Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Accounts of subterranean warfare? Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Tue 30 Jan, 2007 9:34 am    Post subject: Accounts of subterranean warfare?         Reply with quote

Where should I look if I wish to read primary accounts of underground fighting? I'm not asking for a specific period--anything from the Stone Age down to Iraq or Afghanistan is fine with me, as long as it contains first-hand description of what happens when men actually fight underground rather than merely using underground tunnels as movement routes or as minign/countermining devices. Of course, I don't mind accounts of countermining gone wrong and turning into a hand-to-hand scrum in the dark.

Thanks beforehand!
View user's profile Send private message
Martin Wilkinson





Joined: 05 Mar 2006

Posts: 155

PostPosted: Tue 30 Jan, 2007 9:59 am    Post subject: Re: Accounts of subterranean warfare?         Reply with quote

Lafayette C Curtis wrote:
Where should I look if I wish to read primary accounts of underground fighting? I'm not asking for a specific period--anything from the Stone Age down to Iraq or Afghanistan is fine with me, as long as it contains first-hand description of what happens when men actually fight underground rather than merely using underground tunnels as movement routes or as minign/countermining devices. Of course, I don't mind accounts of countermining gone wrong and turning into a hand-to-hand scrum in the dark.

Thanks beforehand!


Juliet Barkers Agincourt: The King, The Campaign, The Battle says that Knights would go down into the mines and engage in mounted combat in the tunnels, i have no idea as to the truth of this, the reason supposedly being that it was somehow more honourable to fight in a mine.

I haven't seen any primary sources on this.

"A bullet you see may go anywhere, but steel's, almost bound to go somewhere."

Schola Gladiatoria
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Kyro R. Lantsberger





Joined: 21 Apr 2006

Posts: 39

PostPosted: Tue 30 Jan, 2007 11:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have a book on the Crusades by a French historian, Regine Pernoud. This book has a section about sieges that talks about combat engineering in this era where sappers would try to go underneath walls and try to collapse them by cave in. CounterSappers would be building intercept tunnels to thwart this attempt. I will check the bibliography to see what sources are drawn from in those chapters.
View user's profile Send private message
Allen Andrews




Location: Maine USA
Joined: 17 Oct 2006
Reading list: 5 books

Posts: 305

PostPosted: Tue 30 Jan, 2007 11:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I can reccomend this book, which seemed to have a fairly accurate account of the tunnel warfare in Vietnam:

The Tunnels of Cu Chi: A Harrowing Account of America's "Tunnel Rats" in the Underground Battlefields of Vietnam

By Tom Mangold and John Penycate

" I would not snare even an orc with a falsehood. "

Faramir son of Denethor

Words to live by. (Yes, I know he's not a real person)
View user's profile Send private message
Richard Fay




Location: Upstate New York
Joined: 29 Sep 2006
Reading list: 256 books

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 782

PostPosted: Tue 30 Jan, 2007 2:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello all!

I know this isn't a primary source, but Paul Knight talks about fighting in the mines in Henry V's 1415 campaign (during the siege of Harfleur, I believe) in Henry V and the Conquest of France 1416-53. He states that Henry used to visit the mines on at least one occasion when he had to fight a raiding party. The French would apparently build counter-mines to intercept the English mines, and hand-to-hand combat would ensue. Talk it with a grain of salt, though, because I couldn't find these details in other sources. They just talk in general about the mining by the English being thwarted by French counter-mining and raids.

Stay safe!

