Essay Example on Animals of World War II









History final paper CD block Animals of World War II As strange as it may sound animals have played important roles in wars both here in America and abroad Whether it be larger animals like elephants horses or donkeys hauling men and supplies dogs sniffing for enemies and explosives or pigeons carrying messages animals have left an indelible mark in the history of wartime Horses to me seem like an obvious animal to start with Not only are they my favorite animal but when I think of animals serving in the military they are the first ones that come to mind Much like the wars of history horses were readily employed in WWII They were used for transporting everything from troops and supplies to artillery and materials Countries like Germany and Russia relied more on horses as actual cavalry than some other countries like America or England did but basically everyone used them to some extent Dogs are another animal that was used in many ways during WWII There is a lot of documented information about dogs helping war efforts in different ways and there have even been dogs given awards for the things they have done Dogs were capable of fighting searching for enemies and smelling explosives Dogs were unfortunately also used for medical research during WWII they tested medication on dogs to ensure that they would be safe for the soldiers to take In England in 1941 ads were put out by the British military asking for civilians to donate their pets for the war efforts The bulletins read To British Dog Owners Your country needs dogs for defence Alsatians Collies and other large breeds Here is your great opportunity to actively help to win the war will you loan one The response was high and the War Dogs Training School opened in 1942 By the end of the war 3 300 dogs had been trained and sent to units around the world Around 200 of these dogs were reported killed or missing in action and others went on to become heroes albeit for the most part unsung At the end of the war many of these wonderful animals were simply disposed of by the authorities and never saw their families again 

There were some dogs who received the recognition that they deserved A Collie German Shepherd Siberian Husky mix named Chips was one such dog He was an American dog and he was the most decorated dog in World War II He served time in Germany France North Africa and Sicily Chips famously carried out an assault on an Italian machine gun nest and helped to take ten enemy Italian soldiers captive Chips was given many awards like the Purple Heart and Silver Star for his heroic actions but they were revoked because military policy at the time didn't allow such commendations to be bestowed upon dogs Chips was returned to his home in Pleasantville NY at the end of the war in 1945 Smoky a Yorkshire Terrier was another famous military dog Smoky was found in the jungle of New Guinea by an American soldier in 1944 abandoned in a foxhole She went on to accompany her savior William Wynne on a dozen combat missions and survived over 150 air raids Smoky was able to hear incoming artillery shells and warn the soldiers Her greatest claim to fame was when she pulled a telegraph wire through a narrow 70 foot pipe at an airstrip in Luzon saving construction time and keeping workers and engineers both safe from enemy fire When Smoky wasn't working she entertained the troops with a variety of tricks and self taught antics lifting their morale Cats too played an important role in WWII Yes they were used as mascots companions and morale boosters but they also had specific tasks and jobs that only they were suited to carry out They helped to keep naval ships free from vermin they acted as couriers of food medicine and supplies and some were even able to detect gases that are harmful to humans 

The allied forces would tie propaganda leaflets to their backs and send them across the borders of enemy lines in the hopes of encouraging axis forces to defect One cat who stood out while I was researching this was Oscar who later became known as Unsinkable Sam Oscar started out as a swastika on the Bismarck which was a German ship on May 18 1941 On May 27 the Bismarck sank after a fierce battle against British forces where of the 2 200 crewmen only 118 survived none of them being Oscar s owner Oscar was found floating on a board left by the wreckage and rescued by the HMS Cossack who took him aboard and gave him the name Oscar Oscar served on the Cossack for the next few months until on October 24 1941 they were torpedoed by the Germans submarine U 563 causing severe damage The HMS Legion another British destroyer ship tried tow the Cossack but this was unsuccessful On October 27 the Cossack sank killing 159 crewmembers but not Oscar At this point Oscar was given the nickname Unsinkable Sam Unsinkable Sam went on to serve with the British forces under consistently perilous conditions until he was discharged in 1943 and sent to live in a seaman's home in Belfast where lived happily until his death in 1955 There is a chance that the story of Oscar is a sea story but I choose to believe it As you can see many animals played many important roles in World War II much like they do in our lives today We are lucky to have them as companions and allies Works Cited History com Staff American Women in World War II History com A E Television Networks 2010 www history com topics world war ii american women in world war ii

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