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14 January 2013

Weird Weapons: 6 Incredible Animals Used as Weapons of War

Animals have always accompanied men at war. They have carried our soldiers and pulled our cannons. If you think that's all, then check out these stories of some of the craziest uses of animals in war.

Anti tank Dogs

Anti Tank Dogs

This is one of the worst examples of war brutality. Anti tank dogs were first developed by the Soviet Union to take down German tanks during World War II. The idea was simple yet effective. Dogs were trained to find food under tanks and then starved before a battle. The dogs were then released in battle, jumping under tanks hoping for food. Each dog carried a 10-12 kg bomb which had a lever that detonated the bomb when the dog dived under the tank.

According to Soviet sources, the results was quite impressive. The anti tank dogs managed to destroy about 300 German tanks. But it also had its drawbacks. One of the most serious problems was that the dogs were often frightened by gun fires and returned to the trenches, killing Soviet soldiers. To tackle this, Soviet soldiers were ordered to shoot any returning dogs.
Thus, Soviets dropped the use of anti tank dogs in 1942. USA also used the strategy against fortification.

Bat Bombs

Bat Bombs

The bat bomb can sound something out of a fiction novel, but bats actually carried bombs during World War II. The bizarre notion was sparked in the mind of Lytle Adams, a Pennsylvanian dentist who carried interests in much more than teeth.
After watching the news of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Adams came up with an unusual strategy againstthe island nation. He visualized the use of bats to spread incendiaries in Japanese cities. Surprisingly, the idea was very well appreciated as most of Japanese houses were made up of flammable materials like wood and paper and Adam's method would likely cause chaos without many casualties. Also bats were quite suitable for the project as they could carry loads equal to their own weight.
The plan was to capture bats and put them into cooled containers where they would hibernate. Small bombs were then attached to the bat's backs. The containers were dropped from high altitudes. The containers would in mid air, releasing thousands of bats at a time. At daytime, the bats would look for dark places, most of them settling in the attics of houses. The bombs will be activated by a timer, burning whole Japanese buildings to the ground.
The U.S military tested Adam's theory, spending around $2 million on the project. But after only a single year in testing, the idea was dropped as it was believed that it was important to focus on a much more effective weapon, the atomic bomb.

Mare Distraction

Mare Distraction

One of the most effective war strategies is to distract your enemy's war efforts. This strategy has been used for centuries, but one man in the ancient world took it one step further.
King Thutmoss III is the one of the greatest Pharoahs of ancient Egypt. The military led his army in countless battles and built the largest egyptian empire.
The King of Kadesh, a dynasty in what is now Syria, feared to lose his kingdom to Thutmoss. He needed to find the weak link in Thutmoss' forces in order to save his throne. And that is what he actually found.
The King of Kadesh came up with a weird yet intelligent move. He knew that Thutmoss rode on a chariot pulled by stallions. That is where he found the weak link. Right in the heart of the battle, King Kadesh set loose a mare in heat as a distraction.
Ancient records show that the idea worked well, causing a total disrupt among enemy lines. The move became quite famous and was widely used at the time.

Explosive Rats

Rat Bombs

In 1941, Britain had almost no hope in World War II. They had to come up with something to keep their chances alive. The British were looking for something that could put the Germans on the back foot and so they came up with the Rat bomb.
What really was the rat bomb? Well, that's an easy question. The rat bombs were nothing but actual rat carcasses filled with explosives. The British hoped that if their rat bombs could reach the German coal supplies, they could be shoveled into the boilers along with the coal, detonating by the heat. It was estimated that the bombs could cause a serious damage to German infrastructure.
Bad luck for the British that the Germans soon found out about the plans and the plan was dropped.

Cat Guidance System

Cat Bombs

Before all the sophisticated guidance systems, the Americans came up with the wackiest solution to guide their missiles to the target. Cats have a natural abhorrence for getting wet. So, a U.S military mastermind came up with the thought that if a cat be attached to a bomb and dropped in the vicinity of an enemy ship, the cat's instinct to avoid water would help guide the bomb to the target.
Amazingly enough, the so called 'genius' never really explained how a little creature like the cat could guide a huge bomb. There were also many more variables that remained unanswered and that is probably why the plan never got past the drawing table.

Monkeys on Fire

Monkeys in war

Monkeys have always had their special place because of their unusual intelligence. No wonder, they've been used in wars for a long time.
The first known use of monkeys in war was in ancient China. In a battle between between the Southern Song forces and an army of the Yanzhou, monkeys were used as live incendiary devices. They were clothed in straw, dipped in oil and set on fire. The panicked creatures were then set loose in enemy camps, causing fire in the tents.

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