Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Warfare and critters

It has been some time since the first use of
animals for warfare began. The earliest record
of the use of animals in war was around
2100 BC, when Hammurabi employed dogs
to fight alongside his most elite warriors.
Many different dogs have been used since
that point in time to aid in wars.
At the eve of World War II, the Soviets had a
fully operational four-legged fighter division,
and a dog with a bomb is a potent foe.

The US Navy began studying dolphins in the
late '50s and has come a long way since. their
uses include - but not limited to -
Defending ports and Navy assets from swimmer
attacks, rescue of training equipment, and detecting
mines. (Even search-and-kill missions).

Sea lions have been used for similar purposes
along with clamp installed with stealth on a
swimmer's leg to hold them until a ship
(or, port) can identify the person as friend
or foe. I've read that these clamps can be
installed on someone in less time than it
takes a swimmer to even be aware that the
sea lions are there - less than 1 second!
I suppose there have been stranger uses of
creatures for war, though.
like cats:

"After several surgeries and intensive training,
the cyborg cat was ready for its first field test.
The CIA drove the cat to a Soviet compound
on Wisconsin Avenue in Washington, D.C.,
and let him out of a parked van across the street.
The cat ambled into the road, and was struck
by a taxi almost immediately. Five years
of effort and over $15 million in spending were
reduced to roadkill in an instant. Shorty
after its demise a CIA operative returned
to the accident site and put the cat's remains
into a container to prevent the Soviets from
getting their paws on the sensitive and
expensive listening devices.
Operation Acoustic Kitty was completely
abandoned in 1967, and declared an unadulterated
failure. Possibly due to their embarrassing
nature, the documents describing Acoustic
Kitty remain partially censored even today..."

from The Paper

Pop Quiz :

What flying creature was considered
for bombing - having $2 million spent
before ending in 1944 - and what was the
project's name?
It ended up burning
down almost an entire auxillary
Army base during tests.

3 opinionated prattle:

Stan said...

Let me sleep on this, most interesting subject that you have come up with. I do know that the dolphin was trained and being trained and working as a "guard" dog at a secured submarine base on the west coast. Lions and especially cheetahs, were also used during the Roman conquest. As for the experiment that almost burned the base down, sounds like a homing pegeon that decided to come home before they made their deposit on the enemy. I will sleep on it!

j, d plumma said...

sorry, charlie. although pigeons were used for military issues, i don't believe they ever burned down an army base. they (pigeons) were a successful attempt, as well.

Stan said...

I now know so much about the use of animals in warfare. Just finished reading an article, 23 pages by a Harvard professor. Most interesting, however he did not answer your question. However, after reading it I am assuming that you were making reference to either the use of bats to carry bombs or attaching "fireballs" to cats! The cat would run and scatter the fire that was attached to them, needless to say it was a one way trip. The cruelest I read was the dogs that they used in WW I, they would feed the dogs under the tanks to train them. Later, they attached bombs to them and took them to the front lines, with all the shooting, the dogs would scare and run under the enemy tank and lay down, they would then detonate the bomb. Dogs were also used widely in Vietnam to go into holes and get Charlie, they were so effective that they had a bounty put on them by North Vietnam. As a very young kid in Colorado, I can remember one time when the government buyers came to our place to buy mules and horses from my dad to use at Ft. Carson in Colroado. That would have been in the early 50's.

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