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Anti-Tank Dog

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An anti-tank dog and tank An anti-tank dog and tank

Anti-tank dogs, also known as dog mines, are starving dogs with explosives harnessed to their back, trained to seek food under enemy tanks and armoured vehicles. By doing so, a small wooden lever would be tipped, detonating the explosives.

The dogs were employed by the Soviet Union during World War II, to be used against German tanks. Unfortunately, in battle the dogs were as likely to run beneath a friendly tank as they were to attack the enemy. This was due of the fact that the dogs were trained to follow and seek food underneath Soviet tanks, making the dogs less comfortable running towards a German tank. Also, the dogs were reluctant to run towards an active tank, and as such became a menace to everyone on the battlefield. In 1942, after dogs forced an entire Soviet tank division into retreat, dog mines were withdrawn from use.

The German army learned of the use of Hundeminen as anti-tank weapons, and on the Eastern Front dogs were shot on sight, under the pretence that they were likely to be rabid. Dogs became scarce as a result, making the use of dogs as a surprise weapon even more improbable.

After the war, more efficient and easier anti-tank methods became available, but there has been speculation that this method was still being used by Russia as late as the mid 1990s.

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