Concept

Minelayer

Summary
A minelayer is any warship, submarine or military aircraft deploying explosive mines. Since World War I the term "minelayer" refers specifically to a naval ship used for deploying naval mines. "Mine planting" was the term for installing controlled mines at predetermined positions in connection with coastal fortifications or harbor approaches that would be detonated by shore control when a ship was fixed as being within the mine's effective range. Before World War I, mine ships were termed mine planters generally. For example, in an address to the United States Navy ships of Mine Squadron One at Portland, England, Admiral Sims used the term "mine layer" while the introduction speaks of the men assembled from the "mine planters". During and after that war the term "mine planter" became particularly associated with defensive coastal fortifications. The term "minelayer" was applied to vessels deploying both defensive- and offensive mine barrages and large scale sea mining. "Minelayer" lasted well past the last common use of "mine planter" in the late 1940s. An army's special-purpose combat engineering vehicles used to lay landmines are sometimes called "minelayers". The most common use of the term "minelayer" is a naval ship used for deploying sea mines. Russian minelayers were highly efficient sinking the Japanese battleships and in 1904 in the Russo-Japanese War. In the Gallipoli Campaign of World War I, mines laid by the Ottoman Empire's Navy's Nusret sank , , and the in the Dardanelles on 18 March 1915. In World War II, the British employed the Abdiel minelayers both as minelayers and as transports to isolated garrisons, such as Malta and Tobruk. Their combination of high speed (up to 40 knots) and carrying capacity was highly valued. The French used the same concept for the cruiser . A naval minelayer can vary considerably in size, from coastal boats of several hundred tonnes in displacement to destroyer-like ships of several thousand tonnes displacement.
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