"I'm going to do what the warriors of old did! I'm going to recite poetry!"
Prince Andrew of Armar
View user's profile
George Hill




Location: Atlanta Ga
Joined: 16 May 2005

Posts: 614

PostPosted: Tue 30 Jan, 2007 10:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There was something in WW1 where there was a particular area with tunnels and counter tunnels, the primary weapon being the bomb. You would dig, and listen, and when you thought you heard someone else digging, you would set off a bomb to drop their tunnel ontop of them. (Presumably after evacuating your own.)
To abandon your shield is the basest of crimes. - --Tacitus on Germania
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address Yahoo Messenger
Geoff Wood




Location: UK
Joined: 31 Aug 2003

Posts: 634

PostPosted: Wed 31 Jan, 2007 2:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

George Hill wrote:
There was something in WW1 where there was a particular area with tunnels and counter tunnels, the primary weapon being the bomb. You would dig, and listen, and when you thought you heard someone else digging, you would set off a bomb to drop their tunnel ontop of them. (Presumably after evacuating your own.)


I've been trying to remember the name of a book i read yonks ago about this period. No joy yet, but I recall that the many of the british tunnelers had previously been employed digging on civilian projects (sewers? underground train tunnels?) and had got the name claykickers and they worked lying back on a sort of wooden cross contraption so that they could push the spade into the clay with their feet (like normal garden digging I suppose). It included accounts of countermining, fighting in tunnels, digging through bodies etc.. All of which is no great help because I can't remember the name of the book. Sorry.
Geoff
View user's profile Send private message
Elling Polden




Location: Bergen, Norway
Joined: 19 Feb 2004
Likes: 1 page

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,576

PostPosted: Wed 31 Jan, 2007 5:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There was some underground fighting in Vietnam, clearing out VC bunker and tunnell systems.
Ought to be some fist hand accounts armound about that.

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website MSN Messenger
Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Wed 31 Jan, 2007 7:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm already fairly familiar with the more conventional types of mining--the tunnels used to create a breach in the wall or to collapse opposing tunnels. Camouflets, too, are no strange things to me. What I'm wondering about is the accounts of men personally killing each other in the tunnels, whether with hand-to-hand weapons, missile weapons, or grenades and the like.

That book about the Tunnel Rats, of course, is going into my wish list. I'll try checking out Geoff's WWI book if he's lucky enough to find the title. BTW, does anybody know of primary sources on Suleyman the Magnificent's siege of Vienna? (The 16th-century one, not the 1683 one.) I also heard some things about tunnel fighting there, but have never been able to locate any quotations from men who participated in or personally witnessed such fighting.
View user's profile Send private message
Geoff Wood




Location: UK
Joined: 31 Aug 2003

Posts: 634

PostPosted: Wed 31 Jan, 2007 7:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lafayette C Curtis wrote:
I'm already fairly familiar with the more conventional types of mining--the tunnels used to create a breach in the wall or to collapse opposing tunnels. Camouflets, too, are no strange things to me. What I'm wondering about is the accounts of men personally killing each other in the tunnels, whether with hand-to-hand weapons, missile weapons, or grenades and the like.

That book about the Tunnel Rats, of course, is going into my wish list. I'll try checking out Geoff's WWI book if he's lucky enough to find the title. BTW, does anybody know of primary sources on Suleyman the Magnificent's siege of Vienna? (The 16th-century one, not the 1683 one.) I also heard some things about tunnel fighting there, but have never been able to locate any quotations from men who participated in or personally witnessed such fighting.



This link refers at the end to a book of possible interest:
http://history.sandiego.edu/gen/ww1/hill60.html


Geoff
View user's profile Send private message
Russ Ellis
Industry Professional




Joined: 20 Aug 2003
Reading list: 42 books

Posts: 2,607

PostPosted: Wed 31 Jan, 2007 11:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Allen Andrews wrote:
I can reccomend this book, which seemed to have a fairly accurate account of the tunnel warfare in Vietnam:

The Tunnels of Cu Chi: A Harrowing Account of America's "Tunnel Rats" in the Underground Battlefields of Vietnam

By Tom Mangold and John Penycate


Darn beat me to it. I second this recommendation.

TRITONWORKS Custom Scabbards
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Accounts of subterranean warfare?
Page 1 of 1 Reply to topic
All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2018 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum