Silent War Heroes, #SilentHeroes
Throughout the world wars unknown humans and animals -dogs, horses- selflessly and honorably give their lives to save the existence of thousands of unknowns. The millions of soldiers’, pilots’, sailors’ bravery and ingenuity should always be remembered.
They went with a song,
Buried their dreams in green grass.
Red poppy in hand.
During WWII dogs from the “War Dog Training School” near London often gave soldiers, besides loyalty and a trusted and brave companionship, a feeling of home away from home:
WWI was fought mainly in the trenches, hand to hand, face to face, man against man. Civilians knew little of direct war consequences as bomber aircrafts were yet to be developed.
The AVRO 504, one of the 65 airplanes Britain entered the WWI with on Aug 4 1914 had a 80h.p engine. Allies had 220 aircrafts against Germany’s 260.
World War 1 propaganda– dogs were trained to enter No Man’s Land at night to locate fallen soldiers…
1st British airplane, B.E.1, built in 1911 at Balloon Factory (now Farnborough Factory) from a crashed Blerion monoplane. 3years later Britain was flying to war against Germany.
Most popular WWIdogs were medium-sized: Doberman Pincers, German Shepherds.
1911:the Wolsey engine of a Voisin 60h.p donated by Duke of Westminster to the War Office was used as the engine of 1st B.E.1 plane Britain went into WW1 with.
A sentry dogs would growl or bark to alert his duty soldier when a stranger approached.
The very early British planes of WWI had 70 h.p Renault engines, 70 mph speed at ground level, a petrol tank enough for a 3hrs flight and could rise to 10 000ft.
The Renault engine from which the 1A was developed:
Military dogs were used as night message bearers during war due to their excellent night vision.
Early British planes of WW1 could carry a load of 100 lbs & a crew of 2 armed with hand grenades, riffles, pistols… one of which still had to fly the plane.
War dogs of WW1 were trained to hunt cat size rats that lived in the trenches.
Britain fought most of WWI with its Royal Flying Corps and its Royal Naval Air Service. The RAF, Royal Air Force, was formed only on the 1st of April 1918.
If a problem occurred, war messenger dogs had to be able to solve it on their own to still deliver that message.
1st rudimentary WWI planes used in scouting missions behind enemy lines forced an improvement in anti-aircraft guns, which in turn evolved planes’ power, their climb speed and defense systems on board. This is how fighter planes were born.
During the war, dogs provided great comfort to those fighting&living in trenches, providing a bit of home feeling and lots of affection to them.
When WWI started, British air squadrons had 3days to prepare for action – meet at Dover from all over Britain & fly to France, to war, on 12August 1914…
Terrier dogs made great mascots during war, lifting the troops moral… & hunting rats.
1st RFC recorded casualty were Lt. R.R. Skene, ‘Robi’, age 23, and his observer, Air-Mechanic R.K. Barlow of 3rd Squadron during an air crash in a Bleriot aircraft on Aug.12, 1914
Over 53,000 dogs served in World War One.
On the night before taking off for France at the very beginning of WWI, British pilots slept beside their airplanes, in portable timber & canvas hangers.
St Stubby was an American WW1 #dog who saved his regiment from surprise mustard gas attacks.
Lt. Harvey-Kelly of 2nd Squadron was the 1st British pilot to take off for France @ outbreak WW1. He took a shortcut & landed before his CO – this got him into trouble…
a British messenger dog cca 1918.
One of the first WW1 British pilots to take off for France, Lt R.M. Vaughan, did an emergency landing @ Boulogne, was arrested by French authorities & imprisoned 1week… redtape
Sadly, approx. 8million horses & 1million dogs died during WW1
bully beef, bread & biscuits were the ration of WW1 soldiers.”Sing me to sleep, the bullets fall Let me forget the war & all Damp is my dugout, cold is my feet Nothing but biscuits & bully to eat.”
War propaganda often went both ways…
Pilot Norman Spratt on an unarmed scout Sopwith 1seater plane, forced a German plane to land by circling around it.
war #dogs in outpost duty were trained not to bark, only prick their ears…#silentheroes#InternationalVolunteerDay
Lt Leefe-Robinson brought down the 1st German Zeppelin that fell on British soil at Hertfordshire during WW1-he attached it from above with incendiary bullets.
