Engineers with an M16 land mine, 1969

Bob Liard (left) and David Wright, 1 Field Squadron, Royal Australian Engineers, inspect an American-made M16 anti-personnel land mine. The men are about to attach an anti-lifting device – a hand grenade – to prevent the enemy from removing the mine.

The M16 mine was a fearsome weapon. When triggered, a charge in the base of the mine caused it to leap in the air and explode – sending metal fragments in a 360 degree radius. The shrapnel could cause fatal injuries up to 100 metres. In Vietnam the M16 was known as a 'jumping jack' among Australians and New Zealanders and 'bouncing betty' among Americans.

Listen to Hawea (Guv) Grey talk about jumping jack mines here.


Image courtesy Noel Bell

How to cite this page: 'Engineers with M16 land mine', URL:, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 12-May-2014