World War: Remembering the animals who fought with the Army

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Corporal ranked Wojtek bear was a soldier of 22nd Artillery Supply Company of the Polish II Corps. Wojtek helped move ammunition.

Wojtek bear

The most famous war in the history, Second World War saw the fight between the superpower nations in the world. There were millions of soldiers employed to compete against each other. Little do we know that there were even animals employed along with the army. They were not just the part of army, they were like soldiers with ranks and food allowance.

These animals included dogs, bears, goats, pigs, horses, birds, elephants and many more. Armymen respected them and took care of these animals like their fellow friends. All these animals helped the army and saved the lives of civilians and as well as soldiers. Lets meet these notable soldiers-

  • Corporal ranked Wojtek bear, a Syrian brown bear who was a soldier at 22nd Artillery Supply Company of the Polish II Corps. He lived for 21 years from 1942 to 1963. There are many statues made in the memory of Wojtek.
  • Female war dog Smoky, a Yorkshire Terrier breed. She worked for 5th Air Force, 26th Photo Recon Squadron. She helped Air force build an airbase. With her tricks she also use to entertain the bored troops. She lived for 14 years from 1943 to 1957.
  • Bamse, a St. Bernard dog breed. He worked for Royal Norwegian Navy by patrolling the coasts and later became the official crew member. He saved lieutenant commander from the sea, he use to stop fights amongst his crew-mates by putting his paws on their shoulders and many more more heroic acts. Navy wore him a metal helmet. He later became the military mascot. He lived for 7 years from 1937 to 1944.
  • Pig 311 & Goat 315, in 1946 U.S. government exploded two atomic bombs at the Bikini Atoll for testing. There were target ships left at the blast site with many rats, pigs and goats. Later when they checked the blast site they found Pig 311 and Goat 315 alive. They were then sent to zoo for display and later these animals got famous in America. Pig was a female who died in 1950.
  • Use of Horses in World War II, they helped in transporting troops, artillery and material. Every nation in the war used horses according to their need. German Army and Russian Red Army employed more than six million horses.
  • Sergeant ranked Gander, a Newfoundland dog breed who was awarded with PDSA Dickin Medal in year 2000. He worked for Canadian Army. He picked up thrown Japanese hand grenade and rushed towards the enemy and died in the explosion thus saving the lives of several Canadian soldiers.
  • Gunner, an Australian Kelpie breed dog. He worked for Royal Australian Air Force. He helped air force in warning about air attack by jumping again & again. He use to go for movies and flying with pilots. He ward born on 1941 whereas his death is not recorded.
  • Use of pigeons in World War. Army used pigeons to transfer the message instead of radios in certain operations. Sometimes there was a threat of signal hacking or even due to inconvenience, the use of pigeons was safe and easy.
  • Use of elephants in World War. Elephants helped in building bridges, launch ships and loading of heavy missiles into airplanes.

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War dog Smoky. She worked for 5th Air Force, 26th Photo Recon Squadron

War dog Smoky

Bamse was the military mascot for Royal Norwegian Navy

Bamse

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Pig 311 & Goat 315

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Gander

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Gunner

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Use of pigeons in World War

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Use of Horses in World War

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Use of elephants in World War

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