Paid Advertisement
Historynet/feed historynet feedback facebook link Weider History Group RSS feed Weider Subscriptions Historynet Home page

Goliath Tracked Mine: The Beetle That Started the ROV Craze

By Jon Guttman 
Originally published by Military History magazine. Published Online: May 05, 2011 
Print Friendly
1 comment FONT +  FONT -

Bremen-based Borgward built more than 7,500 Goliaths during World War II. (Illustration by Gregory Proch)
Bremen-based Borgward built more than 7,500 Goliaths during World War II. (Illustration by Gregory Proch)

In late 1940, inspired by a French miniature tracked vehicle prototype it recovered from the Seine, the Wehrmacht Ordnance Bureau ordered Bremen-based automaker Carl F.W. Borgward to develop a similar vehicle, capable of delivering at least 100 pounds of high explosive to a target by remote control. In spring 1942 Borgward rolled out its SdKfz. 302, nicknamed Goliath, powered by two 2.5-kilowatt Bosch electric motors. Its limited range (less than a mile on flat surfaces) and high cost eventually led to its discontinuance. In late 1942 Borgward introduced the SdKfz. 303a, powered by a Zundapp two-cylinder gasoline engine with improved street range of more than seven miles. Two years later it produced the slightly larger 303b, which could carry a 220-pound payload. Borgward built more than 7,500 Goliaths during the war. The Allies called it the "beetle tank."

Subscribe Today

Subscribe to Military History magazine

Operators used a joystick control box connected to the vehicle by a 2,145-foot triple-strand control cable—two strands for steering, one for detonation. Issued to combat engineers and special armored units, the Goliath was designed to disable enemy tanks, disrupt infantry units or demolish strongpoints. Its control cable proved vulnerable to cutting, however, most notably when the Germans deployed it against the Polish Home Army during the 1944 Warsaw Uprising. Though the Goliath saw little use, it did serve as the precursor of the modern radio-controlled robotic vehicles.


One Response to “Goliath Tracked Mine: The Beetle That Started the ROV Craze”


  1. 1

    [...] it is in fact one of the first remote controlled robotic weapons ever created. It was called the Goliath Tracked Mine one of many advanced weapon systems concepts from the past. The weapon was "steered remotely [...]



Leave a Reply

Human Verification: In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Related Articles


History Net Images Spacer
Paid Advertisement
Paid Advertisement
History Net Daily Activities
History net Spacer
History net Spacer
Historynet Spacer
HISTORYNET READERS' POLL

Which of these wars resulted in the most surprising underdog upset?

View Results | See previous polls

Loading ... Loading ...
History net Spacer
STAY CONNECTED WITH US
RSS Feed Daily Email Update
History net Spacer History net Spacer
Paid Advertisement

Paid Advertisement
What is HistoryNet?

The HistoryNet.com is brought to you by the Weider History Group, the world's largest publisher of history magazines. HistoryNet.com contains daily features, photo galleries and over 5,000 articles originally published in our various magazines.

If you are interested in a specific history subject, try searching our archives, you are bound to find something to pique your interest.

From Our Magazines
Weider History Group

Weider History Network:  HistoryNet | Armchair General | Achtung Panzer! | StreamHistory.com
Today in History | Ask Mr. History | Picture of the Day | Daily History Quiz | Contact Us

Copyright © 2013 Weider History Group. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
Advertise With Us | Subscription Help | Privacy Policy