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.