Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction (Ottawa Convention)
April 23, 2003Burrus M. Carnahan
The modern anti-personnel land mine was invented by the Confederate Torpedo Bureau during the American Civil War by burying percussion-fused artillery shells adapted to explode when stepped on. First used in combat in 1862, Federal generals protested against the use of these allegedly inhumane "land torpedoes." After the Civil War, however, no proposal surfaced to ban or regulate land mines in any of the numerous efforts to codify and update the laws of war between 1865 and 1907.