The Military Channel has a series titled "Top Secret Weapons Revealed" and one episode had segments on the use of bats to deliver incendiaries in Japan, pigeons being trained to tap on a controller inside a bomb to guide it to a target, and the use of cats inside a bomb to guide it to a target.
Little incendiary bombs with timers to detonate them were designed to be attached to bats. The bats were to be kept cold in the airplane to keep them sleeping until they were dropped over a Japanese target city. The bats were expected to wake up after they were dropped from the plane, fly down to the city below, and then roost in the eaves of buildings. The incendiary bombs were to then detonate and ignite the buildings. The scheme may have actually worked if it wasn't for a poorly conceived testing scenario. During the test at an American US Army post, the incendiary bomb laden bats flew off and roosted under the eaves of buildings at the installation; causing several fires that destroyed a number of buildings. The program was cancelled very soon after the test.
The pigeons as a bomb guidance system controller would have probably worked; several pigeons were trained to peck on a screen to control the flight of bomb, keeping a ship in the center of the screen. It is not known why the program was cancelled.
The cats as bomb guidance system controllers was more than a bit misguided. The cats were to be put into a harness that was attached to the bomb guidance fins, to guide the bomb to a ship below. The idea was that cats do not like water and they always land on their feet, so cats would try to land on their feet on a ship to avoid getting wet in the ocean.. The motions of the cat in a harness were to be used to control the bomb's guidance fins. There is some question as to whether a cat would realize that the blue expanse below them was water, and that the brown or gray spot in the middle of the water was a dry spot. The researchers found an interesting physiological problem with cats; they passed out on the way down to the ground when they were dropped from airplanes. The program was cancelled.
Does anybody else know of any use of animals during WWII as weapons or as weapon controllers?
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