Naval mines, perhaps more than any other maritime weapon, hold the potential to so substantially tip the cost of warfare as to make employment of forces practically unpalatable to a naval commander. Indeed, since the advent of modern warfare in the mid-1800s, mines have played a role in most major conflicts between nations. During the Civil War, naval mines cost Union forces more losses than Confederate guns. The mine barrage in the North Sea during World War I precluded German submarines from fully exploiting the battlefield. A quarter century later, the United States, Japan, Germany, and Italy employed naval mines against each other in World War II. Naval mines saw extensive use in Korea, Vietnam, and the Iran-Iraq War.
Every Navy Ship needs a Mine Countermeasures Capability
By Lieutenant Commander Ryan Hilger, U.S. Navy