Weird Military Weapons That Required Animals to Work
When it comes to weapons, humankind can be incredibly creative. If it exists, or is even conceivable, someone has likely tried to weaponize it. While many developments are effective and plausible, some proposed designs can only be described as bizarre, particularly many of the animal-based options. But that didn’t stop them from ending up on the table.
Whether you view these weapons clever or just strange, it is interesting to see what options these military has considered. Here are some of the weirdest animal-based weapons ever explored.
Before advanced guidance systems were a reality, Project Pigeon explored using the bird to guide bombs. They were trained to hone in on targets by using B.F. Skinner’s operant conditioning methods with the goal of showing them a location on a screen and having them peck at a monitor in the bomb to indicate the target was reached.
The original project was ended in 1944 but later revived as Project Orcon in 1948. However, the concept was abandoned once electronic guidance systems proved more effective.
This initiative involved training bats to function as kamikaze bombers, teaching them to find targets, loading them with explosives and sending them towards the enemy to assist in combat operations during World War II. While the US Marine Corps worked with thousands of free-tailed bats during the experiment, it was ended when the atomic bomb became a more plausible option.
In the 1960s, the Soviet Union explored the idea of using trained dolphins to locate warheads underwater while, during the early 2000s, the US also began working with the animals for a variety of objectives.
The US decided not to give dolphins weapons, based on their inability to separate enemy and friendly soldiers, but they have been used in mine clearing operations.
During the Cold War, the Brits examined using chickens to create a more effective nuclear weapon. According to LiveScience, the 8 ton Blue Peacock nuclear mine was going to be placed in Germany to defend against a Soviet invasion, should it occur. The issue? The cold ground temperatures impacted the weapons operations. Once option discussed to resolve the problem was to place chickens in the shell, using their body heat to keep the nuke warm.