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Old 10-15-2015, 12:09 PM   #1
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I did some research in how dogs lived in WW1 and WW2. This is going to be a huge post to read with a lot of old pictures.


The interest in using dogs by the U. S. Marine Corps began in 1935 when Central American guerrilla soldiers used dogs as sentries to alert the soldiers. Additionally, the Germans utilized canine troops in World War I. This lead to the use of dogs in combat duringWorld War II as scouts, couriers, and infantry dogs, where the dogs were ideally suited to the dense tropical vegetation of the Pacific islands.
Camp LeJuene, North Carolina was the home of the war Dog Training School, where dogs began their training with the rank of private; war dogs actually could out-rank their handlers. Seven War Dog Platoons were trained at Camp LeJeune.

The breed of choice for the combat dog was the Doberman pinscher. German tax collector Louis Doberman first developed this versatile breed in the Apolda region of Germany to suit his own need for a loyal, obedient, fiercely protective dog to accompany him in his rounds as a tax collector. Later, the dogs were trained as police dogs in 19th Century Germany. During WWII, approximately 75% of dogs used during combat were Doberman pinschers, with 25% German Shepherds. Through a non-profit organization, Dogs for Defense, the public could loan their family dogs to the Marine Corps. The Doberman Pinscher Club of America also supplied many of the war dogs.

Each dog went through a rigorous course of obedience for a period of six weeks. After basic training, the dogs were divided into groups for specialized training: scout, messenger or infantry. Scout dogs were sent first with the handler to detect mines or enemy troops. Messenger dogs would follow their handler's trail and carry correspondence or supplies. Infantry dogs alerted the troops of the enemy's presence.


The dogs used signals to alert the soldiers of Japanese presence as they were trained not to bark. The dogs could detect a human scent up to one-half mile away. During the war, the Japanese ambushed none of the War Dog platoons. Each of the seven War Dog platoons fought in various locations in the Pacific during WWII, including Guam, Okinawa, and Guadalcanal.

In August 1945, the war Dog Platoons were disbanded. Many of the dogs were retrained for civilian life and sent back to their families, while several remained with their handlers. There were 1,047 dogs enlisted during the war, with 465 serving in combat. Twenty-five dogs died during service in the Pacific during the war.

Through of the efforts of Dr. William W. Putney, a WWII veteran and member of a War Dog platoon, the first War Dog Memorial, a life-size bronze of a Doberman pinscher, was unveiled on the U. S. Naval Base on Guam during the 50th anniversary of the liberation of that island.


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Wearing a steel helmet, a bulldog guards a London flat. Stubborn but lovable, bulldogs became a symbol of the United Kingdom itself. Prime Minister Winston Churchill himself was often referred to as "the British Bulldog."

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A German shepherd poses with RAF flyers who bombed Nazi warships. Other popular mascots with the RAF included terriers, white rabbits, goats, and even geese and ducks.

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Awaiting evacuation, a young refugee hangs onto his dog's leash in 1940. Vast numbers of pets were, not surprisingly, separated from their families during the war, while breeding progams and animal shelters were often shuttered or cast into disarray.



A British shelter worker protects a dog in 1941. The National Canine Defence League not only protected dogs, it also used dog-hair combings to knit into clothing for the troops.

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Kicks the dog learns to stay calm under fire. Germans made frequent use of German shepherds as patrol and guard dogs. In the U.K., however, they were renamed Alsatians.

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Old 10-15-2015, 12:18 PM   #2
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A dog wears a gas mask and another carries rations for a wounded soldier in 1939 England. Airedales were a favorite of British troops, and were trained not for speed but dependability



A dog gets treated in Guam in 1943. In the 1944 Battle of Guam, 25 U.S. Marine dogs were killed. They'd been trained to sniff out the enemy and traps as well as carry messages, medicine, and ammo.



During World War II, Marine dogs "led over 550 patrols on Guam alone, and encountered enemy soldiers on over half of them, but were never once ambushed," wrote William W. Putney, C.O. of the 3rd War Dog Platoon.



