10 Animals That Have Been Trained And Used In The Military (Part 2)

Harin - Aug 07, 2019, 4:20 pm IST


For a long time, animals have played an important role in warfare. Here are 10 great examples of how animals have been trained and used in the military.

It was not until later that modern machinery was introduced, animals played an important role in warfare. With the masterful use of horses of the Mongols, Genghis Khan along with his generals could dominate the largest land ever known. Here are 10 great examples of how animals have been trained and used in the military.

Defensive sea lions

Defensive-Sea-Lions
Besides studying and using dolphins, the US Navy Marine Mammal Program also deployed California sea lions.

Besides studying and using dolphins, the US Navy Marine Mammal Program also deployed California sea lions.

The seas lions received training in the same facilities as the dolphins. Sometimes, they even work together on the same missions. The sea lions’ role is to help protect US ships and harbor installations against enemy divers and retrieve text equipment dropped from planes or fired from ships.

The sea lions have excellent diving skills which out-perform even experienced and skillful human divers.

Sea lions were first used by the Navy in the recovery of a test antisubmarine rocket which was 180 feet under the sea’s surface in November 1970.

Pigeon-guided missiles

Pigeon-Guided-Missiles
B.F.Skinner, a noted behaviorist developed pigeon-guided missiles during Project Pigeon.

B.F.Skinner, a noted behaviorist developed pigeon-guided missiles during Project Pigeon. The project was later canceled due to the weapons’ impracticality; however, the pigeon-guided missile idea showed great promise.

An array of lenses were attached at the front of the missile, which transmitted the target’s image to an interior screen. The pigeons would peck at the target shown on the screen. With the pigeons’ pecks, the flight path of the missile would be corrected.

In 1944, the project was called off. But the US Navy revived it in 1948. However, in 1953, after missile-guidance systems proved their effectiveness, the pigeon-guided missiles project was canceled for good.

A soldier-bear

Wojtek-The-Soldier-Bear
When World War II ended, he was a Polish Army’s corporal.

Wojtek was born in 1942. When World War II ended, he was a Polish Army’s corporal.

During Russia’s Nazi invasion in 1942, after the 22nd Polish Supply Brigade was set free from a Siberian labor camp, they began trekking toward Persia. It was during their trip that they met Wojtek.

The bear became the troops’ mascot. He frequently joined the men in drinking alcohol, and smoking, or even eating cigarettes.

The group reached Egypt where they reenter the war zone across Italy.  As pets were not allowed to enter the war zones, the troops decided to make Wojtek an official soldier.

Wojtek with his weight of 440 pounds, could carry weapons and munitions at a much faster speed than other men in the group. The company emblem was a bear carrying a shell.

Cat spies

Cia-Cat-Spies
The acoustic kitty was a project of the CIA in the 1960s.

The acoustic kitty was a project of the CIA in the 1960s. The project used cat for the Kremlin as well as other Soviet embassies spying.

The ear canals of the cats were implanted with microphones while radio transmitters were placed in the base of their skulls. Theoretically, the cats would turn mobile. However, they could not immediately report back to the CIA.

In the first deployment, the CIA unleashed the cat around a Soviet compound located in Washington, D.C. However, the cat was struck and killed by a taxi almost immediately.

It is predictable that the project was ultimately abandoned because of the challenge of making a cat do anything on command. The project is said to have cost $20 million.

Rats

Rats
Allied forces, during the WW2, attempted to wreck the German factories with dead rats stuffed with explosive charges.

These creatures were more helpful dead than alive. Allied forces, during the WW2, attempted to wreck the German factories with dead rats stuffed with explosive charges. Once a German worker saw the dead rats, they would dispose of them by scooping them into the boiler fire. The small explosive charge inside the rat’s body would explode, leading to a boiler explosion, sabotaging the whole factory.

The Nazis succeeded intercepting the first deployment. The plan was never carried out; however, it was still considered a success as the resources the Germans spent on checking all the dead rats afterward.

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