This post is about heroic efforts of dogs in the Second World War. The silent and often forgotten heroes. Why today?
Today is a very important day in Russia. 9th of May is Victory Day. It is a celebration of the end of the Great Patriotic War against the Nazi army, which is the war between Russia and Germany as a part of the Second World War. Russia lost over 25 million people in that war and was completely devastated by the war.
But it was not only humans who fought the Nazis. Animals did too. Horses, dogs.
Soviet Army used 50,000 dogs during the war. They were divided into 168 military units. The dogs lived, fought and died along the humans.
During the historic celebratory military parade on the 24th of July 1945 all military divisions were represented, including canine survivors and their handlers.
🐕Dogs delivered first aid supplies to the wounded on the battled fields when the fire was too intense for human paramedics to get to the wounded.
🐕Dogs were trained to wait patiently for the soldiers to take the meds and then moved on to the next soldier.
🐕Dogs could tell accurately an unconscious soldier from a dead soldier. They licked faces of unconscious soldiers to bring them round.
🐕 Dogs kept wounded soldiers warm in the cold winter months to stop them dying from hyperthermia.
🐕 Dogs also pulled out wounded soldiers off the battle fields. Thus, 700,000 heavily wounded soldiers were taken off the battle fields by dogs.
🐕 Dogs brought other supplies to the soldiers.
🐕 Dogs worked in mine detection units searching for mines. They found 4 million explosive devices in the course of the war.
🐕 Dogs worked as communications operators being able to reach places which humans could not reach. Even if they were wounded. They delivered 120,000 military messages in the course of the war.
🐕 Dogs worked as guards and enemy spotters in ambushes having been trained to use their body language to alert the Russian soldiers and identify the location of the enemy troops.
So when we are paying our respects to the heroism and courage of humans in fighting evil, let’s not forget the silent and unassuming courage, commitment and self-sacrifice of our four-legged friends. And let’s remember how amazing they are and help them not just on the Remembrance Day or Victory Day but every day, through tangible steps which make a real difference. Thank you.