Soldiers and their dogs patrol an L.A. beach in 1943. Some 19,000 dogs -- many of them domestic pets -- were "drafted" for possible military use from 1942 to 1945. A little over half were enlisted into service.



Butch, a Spaniel mascot, looks greenish aboard an American Navy ship. The most famous U.S. military dog was Chips, a German Shepherd-Collie-Husky mix that attacked and captured a crew of enemy machinegunners fortified in a pillbox in Sicily in 1943.

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Old 10-15-2015, 12:37 PM   #3
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Bombed out of his clinic, a vet attends to a patient outside in 1944 England.



A Japanese soldier training a GSD in 1937



Dogplatoon Guam, 1944



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Old 10-15-2015, 12:51 PM   #4
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Types of Dogs Used.


In 1942 and 1943, when practically all of the dogs were trained to perform the comparatively simple tasks involved in sentry duty more than thirty breeds of both sexes were considered suitable for military service.

Experience revealed, however, that even for sentry duty some breeds were just unsatisfactory. Among these were the Great Danes, whose large size made them difficult to train, and also hunting dog breeds in general because they were too easily distracted by animal scents.


By the fall of 1944 the number of preferred breeds had been reduced to seven: German Shepherds, Belgian sheep dogs, Doberman Pinschers, collies, Siberian Huskies, Malamutes and Eskimo dogs. Mixed crosses of these breeds also were acceptable.

Alaskan Malamute: Polar regions knew him well as one of the old- est and best of the sled breeds, with fine large "snow shoe" type feet, endowed with thick pads and abundant hair to cushion between the toes.

Belgian Sheep Dog: Thousands of these alert and loyal dogs were trained as messengers in the First World War, and many were killed in action. He is the "Dog of Flanders," in Quida's novel.

Collies: His traits were speed, alertness, endurance and tractability. The British made frequent use of him as a war dog. In general, the so called farm type without to long a coat was preferred.

Doberman Pinscher: Originally bred in Germany as a police and war dog, he possessed nervous energy, speed, power, keen nose, tractability and exceptional agility. This breed was favored by the Marine Corp.

Eskimo: Another of the great sled breeds. An Eskimo could haul from one and a half to double its body weight; and average from twenty to thirty miles daily on long trips.

German Shepherd: He had the look of the wolf, probably an older ancestor. One of the great German breeds, he shepherded the flocks of those early Germanic tribes, the Cimbri and Teutoni. The breed is said to have been launched on its popularity in the United States by the number of German Shepherds brought back by veterans of the First World War. His keen nose, power, courage and other war dog qualities would finally make him preeminent of the breeds used.
Siberian Husky: Another sled dog breed, with feet well adapted for traction over ice and snow; along with speed, endurance and ability to work in a team.

At the beginning of the program, dogs of acceptable breeds from one to five years old were taken. It was soon found that dogs of five years were to old to begin their training, so the maximum procurement age was lowered first to three and one half years and then to two in the fall of 1944 when most of the dogs were being trained for tactical service.

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Old 10-15-2015, 12:57 PM   #5
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During World War I the Germans used dogs in the military. The experience in Germany with military dogs during World War I led the government to establish an organization that would be involved in breeding and training military and police dogs. The organization also bought dogs from private breeders. It is estimated that by the time the U.S. got involved in World War II that the Germans had trained 200,000 military and police dogs. The Germans provided 25,000 trained military dogs to their ally, Japan, that were used in the war against China.

The Russians also trained and used dogs in their military. White Samoyeds were used to pull white-clad marksmen on sleds close to enemy lines. In one sector of the front, a team of sled dogs carried 1,239 wounded men from the battlefield and hauled 327 tons of ammunition within a five week period. Dog teams were used to pull guns, men, and supplies. One Russian correspondent stated that "dogs have saved thousands upon thousands of lives on the Russian front."

Americans have always been great dog lovers and owners, but before World War II there was no formal training for military dogs. There was also very little use of dogs by the police. The use of dogs of any breed by the police and military really did not exist until World War II. In Europe, dogs bred to herd sheep and cows were trained in police and military work. In the U.S., herding dogs did little "real" work as there weren't many sheep and men on horse back, cowboys, did the cattle herding.

