Idiotic or Inspired?, Military-Grade Awesome

Blue Peacock

Yesterday we looked at land mines, hideous devices that they are. But what if you don’t want to just kill a few soldiers, but take out an entire army and half a country along with it? Well, the Brits have just the device for you. They called it Blue Peacock, which is just disguising the nuclear-based nutso of this…thing.

The idea was to build a bunch of 10-kiloton nuclear land mines that would be stored in Germany. Should the commie pinkos invade, the mines would be deployed. They could be set off by a wire or by an 8-day timer. In 1957, the British Army ordered ten of these bad boys. Then in 1958, someone wised up to the fact that nuclear fallout and politics of detonating a nuclear device in an ally’s territory may make the Blue Peacock a Not Good Idea™. The project was cancelled.

One of the technical challenges faced by the designers was that it get really cold in Germany. And if these were to be sitting in the ground for an extended period of time, the electronics and other components could fail due to the temperatures. To get around this, several chickens, along with several days worth of food, were loaded into the casing. The body heat from the chickens would keep thing nice and toasty inside, relatively speaking, so the mine wouldn’t fail due to temperature.

Even though these were declassified on April 1, 2004, this is apparently not a joke. The Civil Service does not joke.

[Image Credit: Medford Taylor for National Geographic]

  • The Professor

    A nuclear land mine, eh? That's a new one on me. I suppose kevlar boxers wouldn't help much if you trod on one of these.
    I wonder if the chickens could manage to set one off? They are infernal devices, all on their own.

  • I had heard of Project Pigeon:

    but I must admit that poultry-powered nukes are news to me, too.

  • Number_Six

    Sinister and fowl!

    • B72

      These tactical nukes are for the birds.

  • So are the artillery shells, torpedoes, demolition charges, and depth charges part of this series too?

    • fodder650

      I know of artillery shells and have it almost finished being written. As for demolition charges I have something kind of like that being written as well. Never heard of a nuclear torpedo or depth charge because they would be to big