Anti-Tank Dogs

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v2

Captain
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Nov 9, 2005
Cracow
The Soviets were unable to address the looming tank problem with any new technologies right away, thus they were forced to contemplate tackling the issue with the means at hand. Landmines were a viable option, but because one couldn't count on the Nazis seeking out the mines, they had to figure a way to make the mines seek the tanks.

The answer laid in the dog division. The trainers would starve the dogs, then train them to find food under a tank. The dogs quickly learned that being released from their pens meant to run out to where the training tank was parked and find some vittles. Once trained, the dogs would be fitted with a bomb attached to the back, and loosed into a field of oncoming German Panzers. When the dog climbed underneath the tank–where there was no armor–the bomb would detonate and gut the enemy vehicle.
 

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V2 said:
Once trained, the dogs would be fitted with a bomb attached to the back, and loosed into a field of oncoming German Panzers. When the dog climbed underneath the tank–where there was no armor–the bomb would detonate and gut the enemy vehicle.

Actually:

1. There is armour underneath a tank! (belly armour)

2. The dogs were smarter than expected - they sought out T34's and KV1's, completely ignoring the Panzers!
 
As far as I know dogs were able to release those bombs and run away from the tank but in reality their chances to survive were minimal.I've seen somewhere that they've destroyed approximately 300 tanks.
 
Everything I have read has said that the dogs were not released around Russian armor to minimize confusion, but "friendly fire" was still an issue. I will also agree with marconi's 300, as I have seen that somewhere else as well, but I think it was successful attacks, not destructions.
 
I think the problem was that they were trained on Russian armour and thus they would see the T-34s and KV-1s as the target and not the German tanks. In other words they were more of a liability than an asset to the Russians...
 
300 tanks destroyed? I had read that this tactic was a complete bust. During the din and confusion of battle the dogs were loosed upon the advancing tanks and they just ran behind friendly lines and dove in with seek shelter. I had even read that they caused some casualties amongst friendly troops.

Anyone else hear of the 300 tanks destroyed stat?
 
As an ex MP Dog Handler.

The 300 is a complete bollocks myth.

Yes the dogs did dive for cover under Russian tanks, vehicles etc, and the project was completely dropped.

Not by the Japanes however, who used their own men in similar tactics.

At least it was cheaper than feeding and medical costs for dogs.
 
Just for info:
The image is postwar (probably during the 1960s) ,the T-34/85 is a model 1945 or later with dummy gun and gun mantlet.
 
Still one wonders what the actual statistics were because there is no doubt that it would have been hazardous for the Soviet tanks having had dogs trained using Soviet Tanks...
 
The reports regarding the use of these sobaki are sketchy at best - as far as I know it was tried and the Germans simply shot all the dogs as they went for the tanks, and the idea was quietly dropped.

The whole 'Pavlov's dog' theory and them going straight for the Soviet tanks instead... Well, I suspect it's a more a case that the dogs simply ran amok to anywhere but the advancing Panzers.

In any case, they were certantly not used after 1942. Here's a pic of one we saw in the Artillery museum in St. Petes.

If you wish to use the picture it's no problem - but we'd really appreciate it if you could credit it to the 2nd Guards Rifle Division. In Russian museums, you have to pay to take a camera in, not to mention the fact we've gone out there.

bombasobaka.jpg
 
Very cool. I have heard of it also, but was always sceptical on how useful it really was.
 
According to Soviet propaganda, 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 attackers 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, neither for fear of the fire nor of being burned.

However, in 1942 one use of the anti-tank dogs went seriously awry when a large contingent of anti-tank dogs 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 (Zaloga et al 1997:72).

Anti-tank dog - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
Kind of a bummer that the dogs got the chop. Understand the need (especially when you lose 27 million citizens, a bunch of dogs are hardly worth talking about). Ranks up there with the exploding bats. Another idea that was quietly dropped.
 
Still for an idea that didn't really seem to work, it seems crazy that they were still training dogs until 1996. Especially considering their overwhelming advantage in numbers of tanks...
 
Still for an idea that didn't really seem to work, it seems crazy that they were still training dogs until 1996. Especially considering their overwhelming advantage in numbers of tanks...

Good point. Considering the number of tanks they had (compared to NATO) and the dogs not being able to tell one tank from another...

On a side note, I've notice my own dog can't tell the difference from one car to another. Dog has been getting in and out of the same truck for 3 years and can't figure it out from any other truck/car. Has to wait for me to hit the clicker and unlock it.
 

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