In a great many ways, not just military dogs, the U.S. was unprepared for war when World War II came to the country on a Sunday, December 7, 1941. The real miracle of World War II was how an unprepared nation could achieve victory in four years.


U.S. Marine Corps
The Corps was originally thought of as the "soldiers of the fleet". Although still under the Naval Department, the Marines are now mainly land and air fighters who are supported by ships for coastal assaults and for supplies. So much of the fighting the U.S. did between World War I and World War II involved sending troops to foreign shores. The Marines gained a great deal of experience in fighting in countries all over the globe.

As early as 1935, the Marines were interested in war dogs. They had experienced the enemy's sentry dogs used in Haiti and in the other "Banana Wars" in Central America where dogs staked around guerrilla camps in the jungle sounded the alarm at the approach of the Marines. Time and again, the Marines found "beans cooking in the pot", tents, clothes, everything except enemy soldiers and their weapons. The Marines learned the value of dogs used as sentries and scouts. One Marine trained a dog to scout at the head of patrols to alert him to ambushes. It was the Marine Corps veterans that convinced their leaders of the need for dogs.



Although prior to Pearl Harbor, the citizens of the U.S. were opposed to getting involved with the war that was going on in Europe and Asia, the Marines thought they would have to fight the Japanese in the Pacific. Since the Japanese were well established in the islands and atolls of the central, south, and west Pacific, the Marines knew they were going to be fighting in tropical climates where the vegetation provided jungle-like coverage. In such conditions, dogs would be ideal sentries and couriers. It was no surprise later that the Marine Corps had the first large dog unit in the nation's history to see action against the enemy.

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Old 10-15-2015, 01:02 PM   #6
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In Norway, this dog received training for actions in snowy terrain from its German Waffen-SS handler.






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Old 10-15-2015, 01:05 PM   #7
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Old 10-15-2015, 01:09 PM   #8
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When the Japanese Army war dog Saburo was deployed to the front lines in 1937, he received all the encouragement and honor that a soldier would





The Russians also trained and used dogs in their military. White Samoyeds were used to pull white-clad marksmen on sleds close to enemy lines. In one sector of the front, a team of sled dogs carried 1,239 wounded men from the battlefield and hauled 327 tons of ammunition within a five week period. Dog teams were used to pull guns, men, and supplies. One Russian correspondent stated that "dogs have saved thousands upon thousands of lives on the Russian front."

Americans have always been great dog lovers and owners, but before World War II there was no formal training for military dogs. There was also very little use of dogs by the police. The use of dogs of any breed by the police and military really did not exist until World War II. In Europe, dogs bred to herd sheep and cows were trained in police and military work. In the U.S., herding dogs did little "real" work as there weren't many sheep and men on horse back, cowboys, did the cattle herding.

In a great many ways, not just military dogs, the U.S. was unprepared for war when World War II came to the country on a Sunday, December 7, 1941. The real miracle of World War II was how an unprepared nation could achieve victory in four years.

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Old 10-15-2015, 01:13 PM   #9
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The Russians also trained and used dogs in their military. White Samoyeds were used to pull white-clad marksmen on sleds close to enemy lines. In one sector of the front, a team of sled dogs carried 1,239 wounded men from the battlefield and hauled 327 tons of ammunition within a five week period. Dog teams were used to pull guns, men, and supplies. One Russian correspondent stated that "dogs have saved thousands upon thousands of lives on the Russian front."

Americans have always been great dog lovers and owners, but before World War II there was no formal training for military dogs. There was also very little use of dogs by the police. The use of dogs of any breed by the police and military really did not exist until World War II. In Europe, dogs bred to herd sheep and cows were trained in police and military work. In the U.S., herding dogs did little "real" work as there weren't many sheep and men on horse back, cowboys, did the cattle herding.

In a great many ways, not just military dogs, the U.S. was unprepared for war when World War II came to the country on a Sunday, December 7, 1941. The real miracle of World War II was how an unprepared nation could achieve victory in four years.


