While the British use Churchill AVRE for clearing barbed wire, the Americans use the M1A1 Torpedo Bangalore. The Bangalore torpedo was first devised by Captain McClintock, of the British Indian Army unit the Madras Sappers and Miners at Bangalore, India, in 1912. He invented it as a means of exploding booby traps and barricades left over from the Boer and Russo-Japanese Wars. The Bangalore torpedo would be exploded over a mine without the sapper having to approach closer than about 3 m (10 ft). Bangalore Torpedoes are currently manufactured by Mondial Defence Systems of Poole, UK, for the UK and US armed forces. They have been used recently on operations in Afghanistan for actions such as clearing enemy supply dumps within deep cave systems.
By the time of World War I, the Bangalore torpedo was primarily used for clearing barbed wire before an attack. It could be used while under fire, from a protected position in a trench. The torpedo was standardized to consist of a number of externally identical 1.5 m (5 ft) lengths of threaded pipe, one of which contained the explosive charge. The pipes would be screwed together using connecting sleeves to make a longer pipe of the required length, somewhat like a chimney brush or drain clearing rod. A smooth nose cone would be screwed on the end to prevent snagging on the ground. It would then be pushed forward from a protected position and detonated, to clear a 1.5 m (5 ft) wide hole through barbed wire. An example of this technique can be seen in the 1927 silent film Wings. During the 1917 Battle of Cambrai, British Royal Engineers used them as diversions to distract the enemy from where the real battle was to be fought.
The Bangalore torpedo was later adopted by the U.S. Army during World War II, as the M1A1 Bangalore Torpedo. It was widely used by the U.S. Army, notably during D-Day.
The Bangalore Torpedo was obsolete in British use at the time of D-Day having been replaced by rocket launched 'Conger' and Armoured Vehicle Royal Engineers (AVRE) vehicles equipped with a 40 lb explosive charge for bunker clearing.
The Bangalore Torpedo is very popular from the movie Saving Private Ryan.
The M1A1 Torpedo Bangalore is used by the American engineers at a few maps, like Charlie Sector Omaha beach.