Animals in the Great War

A third book from a husband and wife team looking at another subject of military history meriting much more coverage. The use of animals in war did not end in 1918 but that was the last major war to depend heavily on animals to provide motive power – Very Highly Recommended.

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NAME: Animals in the Great War
FILE: R2962
AUTHOR: Stephen Wynn, Tanya Wynn
PUBLISHER: Pen and Sword
BINDING: hard back
PRICE: £16.99
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: WWI, World War I, World War 1, First World War,  The Great War, 
1914-1918, trench warfare, Western Front, Middle East, animals, pets, working 
animals, war horse

ISBN: 1-47383-804-5

IMAGE: B2962.jpg
BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/y3fcof6e
LINKS: 
DESCRIPTION: A third book from a husband and wife team looking at another 
subject of military history meriting much more coverage. The use of animals in war 
did not end in 1918 but that was the last major war to depend heavily on animals 
to provide motive power  –   Very Highly Recommended.

The use of animals in war is as old as war itself. Hannibal is most remembered from 
the crossing of the Alps with his war elephants, in many wars the cry was, “unleash 
the dogs of war”, and today dogs are still used to detect threats and work with guards 
and sentries and still the most popular animal as a pet or mascot.

The Great War was the last war where animals were more numerous than humans in 
the battle zones. Buses, taxis, tractors and private cars were used in desperation, 
trains were used to support the war effort, and the first combustion engined vehicles, 
lorries and tanks, began their introduction into war. However, the horse was still the 
most common form of haulage and on occasion had to be brought in to rescue 
vehicles bogged down in the mud. One of the most emotive paintings of horses in 
war was produced by war artist Snaffles, hanging above a fireplace at Arborfield 
College, depicting a QF gun team being hauled at speed through the mud as they 
moved to a new firing position, avoiding enemy counter-battery fire.

Hope and patience were displayed in a photograph of an RNAS pilot standing on the 
float of his Sopwith Baby, launching a carrier pigeon. During WWI huge numbers of 
pigeons were employed to send massages back to the home lofts. RNAS pilots often 
carried one or two pigeons in crates in case they were forced down over the sea 
before radio became a faster and more reliable method of calling for help.

In addition to the many horses, dogs and pigeons a very wide variety of animals 
accompanied troops in action and the ships' cats were both pets and practical 
members of the crew. Cats and dogs were the most common companions and often 
strays that wandered the battle fields. Official mascots were most commonly goats 
or dogs but other animals were also entered into service as mascots, including ponies 
and monkeys. Frequently, all these animals were one rare link to life beyond battle, 
reminders of home and childhood.