How nuke landmines triggered by CHICKENS were developed by Brit scientists at the height of the Cold War

BRITISH Cold War scientists developed massive nuclear landmines operated by CHICKENS in a bizarre bid to guard against a Soviet assault on the rest of Europe.

The seven-tonne bombs – made during top secret Operation Blue Peacock –  would be detonated by the birds to inflict maximum damage on the invading Red Army.

Military engineers believed the chickens – contained inside the mines – would act as a crude but effective timer to trigger a devastating explosion, reports Popular Mechanics.

As the bombs would be buried deep underground, it was feared they may become so cold their detonators would become completely inoperable.

In 1957, British nuclear physicists came up with their far-fetched farmyard theory -which wouldn't look out of place in a Monty Python sketch.

The birds would be put inside the casing of the bomb and given just enough seed to keep them alive and to stop from pecking away at the bomb's wiring.

It was thought the chickens' body heat alone would be enough to maintain the landmine's optimum working temperature.

The scientists estimated the birds would survive for around a week, after which time the bombs would return to an inoperable state.

During the Cold War, the British Army and their NATO allies were heavily outnumbered by their Soviet-aligned Warsaw Pact adversaries.

In the event of World War III the NATO forces, particularly on the North German Plain, were expected to come under intense pressure from the advancing Soviet military machine.



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The landmines made during Operation Blue Peacock were designed to yield a huge 10-kiloton explosion which would produce a crater 375 feet in diameter.

However, it was this immense destructive power which eventually led to the abandonment of the project when it was realised just how much nuclear fallout there would be from such a blast.

By 1958, after the production of only two prototypes, Operation Blue Peacock was abandoned for good by military top brass.




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