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(1) A type of combat in the 18th through early 20th centuries involving the laying of underground mines during the siege and defense of cities, fortresses, and other fortified points.
(2) A conventional term covering combat on the sea involving the widespread use of mines. In international law the use of mines (automatic underwater naval mines) was defined by the Eighth Hague Convention of 1907 on the placing of underwater automatic exploding contact mines, which was signed by representatives of 44 states. The convention prohibits the laying of mines that explode automatically on contact and that are not anchored, as well as anchored mines that remain live if torn from the anchors; it also prohibits the laying of drifting mines that remain live if they miss a target. The convention also sets forth rules for the use of mines by neutral states (for self-defense) and procedures by which belligerents declare certain regions dangerous for navigation. The USSR acceded to the Hague Convention in 1942 and observes it faithfully. The imperialist states have crudely violated the terms of the Hague Convention in World War I (1914–18), World War II (1939–45), and other wars.