10 beautiful quotes about war from Shakespeare’s literature

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Military dogs are widely used on the modern battlefield, especially during special operations. The concept dates back to Roman times when legionaries lined up heavy Mastiffs with armored collars to attack an enemy’s legs and force them to lower their shields. During World War II, the United States Marine Corps decided to experiment with the use of dogs in the Pacific.

(United States Marine Corps)

The University of the Marine Corps attributes the idea of ​​using dogs in jungle warfare to a naval officer serving as a Haitian guard in the 1920s. He trained a dog to work on his patrols to exhibit the ambushes of the bandits. In 1935, Operation Smalls Wars doctrine published by Marine Corps schools read: “Dogs on Reconnaissance, – – Dogs have been used to indicate the presence of a hidden enemy, especially ambushes.” The concept was relaunched in 1942.

On November 26, 1942, the commanding officer of the Marine Corps wrote a letter to the commanding general of the Fleet Marine Force training center, Marine Barracks, New River, North Carolina, which was renamed Camp Lejeune the following month. In it, the commander dictated to the general “to initiate a program of training dogs for military employment when personnel and equipment are available.” At that time, 24 Marines were undergoing dog training at other bases and would bring 42 army dogs back with them to New River. The commander noted that 20 more dogs would be purchased by Miss Roslyn Terhune, receiving obedience training in Baltimore, Maryland, and shipped to New River in late January 1943.

(United States Marine Corps)

The Marine Corps also received dogs from Dogs for Defense, Inc., the Doberman Pinscher Club of America, and even ordinary citizens seeking to contribute to the war effort. Individual owners wrote to the Marine Corps and offered their animals on a donation basis. The Marine Corps standard for dogs was 1 to 5 years old, stood at least 25 inches tall, and weighed at least 50 pounds. Race was secondary to other attributes like obedience, but some races stood out as more favorable. The most suitable breeds for the Marines were German Shepherds, Belgian Sheepdogs, Doberman Pinschers, Collies (firm type, with a medium length coat), Schnauzers (giants), Airedale Terriers, rottweilers and positive crossbreeds of these breeds. Eskimos, Malamutes and Siberian Huskies were used exclusively as sled or pack dogs.

When the war dog training program began, Doberman Pinschers were held in high regard. It was believed that their short hairs adapted better to the heat of the tropics, and their keen senses and athletic abilities made them excellent scout and messenger dogs. In addition, the Marine Corps received most of the dogs donated by the Doberman Pinscher Club of America. In fact, the majority of dogs that went overseas as part of the 1st War Dog Platoon were Dobermans.

(United States Marine Corps)

Unlike Army, Navy, and Coast Guard dog training programs, Marine Corps dogs were trained exclusively for combat roles. Being a strictly combat organization, the Corps had no interest in training dogs unless they directly contributed to killing the enemy or saving Marines. This concept divided the training program into Scout Dogs and Messenger Dogs. These specialized dogs would prove invaluable against the Japanese in the Pacific.

In addition to Dobermans, German Shepherds have been shown to be adept at training dogs of war. Both races were trained in scout or messenger roles. The training at Camp Lejeune lasted approximately 14 weeks and included regular exposure to small arms fire and explosions. Two Marines were assigned to each dog as a trainer and attendant. This trio formed a single canine unit. Throughout the training, the dogs and their owners got used to each other’s ways and personalities. Dogs alerted their handlers to potential threats in different ways, such as pulling on the leash or squatting, and handlers learned to recognize these signs. Likewise, dogs have learned to be on the alert when their master puts them on “watch” to beware of potential threats. This close relationship was vital for the canine units to function effectively.

(United States Marine Corps)

The first Marine Corps canine unit sent to the Pacific was the 1st Marine War Dog Platoon. Departing from San Diego, California on June 23, 1943, the Marines and their dogs arrived in the South Pacific on July 11. In November, the platoon was attached to the 2e Marine Raider Regiment during Operation Bougainville. It was the dog-of-war fireproof and they exceeded all expectations. The official report of the commander of the 2nd Marine Thieves Regiment (provisional) states:

The war dog platoon turned out to be a
success and the use of dogs in combat was being tested. This first maritime war
Dog Platoon was admittedly an experimental unit and minor flaws were
found that it needs to be fixed. But the latent possibilities of the fighting dog
units has proven itself beyond any doubt. To prove it, only a few of the exploits
dogs should be cited.

(1) On D-Day Andy (a Doberman Pinscher) ran ‘M’ Co.
to the roadblock. He alerted a scattered sniper
opposition and was undoubtedly the means to prevent
loss of life.

(2) On D-Day, Caesar (a German Shepherd) was the only
means of communication between ‘M’ Co. and Second
CP Battalion, carrying messages, overlays and captured
Japanese papers. The phone lines of One’s’ Plus 1, ‘M’ Co.
and Caesar was again the only means of communication.
Caesar was injured on the morning of “D” plus 2 and had
be brought back to Regimental HQ on a stretcher, but he
had already established himself as a hero. While with ‘M’
Co. he made official races between the company and the battalion
CP, and in at least two of those races he was shot.

(3) Otto (a Doberman Pinscher) on ‘D’ plus 1 while
work ahead of a reconnaissance patrol point,
alerted to the position of a machine gun nest and patrol
had time to take cover without causing any casualties when the machine
gun began to fire. Otto alerted the position to at least one
a hundred meters further.

(4) On ‘D’ over 6 Jack (a German Shepherd) was shot in the
back but even if injured reported message
of society on the roadblock that the Japanese had
struck and sent stretcher bearers immediately. It was
a vital message because the telephone lines had been cut.
One of Jack’s handlers, Wortman, was injured in the same
time and so Jack was the way to help
his master.

(5) The night of ‘D’ plus 7 Rex (a Doberman Pinscher)
alerted to the presence of Japs nearby. At dawn
of ‘over 8’ the Japanese attacked. It wasn’t a surprise,
however, because the dog had already warned of their
presence.

(6) During the night of ‘D’ plus 7 Jack (a Doberman
Pinscher) frequently alerted a tree near ‘M’ Company
CP. When it got clear enough in the morning, Jack’s
the driver showed the tree to a man from the BAR near him.
A Japanese sniper was shot from the tree. This sniper
was able to cause real damage to the company CP,
but because of Jack, the sniper was eliminated.

(7) Night security is immaterial. Dogs on night security
are less likely to dramatically show how they can
be the means to save lives. A fact and
is that the troops have confidence in the dogs.

(8) From ‘D’ day until the second and third battalions
were relieved of their first line functions the “D” plus 8, there is
were canine squads with each company in the front line.

Other examples could be cited, but this should suffice to
show that dogs have proven themselves as carriers of messages,
scouts and vital night security; and were constantly employed
during the operation of securing and extending the bridgehead.

(United States Marine Corps)

The Bougainville report validated the concept of the dog of war. As a result, the Marine Corps has continuously improved its war dog doctrine. Dogs have been used more in Guam, Peleliu, Iwo Kima, Okinawa and even Saipan and on the Japanese mainland. Today, the Guam National War Dogs Cemetery honors the service of these loyal animals. Fittingly, the Doberman sculpture that tops the memorial is titled “Forever Faithful.”

(United States Marine Corps)



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