Well, many world navies currently make use of Laser Dazzle Sight (LDS) non-lethal weapons. The Royal Navy’s Type 22 frigates have two fitted, if I recall correctly. They’re used to blind the pilots of attacking aircraft.
I have no cite, but I remember the US accusing Russia of using LDS weapons to blind the pilot of a P-3 Orion during the mid-1990s.
NOSC in San Diego had a couple of dolphins for research purposes, but nothing silly like planting explosives. The process of training dolphins to do that would be way too expensive, and the results far too unreliable. SEALS are cheaper, and much more reliable.
IIRC, NOSC was teaching the dolphins to locate ordnance and other high value objects lost at sea.
One of the possible ‘Star Wars’ concepts in the Reagan years was a directed-energy weapon mounted on a converted KC-135. Nothing ever came of it, as DEWs were found to be grossly inefficient for that purpose.
…And Seals can bounce beach balls on their noses, which is much cuter than anything Dolphins do. (Rimshot)
Back to the original topic, a book you might try is Dirty Little Secrets, by James Dunnigan. He mentions some interesting technological side-notes in there, including the Dolphin-training program.
If you’re interested in older unusual experimental military stuff, try www.luft46.com, which has a bunch of German secret projects from the Second World War. (Check out the Horten XVIII, for starters, then the A9/A10 rockets. Yikes!) “Hikoki 1946” at http://j-aircraft.org/xplanes/ is a similar site about experimental Japanese aircraft.
I’ll keep an eye out for any other useful info online.
In a related vein, during WW II, the Soviets trained dogs, by placing the dogs’ food under tanks, to crawl under German tanks with explosive charges strapped to them. That part I’m sure of without a search.
Additional bits I seem to recall, but haven’t verified, were that they had problems with the dogs not disinguishing between German tanks and their own, and that they may have attempted to train the dogs to distinguish between gasoline burning tanks (German) and diesel burning (their own).
I’ve heard that one too. Anthony Beevor’s Stalingrad describes it as a fairly ineffective tactic, since the dogs either didn’t run under the German tanks or the Germans shot them first. On the other hand, it gave the German panzer troops a nasty surprise and hinted at how hard the Russians were prepared to fight.