Germany claims victory in war with the weasels

The war in Afghanistan was sometimes described as the “forgotten war”, hence the nickname Afghanistan given to the cricketer Mark Waugh who was overshadowed by his more decorated twin brother Steve. Another neglected war was described in the Washington Post section of The Weekend Australian – this is the war with the weasels fought by the German car makers.

Apparently the stone marten weasel took to climbing inside German cars and eating plastic hoses and tubes. This became a serious insurance issue and it especially concerned German car makers who feared that the pest attacks might divert buyers to less edible foreign vehicles. Car parts are not part of their diet but the plastic components apparently drive the weasels into a rage.

The Germans were not prepared to lose another war to a  bunch of  weasels so Audi and Mercedes Benz hired a biologist in 1982. After field work on the weasel attacks he locked up luxury cars up in cages with weasels and filmed them ripping parts of the cars to shreds.

Moving on to prevention, sprays made from dog and bear urine did not work and more sophisticated strategies were required.

Then, Manfred Gutjahr, a senior research executive at Daimler, took Mr Kugelschafter’s research and launched the Manhattan Project of Germany’s weasel defence. His key legacy was the Weidenzaunprinzip, or “pasture fence principle”: an electric fence woven around the engine to zap the critters. In 1985, Mr Gutjahr and his team registered the first patent for a weasel defence system that remains the anti-weasel weapon of choice today.

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16 Responses to Germany claims victory in war with the weasels

  1. pbw

    The application is obvious, isn’t it?

  2. Buccaneer

    Can we get one of those over here for the lodge? Might stop Albo getting in next time…

  3. yarpos

    We spent five years in Europe, and when establishing car insurance there was the weasel insurance option that was recommended. My reaction was what? Back up the truck , what are you talking about? The reaction was along the lines of , you Australians are so funny you really dont get it do you.

    We bought the weasel insurance. One of my colleagues had her coolant hoses eaten by these critters.

  4. Leo G

    Sounds like Daimler has a Volks Wiesel killer.

  5. MikeS

    Triggered by references to car insurance, a different application of the “pasture fence principal” from
    Robocop 2

  6. OldOzzie

    Here in Australia it is rats

    Was parked near Windorah by the creek during a rat plague, on a 4WD trip across the Simpson – meeting point for some of the group and one of the 4wds . that had been there a couple of days had had their electrical cables and hoses chewed, said to leave the bonnet up seemed to solve the problem, which we did.

  7. flyingduk

    Something similar happened to my Golf whilst I was in Afghanistan: rats (I presume) gnawed on the wiring loom here in Oz.

  8. JohnJJJ

    The plastic around electric cables is sweet. Ask any electrician. Kids will chew on it as well. Solution: don’t make it delicious.

  9. Aynsley Kellow

    I also had rats gnaw away at the ignition harness of a Mitsubishi her in Hobart once. Had no idea why it wouldn’t start – and was incredulous when told why!

  10. old bloke

    Wombats in South Australia have chewed through fibre optic communication cables which connect Western Australia to the rest of the nation.

    Would the Germans vehicles be safer if they used Esso fuels? I’m sure they wouldn’t have a weasel under the bonnet if they had a tiger in their tank.

  11. Fair Shake of the Sauce Bottle

    How many fuel efficient are these weasel engines?

  12. Fair Shake of the Sauce Bottle

    Typo : how fuel efficient…

  13. iain russell

    Clever Clogs, the Huns. Why oh why did they fail at the Energiewende?

  14. Terry Andrews

    Run out of Zyklon B?

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