered the construction of a device that could be helpful in locating duds on artillery training grounds. The instrument was designed by the AVA works, but its implementation was prevented by the outbreak of the Polish Defensive War. Following the fall of Poland and the transfer of Polish HQ to France, work restarted on the device, this time intended as a mine detector. Little is known of this stage of construction as the work was stopped by the battle of France and the need to evacuate the Polish personnel to Great Britain.

There in late 1941 Lieut. Józef Kosacki devised a final project, based partially on the earlier designs. His discovery was not patented; he gave it as a gift to the British Army. He was given a thank you letter from the king for this act. His design was accepted and 500 mine detectors were immediately sent to El Alamein where they doubled the speed of the British 8th Army. During the war more than 100,000 of this type were produced, together with several hundred thousands of further developments of the mine detector (Mk. II, Mk. III and Mk IV). Detector was used later during the Allied invasion of Sicily, the Allied invasion of Italy and the Invasion of Normandy. This type of detectors was used by the British Army until 1995.


The Polish detector had two coils, one of which was connected to an oscillator which generated an oscillating current of an acoustic frequency. The other coil was connected to an amplifier and a telephone. When the coils came into proximity to a metallic object the balance between the coils was upset and the telephone reported a signal. The equipment weighed just under 30 pounds [14 kilograms] and could be operated by one man. The Polish detector saw service throughout the war and the Mark 4c version was still used by the British Army until 1995.

—Mike Croll, The History of Landmines


  1. Detection plate.
  2. Two-part handle with counterweight.
  3. Operating box fixed on the handle.
  4. Amplifier and battery in the carrier bag.
  5. Headphones.


  • "The History of Landmines" by Mike Croll published in Great Britain in 1998 by Leo Cooper, Pen & Sword Books Ltd. ISBN 0 85052 268 0
  • "The Polish Contribution to The Ultimate Allied Victory in The Second World War" Tadeusz Modelski, Worthing, England 1986, Page 221
  • Time Magazine/Canadian Edition, March 8, 1999, page 18
  • Mieczysław Borchólski "Z saperami generała Maczka", MON 1990, ISBN 83-11-07794-0

See also




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