What are Czech hedgehogs?: Homemade obstacles that can destroy Russian tanks
Czech hedgehogs are angled metal bars. A vehicle such as a tank attempting to drive over it will likely become stuck and possibly damaged.
Can 'Czech hedgehogs' stop Russian tanks as Kyiv dotted with homemade obstacles. Here's a report
The Czech hedgehog is a static anti-tank obstacle defence made of metal angle beams or I-beams. It is used to stop tanks from getting through-line of defence.
It has been understood that the hedgehog is very effective in keeping light to medium tanks and vehicles from penetrating a line of defence as it maintains its function even when tipped over by a nearby explosion.
The structures are angled metal bars. A vehicle attempting to drive over it will likely become stuck and possibly damaged. Czech hedgehogs were used in several countries during World War II.
An AFP report stated that a group of men in the western Ukraine city of Lviv are producing homemade anti-tank obstacles with the help of tutorials on the internet.
Tarass Filipchak, a local said as quoted by news agency: "On the first day (of the invasion), my brother came to me and said: 'Listen, we need anti-tank obstacles'".
He was building a house in Lviv and found that some of the building materials would come in handy to produce the "Czech hedgehog" anti-tank obstacles.
Filipchak posted messages on Facebook or Instagram and then "friends, acquaintances, even people we don't know" came to bring them what they needed or to lend a hand.
In his alleyway, a dozen of the anti-tank structures, each weighing around 100 kilograms, are waiting to be picked up by Ukrainian soldiers.
Filipchak estimated that more than 60 "hedgehogs" have been made since Russia attacked Ukraine on February 24.
Ukraine under attack
Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered "military operations" in Ukraine on February 24. Ever since the country has been facing relentless missile attacks and bombings by Russian armed forces.
The invasion has killed hundreds of people and thousands have been displaced as people are migrating to other countries in order to save their lives.
As the name signifies, the Czech hedgehog originated in what is now the Czech Republic. It was originally used on the Czech-German border by the Czechoslovak border fortifications.
For the unversed, it was a massive fortification system built on the eve of World War II by Czechoslovakia but was never completed.
The fortification system fell to Germany in 1938 after the occupation of the Sudetenland as a consequence of the Munich Agreement.
History documents have revealed that the Czech hedgehog was widely used during World War II by the Soviet Union in anti-tank defence.
(Image credit: WikiCommons)
Reports have noted that Czech hedgehogs were produced from any sturdy piece of metal and sometimes even wood, including railroad ties.
If we talk about the technical specifications, Czech hedgehogs could be constructed from any material capable of withstanding at least 60 tonnes-force, while being at most 1.4 metres high.
The size, however, can be vary considering the clearance under the enemy tank. If a tank attempts to move the hedgehog would instead roll on top of the hedgehog and get stuck.
If we talk about the impact and usefulness of Czech hedgehogs, in some forms of warfare, they proved to be less effective as they were often made larger than they should have been.
Czech hedgehogs appeared in many images of the Normandy invasion and they were part of the defences of the Atlantic Wall.
(Image credit: WikiCommons)