Dieselpunks

Dieselpunk + Steampunk Culture

Going to War with an Onion, Carrot and Goat

Breaching charges are increasingly used by military forces on battlefields around the world. A series of pre-shaped explosives, arranged in a way to blow a hole through or completely demolish a wall or vertical obstruction, breaching charges once exclusive to special operations forces are employed by infantry and Marines alike.

During the Second World War, when tank traps and obstacles slowed or halted the speeding advance of armored forces, a device was needed to destroy those concrete walls or teeth. The British stepped up with the Onion, Carrot and Goat.

The first British World War II demolition charge was the tank mounted Jones Onion. Not unlike a modern day frame charge, but considerably larger, the Jones Onion was mounted to a British Churchill ARVE via two arms on the hull.

The Jones Onion was  a simple steel frame, mounting series of explosive charges. The Churchill would drive up to an obstacle, attach the Onion to it, back away and then fire the charges, destroying it. Photographic evidence show a typical two over three arrangement of demolition charges on the Jones Onion frame.

The next generation was known as the Carrot and Light Carrot. Imagine a carrot at the end of a stick used to entice a stubborn mule forward, that was the Carrot demolition system. An arm off the glacis plate of the Churchill would hang charges from 12 to 35 pounds.

The Carrots would be placed against a target and ignited, without having to back the armored vehicle away. The two steel arms protruding from the hull of the mother tank were sacrificial.

The final series of demolition/breaching charges were the Goat. Essentially an oversized Onion, the Goat was a nearly ton size charged mounted to a ten foot wide frame. Like the Onion, the Goat was affixed to the obstacle and fired when the carrier tank backed away.

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Comment by Jake Holman Jr. on March 31, 2012 at 10:33pm
Cynndara, the Onion and Carrot were developed in 1942. The Goat came along in 1943 into 1944.
Comment by Cynndara Morgan on March 31, 2012 at 10:05pm

Do you have dates as to when these were first used?

Comment by Alex Bolado on December 14, 2011 at 9:45pm

Something about this seems jury-rigged...yet it seems to have worked well. For Carrots, I'd recommend using cheap wood or otherwise nearly-useless materials in place of steel.

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