A rather unorthodox new unit for Soviet Armies (and not one for animal lovers!) – Dog Mine Anti-tank Teams:
Before the war the Soviets had experimented with using dogs to deliver explosives to different kinds of enemy target. The original idea was for the dog to drop its charge and return to its handler, but this proved ineffective – many dogs dutifully brought the deadly explosive back to their handlers with disastrous results for all concerned. A less complex solution was to fit the dogs with a mechanism – a simple lever – that would trigger the charge as soon as a dog dived beneath an enemy tank or vehicle, hopefully destroying the tank along with the dog. Although dog mines were used in action, their effectiveness is not easy to assess. Many dogs simply ran from the noise and smells of battle whilst others bolted for the safety of Soviet machines or trenches. The Germans where sufficiently startled to shoot all dogs on sight. Dog mines gradually fell out of use after 1942. They are credited with destroying a number of German tanks at the battle of Kursk.