The armies of the Soviet Union had many weapons at their disposal to counteract the threat of German armoured formations – from orthodox anti-tank rifles, oddball ‘Molotov Cocktail’ throwers and the unconventional use of dogs as living anti-tank mines.
Whilst most nations were finding the anti-tank rifle underpowered against the latest armoured vehicles the Soviet continued to field them in large numbers even though to be truly effective they would need to be fired at a dangerously close range. The Ampulomet was a strange mortar-like device which threw a glass ball containing a mix of phosphorus and sulphur up to 400 yards albeit inaccurately.
Possibly the most unusual and controversial of anti-tank weapons are the ‘dog mines’. Fitted with a simple lever which would trigger the carried charge when the dog sought refuge under enemy tanks or vehicles. Many animals simply ran from the noise and smells of battle whilst others bolted for the safety of Soviet machines or trenches. The Germans were sufficiently startled to shoot all dogs on sight – Dog Mine teams are credited with destroying a number of German tanks at the battle of Kursk.