DOING THEIR BIT The British Employment of Military and Civil Defence Dogs in the Second World War

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Utilising a range of archival material, O’Donnell analyses the performance of guard, military police, patrol, mine detection and rescue dogs in training and on operations by considering the advantages and disadvantages of utilising canines in such roles. Military and Civil Defence dogs offered a number of advantages over the employment of humans and technological equipment, and the experience gained by dog trainers and handlers during the Second World War led to the continued employment of canines in the post-war period. While the use of horses and other animals has since diminished, the Second World War marked a turning point in the history of the British military dog, ushering in the seemingly permanent training of dogs for police and military roles.

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“’Special breed of courageous’: Delta Force operator hails valor of military dog wounded in Baghdadi raid
Though no U.S. forces were killed in the Saturday evening raid that led to the death of an ISIS leader, one military working dog suffered severe injuries in the line of duty.

The dog, whose name and breed remain unknown, chased Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi into a tunnel and cornered him. The dog’s injuries highlighted the importance of military working dogs in special operations. Often, they will enter the danger zone with a camera on their backs before the humans do so.
“The dog is a war veteran and a valued member of the team,” a currently serving soldier assigned to Delta Force told the Washington Examiner. The soldier did not provide details, pending permission from the dog’s handler and chain of command. Everyone involved in the mission is being debriefed and is out of communication for the time being, the soldier said. Within the community, he says, “The injury to the dog is an injury to one of us. These dogs are a special breed of courageous.”
Military working dogs are essential teammates for U.S. soldiers, especially in the counterinsurgency and counterterrorism operations that followed the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. But the dogs used by the military’s most elite units are elite themselves. Like their human counterparts, they are hand-picked to serve in units like Delta Force, the Army Rangers, and the Navy SEALs.”

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