The Mine detector (Polish) Mark I was developed during World War II in the winter of 1941/1942 by Polish lieutenant Jozef Stanislaw Kozacki. 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 these were produced, together with several hundred thousands of further developments of the mine detector. The Mine detector (Polish) Mk. III was used by the British Army until 1995. The Polish detector had two coils, one of which was connected to an oscillator which generated an oscillating current of an acoustic frequency. The other coil was connected to an amplifier and a telephone. When the coils came into proximity to a metallic object the balance between the coils was upset and the telephone reported a signal.
The equipment weighed just less than 30 pounds and could be operated by one man. The Polish detector saw service throughout the war. During World War II the Fife Coast was the only place to be defended solely by foreign forces. Because of the pressures of the war there were no British troops available to defend this part of the country. It was Winston Churchill who came up with the solution – he drew up an agreement with the Polish government in exile to use their troops to defend the coastline against German invasion.
Anti-tank blocks can still be seen strung out along these beaches but the threatened invasion never happened. However, the Polish troops made a more lasting contribution to warfare in general. Lieutenant Josef Stanislaw Kosacki came up with the invention would go on to save countless lives all over the world ñ the mine detector.