U.S. Marine Corps
The Corps was originally thought of as the "soldiers of the fleet". Although still under the Naval Department, the Marines are now mainly land and air fighters who are supported by ships for coastal assaults and for supplies. So much of the fighting the U.S. did between World War I and World War II involved sending troops to foreign shores. The Marines gained a great deal of experience in fighting in countries all over the globe.

As early as 1935, the Marines were interested in war dogs. They had experienced the enemy's sentry dogs used in Haiti and in the other "Banana Wars" in Central America where dogs staked around guerrilla camps in the jungle sounded the alarm at the approach of the Marines. Time and again, the Marines found "beans cooking in the pot", tents, clothes, everything except enemy soldiers and their weapons. The Marines learned the value of dogs used as sentries and scouts. One Marine trained a dog to scout at the head of patrols to alert him to ambushes. It was the Marine Corps veterans that convinced their leaders of the need for dogs.

Although prior to Pearl Harbor, the citizens of the U.S. were opposed to getting involved with the war that was going on in Europe and Asia, the Marines thought they would have to fight the Japanese in the Pacific. Since the Japanese were well established in the islands and atolls of the central, south, and west Pacific, the Marines knew they were going to be fighting in tropical climates where the vegetation provided jungle-like coverage. In such conditions, dogs would be ideal sentries and couriers. It was no surprise later that the Marine Corps had the first large dog unit in the nation's history to see action against the enemy.








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Old 10-15-2015, 01:16 PM   #10
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On January 26, 1943, the first six dogs were "inducted" into the Marine Corps on the steps of the U.S. Subtreasury Building in New York City with full publicity coverage. One of the six was to be the first Marine Devil-Dog killed in action.

Arriving in Camp LeJeune, the canine recruits were first entered in a forty-page dog service record book. The Marine Corps was the only branch of the service to have such a record for their dogs. The Dobes were tattooed on the inside of the right ear. Their number was recorded in their service record book, along with their call name, breed, date of birth and date of enlistment. Notes were kept on the type of training the dogs received and when they qualified for each type, such as obedience, scout, messenger, and special work. The Dobes were given thorough examinations and tested for tractability, corrigibility, shyness, and aggressiveness. Considering the fact that the testers were new at what they were testing, one can assume that the tests were not very rigorous nor very scientific. The Dobes had to be at least 50 pounds and twenty inches high at the withers. Dogs who failed the tests for one reason or another were sent home.

Dobes began their training as Privates. They were promoted on the basis of their length of service. After three months the Dobe became a Private First Class, one year a Corporal, two years a Sergeant, three years a Platoon Sergeant, four years a Gunner Sergeant, and after five years a Master Gunner Sergeant. The Dobes could eventually outrank their handlers.

The Dobe handlers were just out of boot camp or transfers from other outfits. Prior handling of dogs was not a requirement. Each dog selected as a scout dog was assigned to one handler. Each messenger dog was assigned to two handlers. They all went through an intensive course of obedience for a period of six weeks. The dogs were taught to heel, down, crawl, come, or stay on both voice commands and arm and hand signals. During this early training, no Marine was allowed to molest or play with another Marine's dog. After the basic training when the handlers and the dogs were well indoctrinated, it was possible to have the dogs respond to other handlers in case it was necessary to bring a dog under control in an emergency.

Following basic training, the dogs were divided up for specialized training. Messenger dogs were taught to carry messages, ammunition or special medical supplies from one handler to the other handler. They were subjected to overhead rifle and machine gun fire and explosions of heavy charges of dynamite and TNT to simulate an nearly as possible actual battlefield conditions.

The scout dogs were trained to warn the troops of the approach or the nearness of any other humans. Dogs usually alert to the presence of strangers by barking. About a year ago two supposed scientists reported that dogs barked because they wanted to and there was nothing humans can do to change that. This nonsense was reported in articles in many newspapers. The Devildogs were trained not to bark. A sentry dog was to alert the troops of the enemy, not to bark and tell the enemy where the troops were. The detection of strangers was signaled by the dogs in different ways but not by barking.

