The Mine detector (Polish) Mark I was a metal detector for landmines developed during World War II in the winter of 1941–1942 by Polish lieutenant Józef Kosacki.
In the pre-war period the Department of Artillery of the Ministry of National Defence ordered the construction of a device that could be helpful in locating duds on artillery training grounds. The instrument was designed by the AVA Wytwórnia Radiotechniczna, but its implementation was prevented by the outbreak of the Polish Defensive War. Following the fall of Poland and the transfer of Polish HQ to France, work restarted on the device, this time intended as a mine detector. Little is known of this stage of construction as the work was stopped by the battle of France and the need to evacuate the Polish personnel to Great Britain.
There in late 1941 Lieut. Józef Kosacki devised a final project, based partially on the earlier designs. His discovery was not patented; he gave it as a gift to the British Army. He was given a “thank you” letter from the King for this act. His design was accepted and 500 mine detectors were immediately sent to El Alamein where they doubled the speed of the British 8th Army. During the war more than 100,000 of this type were produced, together with several hundred thousands of further developments of the mine detector (Mk. II, Mk. III and Mk IV). Detector was used later during the Allied invasion of Sicily, the Allied invasion of Italy and the Invasion of Normandy. This type of detectors was used by the British Army until 1995.
An attempt was made to mount a version of the mine detector on a vehicle so that sappers would be less vulnerable. To this end “Lulu” (on a Sherman tank) and subsequently “Bantu” (on a Staghound armoured car) were developed. The detector mechanism was in non-metallic rollers on arms held away from the vehicle. When the roller passed over a mine, or a similar piece of metal, the roller it was under was signalled in the vehicle. Prototypes were built but never tried in combat…