Anti-tank dogs: how the Soviet army used dogs during World War II


The training of anti-tank dogs is one of the most curious and at the same time dramatic pages in the history of the USSR. During the Great Patriotic War, more than 9500 fighter dogs took part in the battle, which destroyed 300 enemy tanks.

The Germans feared and hated animals. The dogs impeded the movement of equipment, attacked unexpectedly and brought confusion into the ranks of the soldiers.

All is fair in war. The Soviet leadership shared this idea and therefore prepared war dogs to destroy the enemy. The animals were equipped with an explosive device, trained to run under the tank and blow up the vulnerable bottom of armored vehicles.

The advantages of the four-legged soldiers were their size and speed. The tank machine gun was located high above the ground and was not designed for a low dog silhouette. The nimble creature quickly reached the «dead» zone of the machine gunner and performed his duty without fear or hesitation.

The decision to prepare such weapons was made by the Revolutionary Military Council back in 1924. Officially, the dogs were

To fulfill the goal

The training consisted of fostering the «tank — food» reflex. The dogs were not fed for a long time, and then they taught that food could be found under the bottom of the car. Gradually, the animal lost its fear of the thundering and spewing fire machine, and after that an explosive device was attached to it.

In the trenches, the animals were constantly kept from hand to mouth. When the enemy appeared, the dogs were taken out of the trench, equipped with an anti-tank mine, determined their target and simply released.

The mine itself was located in a tarpaulin bale and was equipped with an inclined target sensor — a wooden pin that stuck out above the back. The dog reached the bottom, the pin deflected and the fuse was triggered.

There were practically no effective measures to combat dog fighters. Before the opening of the Eastern Front in 1941, the Wehrmacht forces did not face such problems and were completely unarmed in the face of the circumstances.

To reduce the number of potential opponents, the German command obliged each soldier to destroy all the animals he encountered. Even Luftwaffe pilots were prescribed to hunt dogs.

In order to somehow secure the tanks, metal aprons with spikes were hung on the cars. However, the flaps raked in debris while driving, broke and quickly fell into disrepair. The best measure was to equip the tanks with flamethrowers, but this still did not help.

True, the Soviet army also experienced difficulties. Often the dogs got out of control and tried to return to the trench. In this case, they were already a danger to the owners themselves.

By 1942, the use of anti-tank dogs in the war gradually ceased. The surviving four-legged heroes took part in the Victory Parade after the end of the war in 1945.

Dog Slayer Training

Today, suicide dogs are a thing of the past. They terrified the Germans and made a huge contribution to the victory of the USSR in the war, sacrificing their lives for it.