Explosive belt

For the over-the-shoulder police/military belt, see Sam Browne belt.
Chinese suicide bomber putting on an explosive vest made out of Model 24 hand grenades to use in an attack on Japanese tanks at the Battle of Taierzhuang (1938)
A suicide vest captured by the Israel Defense Forces (2002)

An explosive belt (also called suicide belt, suicide vest) is an improvised explosive device, a belt or a vest packed with explosives and armed with a detonator, worn by suicide bombers. Explosive belts are usually packed with ball bearings, nails, screws, bolts, and other objects that serve as shrapnel to maximize the number of casualties in the explosion.

History

The Chinese used explosive vests during the Second Sino-Japanese War. [1] [2] A Chinese soldier detonated a grenade vest and killed 20 Japanese at Sihang Warehouse. Chinese troops strapped explosives like grenade packs or dynamite to their bodies and threw themselves under Japanese tanks to blow them up. [3] This tactic was used during the Battle of Shanghai, where a Chinese suicide bomber stopped a Japanese tank column by exploding himself beneath the lead tank, [4] and at the Battle of Taierzhuang where Chinese troops rushed at Japanese tanks and blew themselves up with dynamite and grenades. [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] During one incident at Taierzhuang, Chinese suicide bombers destroyed four Japanese tanks with grenade bundles. [11] [12]

The use of suicidal attacks to inflict damage upon an enemy predates the Second World War, in which Kamikaze units (suicidal air attacks) and Kaiten ("living torpedoes") were used to attack Allied forces. Japanese soldiers routinely sacrificed themselves by attacking Allied tanks while carrying antitank mines, magnetic demolition charges, hand grenades and other explosive devices.