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.
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
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.