Countermine

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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Countermine'

Countermine Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    countermine n : (military) a tunnel dug to defeat similar activities by the enemy v
  1. destroy property or hinder normal operations; "The Resistance sabotaged railroad operations during the war" [syn: sabotage, undermine, counteract, subvert, weaken]
  2. destroy enemy mines with one's own mines; "We countermined the banks of the river"
Countermine Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Countermine \Coun"ter*mine`\ (koun"t[~e]r*m[imac]n`), n. [Counter- + mine underground gallery: cf. F. contermine.]
  1. (Mil.) An underground gallery excavated to intercept and destroy the mining of an enemy.
  2. A stratagem or plot by which another sratagem or project is defeated. Thinking himself contemned, knowing no countermine against contempt but terror. --Sir P. Sidney.
Countermine Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Countermine \Coun`ter*mine"\ (koun`t[~e]r*m[imac]n"), v. t. [Cf. F. contreminer.] [imp. & p. p. Countermined; p. pr. & vb. n. Countermining.]
  1. (Mil.) To oppose by means of a countermine; to intercept with a countermine.
  2. To frustrate or counteract by secret measures.
Countermine Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Countermine \Coun`ter*mine"\, v. i. To make a countermine or counterplot; to plot secretly. 'Tis hard for man to countermine with God. --Chapman.
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Countermine'


Mining, landmining or undermining is a siege method which has been used since antiquity against a walled city, fortress, castle or other strongly-held and fortified military position.

The Greek historian Polybius, in his Histories, gives a graphic account of mining and counter mining at the Roman siege of Ambracia:

According to Polybius, this was the first time poison gas was used.

Another extraordinary usage of siege-mining in the ancient Greece, where during Philip V of Macedon's siege of the little town of Prinassos, according to Polybius,"the ground around the town were extremely rocky and hard, making any siege-mining virtually impossible. However, Philip ordered his soldiers during the cover of night collect earth from elsewhere and throw it all down at the fake tunnel's entrance, making it look like the macedonians were almost finished completing the tunnels. Eventually, when Philip V announced that large parts of the town-walls were undermined the citizens surrendered without delay.

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