Anti tank attack dogs used in WW2

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Anti tank attack dogs used in WW2

One of the most bizzare military weapons I have ever read of, and it was successful! However it seems they might have had trouble recognising the enemy tanks from the friendlies :)

Anti-tank dogs, also known as dog bombs or dog mines, were hungry dogs with explosives harnessed to their backs and trained to seek food under tanks and armoured vehicles.

By doing so, a detonator (usually a small wooden lever) would go off, triggering the explosives and damaging or destroying the military vehicle.

The dogs were employed by the Soviet Union during World War II for use against German tanks. The dogs were kept without food for a few days, then trained to find food under a tank.

The dogs quickly learned that once released from their pens, food could be found under tracked vehicles. Once trained, the dogs were fitted with an explosive charge and set loose into a field of oncoming German tanks and other tracked vehicles.

When the dog went underneath the tank—where there was less armour—the charge would detonate and damage the enemy vehicle.

According to Soviet sources, the anti-tank dogs were successful at disabling a reported three hundred German tanks. They were enough of a problem to the Nazi advance that the Germans were compelled to take measures against them.

An armoured vehicle's top-mounted machine gun proved ineffective due to the relatively small size of the dogs and the fact that they were low to the ground, fast, and hard to spot. Orders were dispatched that commanded every German soldier to shoot any dogs on sight. Eventually the Germans began using tank-mounted flame-throwers to ward off the dogs. They were much more successful at dissuading the attacks, but some dogs would not stop.

In 1942, one use of the anti-tank dogs went seriously awry when a large contingent ran amok, endangering everyone in the battle and forcing the retreat of an entire Soviet division.

Soon afterward the anti-tank dogs were withdrawn from service. Training of anti-tank dogs continued until at least June 1996.


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By netchicken: posted on 24-11-2007

A horrible, horrible way to use animals as weapons. This is no more honorable than suicide bombers in a military. Most tanks these days have machine guns on them so these dogs would be cut down way before they came into the picture. Besides, starving a dog and then sending it to get blown up to win your battles is just wrong. Whats next? Using midgets maybe ?

Crazy russians.
By IAF: posted on 26-11-2007

Let's not try and compare animals to midgets, huh? One is an animal and the other is an human.

That being said, it is disturbing that people would do that. I was a dog handler in the U.S. Army. I worked sentry dogs, patrol dogs and narcotics detection dogs. I have absolutely no idea how anyone who considers themselves being human could strap a bomb on a dog and tell him to go fetch.

Then again nowadays we have "humans" who will strap bombs to babies in order to blow up civilians.
By Thomas_Crowne: posted on 26-11-2007

Don't forget this was done during wartime, and of all societies in WW2 Russia suffered the most. I imagine that stray dogs were everywhere.

Whats worse, strapping a bomb on a dog and turning it into a missile or having your own soldiers and civilians die trying to stop the tanks about to kill your people?

The Russian populace suffered so much during the war that the lives of some stray dogs would have been miniscule in comparison.
By netchicken: posted on 26-11-2007

Using dogs as a weapon is bad, but when there was 10 million dead Russians i think they cared more about humans than dogs.

Also, they stopped using bomb dogs because they were trained using Russian tanks and would go under Russian tanks if there were any.
By fredward11: posted on 5-6-2009

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