Something New Every Day: Monkey and Rat Bombs
Well this is unpleasant…
Early in China’s Southern Song dynasty, the Imperial forces used monkey bombs to attack rebels. Their project was nowhere near as sophisticated or tested as the US bat-bomb endeavour, the Chinese Imperial Forces clothed captive monkeys in straw, dipped them in oil, set them ablaze and pointed them at the enemy camp where their terrified scrambling set the tents alight and routed the rebels.
What is wrong with people? To use living creatures in that way. *shakes head*
At least the British centuries later tried to be humane. During World War II, the Special Operations Executive (SOE) planned to litter German factories with dead rats filled with explosives. The plan was that German workmen would find the rat, shovel it up and toss it into the boiler where it would explode. The exploding rat would only create a small explosion but the boiler itself was the primary bomb–the breach in its shell caused by the rat would lead to a factory-destroying explosion.
As it happened the Germans intercepted the first shipment of exploding rats and so the whole plan was foiled. But… ever the optimists, the SOE decided the operation was a terrific success because it consumed so much German intelligence time locating all the dead rats in important parts of Germany to see if they were filled with plastic explosives.