Dogs were also used to transport equipment and wounded soldiers.
2nd Lt Wulstan Tempest brought down a German Zeppelin L31 firing with one hand, while hand-pumping petrol in his own malfunctioning open aircraft- at 15000 ft
Bloodhounds & airedales were trained to find wounded soldiers on battlefields during WW1
Sec.Lt .Tempest on a Zeppelin going up in flames: “got red inside like an enormous Chinese lantern, shot up 200feet, paused and shot past me, roaring like a furnace”
WW1 dogs were often equipped with gas masks for protection…
To intercept German Zeppelins over North Sea during WW1 Bristol Scout single-seater biplanes were ready 4take off fr. carrier Vindex. However,they could not land back on it-so they were fitted wt.airbags to land on water & hoisted aboard the carrier.
A soldier and his beloved and trusted companion, a war dog.
Lacking maps & satellite, first WW1 pilots flew in reconnaissance missions reporting back on movements & position of enemy troops via primitive radios
A dogcart had a different meaning in Belgium during WW1
WW1: beginning of photo.reconnaissance is done by holding cameras over the side of the airplane & changing the photo plate after each shot.
Belgian soldiers used dogs to help them pull their heavy mitrailleuse guns (machine guns)
Early WW1 bombing raids were done wt. rudimentary reconnaissance airplanes: pilots dropped the bombs by hand, “hand jobs”.
During WW1 dogs were seen as mascots in US army. Only during WW2 were they used officially and so the term “wardogs” was born.
Unlike WW1, in #WW2 countries involved used airplanes distinctive to their own culture & scientific progresses.
Dog breads favored in WW2 were German shepherd, Belgian sheepdog, doberman pinscher, collies, huskies, Malamutes & Eskimo dogs.
After DDay volunteers with RAF cleaned old fuel tanks, filled with beer & flew them to the soldiers fighting in Normandy, as a reward
The military working dog Butch, a doberman pinscher, watches while his handler, U.S. Marine Private Rez Hester, naps on the embattled island of Iwo Jima, WW2.
Spitfire, single-seat WW2 RAF fighter aircraft, got its name from a pet-name the factory chairman had for his daughter.
Dobermans were USMC official dogs, labeled “Devil Dogs” from the German nickname given to the American Marines during WW1.
During WW1, at the Battle of Somme, the British used tanks for the 1st time ever, causing panic among the German troops.
Come WW2 and Russians use dogs as anti-tank missiles. Sadly…
Christmas Truce, Weihnachtsfrieden, Trêve de Noël, took place during 24-25 December 1914: British, French & German crossed the trenches to exchange greetings and play soccer.
During WW1: Eskimo dogs were brought from North America to help the French soldiers fighting in the Vosges mountains of the Alps .
“On New Years Eve we called across to tell each other the time and agreed to fire a salvo at 12.” (wrote home Karl Aldage, a German WW1 soldier)
Winter 1914 during WW1: the high level snow in the Vosges mountains made transport of food, warm clothes and ammunition to the soldiers and the removal of the wounded impossible without the help of snow dogs.
No Christmas Truce took place during WW2 although a German woman, Elisabeth Vincken, sheltered and fed three US soldiers and four German ones, all lost and hungry. Nearby the Battle of the Bulge was taking place. It was Christmas Eve, Heiligabend 1944.
WW1 : snow dogs in the Vosges mountains transported 300kg/120km/1day
WW1: New Year’s Eve: there were very few ways of celebrating the New Year. The Scots played their bagpipes and German troops the harmonica. It was a cold night in the trenches.
Even 75 yrs later Marine Corps wardog handler Pvt. Homer J. Finley, Jr. still remembers his dogs…
New Year 1914 in the trenches of WW1: soldiers toasted with grog they brewed themselves. Scots Guards played elegies on their bagpipes.
“Poilus d’Alaska” was a secret WW1 mission that brought 400 Alaskan dogs to France to aid the soldiers in winter.
WW1, winter of 1914- the Christmas Day football truce game between #Germans and the British was won 2-1 by Germans. It was started by a soccer ball kicked from a British trench and ended by two German snipers.
Chips was a Collie–German Shepherd–Siberian Husky mix. He was the military working dog decorated the most during World War 2.
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