Letter: Modern war crime to which the Government consents

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your leading article today about minefields mentions that many of these are unmapped. As a Royal Engineers surveyor in Cairo in 1945 I was ordered to prepare a map of the minefields round Tobruk, the seat of many battles, for the use of the War Graves Commission. I was given about 100 detailed maps, including captured ones, showing the German, Italian and British minefields, and these looked very promising.

However, on closer inspection, I found that, without exception, they showed not the minefields these armies had laid themselves, but those which they thought (mainly from air photographs) had been laid by the enemy. I think that in all wars this will usually be the case, for there is seldom time to map one's own minefield as well as laying it.

Yours faithfully,


West Wittering

West Sussex

6 June