Malice Aforethought: The History of Booby Traps


Malice Aforethought

A History of Booby Traps from the First World War to Vietnam
By Ian Jones MBE

Published by Big Sky Publishing
RRP $29.99 in paperback
ISBN 9781922488084

Author Ian Jones worked in bomb disposal for the British Army for more than thirty-five years, including time spent as commanding officer of bomb disposal personnel in Northern Island.

In this book, however, he takes the reader further back in time, charting the history and development of anti-personnel devices, starting with World War I and ending with the Vietnam War, but with the major component being the various devices used during World War II.

What follows is a fascinating foray into the world of booby traps which today we would call Improvised Explosive Devices.

These devices were often mounted in abandoned vehicles or equipment, left as a parting gift by a retreating enemy with the aim of inflicting as much damage and carnage as possible.

The book is well illustrated with diagrams of how the devices worked and photographs of the actual items, as well as first hand accounts of men unlucky enough to encounter these malicious devices.

VERDICT: Recommended for those interested in the history of booby traps and their evolution throughout the history of warfare.

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