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The Boobytraps Army Field Manual, known by its designation FM 5-31, is a comprehensive guide produced by the U.S. Army for the purpose of instructing military personnel on the recognition, construction, deployment, and disarmament of booby traps. Designed primarily for use in combat situations, this manual encompasses a wide range of topics related to booby traps, an unconventional warfare tool used to delay, injure, or kill enemy forces while conserving manpower and resources.


Key areas covered in the manual include:


  • Definition and Purpose: It outlines what constitutes a booby trap, its purposes, and the psychological impact on enemy forces.
  • Types of Booby Traps: The manual categorizes booby traps into various types, including explosive traps, non-explosive traps, and natural feature traps, each designed for specific scenarios and targets.
  • Recognition and Detection: Instructions and tips on how to recognize potential booby traps in different environments, which is crucial for avoiding casualties among friendly forces.
  • Construction and Emplacement: Detailed guidance on constructing various booby traps, choosing effective locations, and safely arming the devices without endangering friendly forces.
  • Disarming and Removal: Techniques and precautions for safely disarming or removing booby traps that have been identified, ensuring the safety of military personnel and civilians.
  • Use in Different Environments: Strategies for the effective use of booby traps in diverse environments, such as urban areas, jungles, deserts, and temperate regions, taking into account the unique challenges each setting presents.
  • Legal and Ethical Considerations: Discussion of the legal and ethical implications of using booby traps, including adherence to international laws and conventions governing their use in warfare.


The Boobytraps Army Field Manual serves as an essential resource for soldiers, particularly those in engineering, special forces, and infantry units, providing them with the knowledge needed to effectively employ booby traps against the enemy while minimizing risks to themselves and non-combatants. The manual emphasizes the importance of caution, precision, and awareness in the use of booby traps, reflecting the complexity and danger associated with these devices.


We do not promote the use of the material found in this book for illegal purposes. 

Boobytraps Field Manual

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