A camouflet, in military science
Military science
Military science is the process of translating national defence policy to produce military capability by employing military scientists, including theorists, researchers, experimental scientists, applied scientists, designers, engineers, test technicians, and military personnel responsible for...

, is an artificial cavern created by an explosion
An explosion is a rapid increase in volume and release of energy in an extreme manner, usually with the generation of high temperatures and the release of gases. An explosion creates a shock wave. If the shock wave is a supersonic detonation, then the source of the blast is called a "high explosive"...

. If the explosion reaches the surface then it is called a crater
Subsidence crater
A subsidence crater is a hole or depression left on the surface of an area which has had an underground explosion. Many such craters are present at the Nevada Test Site, which is no longer in use for nuclear testing....


The term originated in a countermine dug by defenders to defend against the undermining of a fortress's walls during a siege
A siege is a military blockade of a city or fortress with the intent of conquering by attrition or assault. The term derives from sedere, Latin for "to sit". Generally speaking, siege warfare is a form of constant, low intensity conflict characterized by one party holding a strong, static...

. The defenders would dig a tunnel under the attackers' tunnel. An explosive charge would be set off to create a camouflet that would collapse the attackers' tunnel.

More recently, the term has been used to describe the effects of very large bombs like the Grand Slam bomb
Grand Slam bomb
The Grand Slam was a 22,000 lb earthquake bomb used by RAF Bomber Command against strategic targets during the Second World War.Known officially as the Bomb, Medium Capacity, 22,000 lb, it was a scaled up version of the Tallboy bomb and closer to the original size that the bombs' inventor,...

, which are designed to penetrate next to a large target structure and create a camouflet to undermine the foundations of the structure. It has been observed that it is more efficient to penetrate ground next to the target than on target.
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