First developed during the Civil War, the land mine was later perfected during World War II by the Soviets. Land mines caused extreme brutality in the war and were buried in the dirt, being triggered when someone stepped on them. Occasionally, land mines can be triggered once you step off, rather than on.
While approaching the Soviet mountain base to rescue his captured friend Colonel Sam Trautman, Rambo is seen navigating through a mine field, the fastest and most discreet way to the base, but also the most dangerous. He uses his knife to search through the sand to look for land mines. He finds one and digs it up.
Land mines play a pivotal role in this film. It is mentioned that Burma has more land mines than any other place in the world. At the beginning of the film, the Tatmadaw Army is seen arming land mines and throwing them into rice paddies of villages they just ransacked. They force the surviving citizens to run across the marshes until one steps on a land mine, a process known by humanitarians as "atrocity de-mining". When one does, everyone panics and stops running out of fear. The Tatmadaw then executes the survivors with AKMs. Later in the film, more rice paddies are seen at an abandoned village, covered in corpses of humans and animals. The Burmese Army arrives and begins betting on the lives of the citizens before forcing them to run across one of the rice paddies, which is filled with live land mines. Luckily none manage to step on one, but they are too scared to run back the other way. This makes the Burmese angry because they have placed bets on who will live and who will die, so they begin forcing the terrified citizens to continue by kicking them into the muddy water and firing warning shots. However, Rambo arrives and takes out all of the soldiers by dispatching them with arrows from his compound bow. Lewis steps on one at the end of the film, which shreds his leg and nearly kills him.