The Dobes were trained to detect the presence of the enemy and if necessary attack, but this latter part was not emphasized. In fact, the detection part of the Dobe's job was so important that the Marines did not want to risk the Dobes by getting them involved in an attack. The Marines stated that they had enough weapons to attack Japanese with, they did not need dogs to do that. Messenger dogs were trained to avoid all men except their handlers.



Combat
During 1942, Japanese forces conquered Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, and Burma on the western edge of the Pacific; the Philippines, the Marianas, and the Solomon Islands in the central west Pacific. It was not until the Battle of Midway that the Japanese lost a battle. At Midway, the Japanese lost four of their aircraft carriers and hundreds of their best pilots.

Knowing that the last country in the Pacific that could possibly stop the Japanese advance was Australia, the Japanese forces moved south towards Australia taking island groups and New Guinea. In late 1942, the U.S. Forces fought the Japanese on Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands which are northeast of Australia. After long and bloody battles, the Americans were victorious on Guadalcanal.

The larger island in the Solomon's was Bougainville. The Marines landed on Bougainville in 1943. After the landing sites were bombed and shelled, the dog platoon was sent ashore just one hour after the first Marines hit the beach, under heavy mortar and rifle fire. The Devildogs were met with mixed reactions by the fighting Marines. There was one thing that quickly changed the Marines' view of the dogs to a very positive one. In landing and fighting on islands quite often the Marines were stopped for a time on the beaches. It was a common tactic for the Japanese to infiltrate the beach positions at night and attempt to kill the Marines. To prevent this the Marines were always on the alert at night. One night a Marine battalion fired 3,800 rounds, killing a water buffalo and wounding one of their own Marines. No enemy were known to be in the area. The next night the Devildogs were called in. It was a quiet night and the Marines got some sleep. The Dobes keen sense of smell and hearing could detect the presence of men several hundred yards away. In one instance, the dogs detected the presence of troops one half mile away. The Dobes' handlers always had help digging foxholes, the other Marines always wanted the handler and their dogs nearby. No unit protected by one of the dogs was ever ambushed by the Japanese or was there ever a case of Japanese infiltration.

During World War II, seven War Dog Platoons were trained at Camp LeJeune, North Carolina. All platoons served in the Pacific in the war against the Japanese. The First War Dog Platoon served with the 2nd Raider Battalion on Bougainville. From this and other units, the First Marine Brigade was formed and invaded Guam along with the 3rd Marine Division and the 77th Army Division. More units were added to form the 6th Marine Division which invaded Okinawa. The First War Dog Platoon saw action on Bougainville, Guam, and Okinawa. The 2nd and 3rd War Dog Platoons saw action on Guadalcanal, Kwajalein, Enewetak, and Guam.

During the battles, the dogs led infantry points on advances, explored caves, pill boxes, dugouts, and scouted fortified positions. They did sentry duty with military police at crossroads day and night. They occupied foxholes in forward outposts at night. They and their handlers were officially credited with leading three hundred and fifty patrols during the mop up phases of the battles. The handlers accounted for over three hundred enemy slain. Only one handler was killed on patrol. During the Guam campaign fourteen dogs were killed in action and ten more died from exhaustion, tropical maladies, heat stroke, accidents, and anemia from hookworm. These twenty-four were buried in the War Dog Cemetery on Guam.

The Amazing Dobermans
In the 1940's when Doberman Pinschers became war dogs - Devildogs - they were a new breed to most people in the United States. Dr. William W. Putney, Marine Corps Veterinarian and Captain, had never seen a Doberman when he graduated from veterinary school, nor had most of his colleagues. Wherever the Marine Devildogs went, they attracted the curious attention of people who had heard about the sleek and powerful breed but never had seen them. On Guam, the people who lived through the Japanese occupation remember the Devildogs as "The Dobermans" or "Ah, The Dobermans" because they remember how valuable they were in the liberation of their island home.

Afterwards
In August 1945, the Marines began to close the War Dog Training School and to disband the War Dog Platoons. Some of the Dobes, after retraining, were sent home to their original owners, some went home with Marine handlers and a number of them were destroyed because no one wanted them. The Devildogs became history and for the most part forgotten history.

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