Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.

Archive for December 3, 2014

A dog and a US Marine who is comfortably occupying a “fighting hole” in Guam, during World War II; 1944

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This happened next:

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While the Army had put war dogs to good use already, mainly for sentry and guard duties, World War II was the first organized deployment of canine warriors by the Marine Corps, and the Marines intended to bring the dogs into the field, sniffing out enemy positions to warn of ambushes and ferrying messages back and forth.

Only a select few were accepted into service, and even then they would undergo rigorous training to prepare them for life in the combat zone. In total, 1,074 dogs were ‘enlisted’ in the Marine Corps, and 29 would die in combat, along with just under 200 fatalities from disease or accidents. After a year of organization and training, the 1st Marine War Dog Platoon entered action on Bougainville on November 1st, 1943. During the long ride through the Pacific, the handlers were considered to be pretty strange, and their mission was questioned by many, but once they entered combat, the value of the “Devil Dogs” was pretty quickly apparent, and Marine War Dogs would serve through the end of the war.

After the war, an outcry ended plans to euthanize the remaining veteran animals, and instead they were put through demilitarization training, with almost universal success. Many were returned to their families, although in more than a few cases, the Marine handler would bring the dog back to civilian life with him.


 

War Dogs: Tales of Canine Heroism, History, and Love:

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Fanny Duberly who travelled along with British troops throughout the Crimean War, is seen here with her husband Captain Henry Duberly in Crimea; 1855

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Frances Isabella (“Fanny”) Duberly (27 September 1829 – January 1903) was an English soldier’s wife who published a journal of her experiences on campaign in the Crimean War and the Indian Rebellion of 1857. Her husband, Captain Henry Duberly, was paymaster to the 8th Royal Irish Hussars, part of the British light cavalry that took part in the Charge of the Light Brigade. Duberley’s journal of her time in the Crimea was published as Journal Kept During the Russian War. It not only includes eye-witness accounts, but is also a record of gossip and rumours circulating in the British Army.

Duberly’s adventures did not always sit well with society. She was pointedly snubbed at the Royal review of her husband’s regiment after the war. The journal she published after the war had originally been intended to have a dedication to Queen Victoria, but this was refused, much to her dismay. Nonetheless she was popular with the troops (who nicknamed her “Mrs. Jubilee”) and many people in England. Her published journal met with some success and prints of a photo of her taken by Roger Fenton sold quite well. (Wikipedia)

An interesting article about her in The Telegraph: She wanted to cause a stir… and she did.


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Geronimo and his warriors. One of the only known photos of Indian combatants still in the field who had not yet surrendered to the United States; ca. March 1886

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