In Italy the Germans have used several types of
small, remote-controlled, tank-like vehicles containing
demolition charges. (The enemy also has used similar
devices in Russia.) These vehicles appear to have been
designed principally for use against tanks and pillboxes.
The control is effected by means of a three-wire cable which
unwinds from the miniature tank as it moves forward.
The specifications of the several models of this
contraption vary somewhat, although not appreciably.
One type has an approximate over-all length of 5 feet
4 inches, an approximate over-all width of 34 1/2 inches,
and an approximate over-all height of 20 inches (see
fig. 1). The body of the vehicle is made of thin steel,
and is divided into three compartments. One contains
the explosive charge (reported as about 80 pounds in a
recent instance), another houses four relays for
controlling the two electrically driven motors and for
detonating the charge, and a third contains the drum
of three-wide control cable. A cable guide made of
steel is mounted on the rear of the vehicle.
|Figure 1.—A German Remote-controlled Demolition Vehicle.|
The machine can travel at a rate of speed which is
equivalent to a fast walk. The operator at the control
panel can direct the vehicle forward, to the left, or to
the right, and can detonate the charge at whatever time
he considers appropriate.
One of the drawbacks of this demolition vehicle is
that the operator must have direct observation both on
the vehicle and the target. It is believed that the
preferred German method of operation is to direct the
vehicle in a zigzag manner toward its target. The
vehicle cannot travel over very rough terrain, and is
definitely vulnerable to small-arms fire.