The Use of War Dogs, 1943


The dog has served man for centuries his
progress and use have changed with the times but always he has shown adaptability to
specific tasks in the military field his tactical value
has been recognized for a long time by the Army’s of other nations. But it was not until the
present conflict that our own armed forces began to train and employ dogs for duty with
combat units under the guidance of the Remount Section
of the Quartermaster Corps the carefully chosen canines receive basic
and specialized training which toughens and prepares them for
definite assignments under fire dogs of many breeds rallied to the
colors. A hunting dog is relieved of his other duties for the duration and begins
the grim manhunt after the common enemy
the dogs natural instincts make cover and concealment easy lessons. Kill or
be killed is again instinctive he’s fast and elusive intelligent and willing. His hatred of the
foe complete. Loyalty and devotion to his job are commonplace but he asks for no reward pat on the back any little
acknowledgement by his master is sufficient procedures for the using branches to
supply the man who will train with the dogs they’ll bring back
to their outfits all dogs are specially picked size and uses each is trying to do a
single job and remember they’re not pets or
mascots they’re soldiers, war dogs. A century of
attack dogs have already proved their worth for interior guard duty now you’ll meet
their brothers and the tactical service the silence scout dog, the messenger dog, and
the casualty dog first we visit an outpost position
where the silent Scout dog is used to detect and give silent warning of any
foreign presence such as the sneaky character cautiously
moving amid those Palmettos this movement alerts our war dog who is
able to detect ambushes or infiltration long before they can be
discerned by human or mechanical means soundless as the night and naturally
adapted to stealth a silent Scout dog leads his Master to a
position behind the hidden enemy Tojoe meanwhile has is snipers eyes
on some of our boys and is getting set to knock them off but the silent Scout dog has already
cornered the rap master and dog take cover. A prearranged
signal directs our own deadly rifle fire to the exact spot where the enemy is
hidden tojoe loses by a quick k-o and the silence cow dog supplied the initial knock out. Next, a reconnaissance patrol a leader issues special instructions
indicating the mission and general direction of the advance here we’ll see further use of the
silent scout dog who leads the patrol and in addition the messenger dog who
brings up the rear the latter be used to establish liaison
with the outbox but we’re now concerned with the
scout dog. his master’s aware of the fundamental principles governing the
dog’s ability to supply a quick warning about of a hostile presence best
advantage is taken of wind and other conditions favoring the dogs power
of scenting his master reads the dog carefully every
movement of the dog conveys a message note the watchfulness sharp ears alert nose always to the wind it would be the
same in frozen wastes or hot jungles in any kind of weather or field
conditions, the silent Scout dog handles his assignment with trained efficiency a tenseness is growing, he’s fresh on the
scent of something that smells like trouble. Enemy in site So, exit the Scout dog, his job’s well done and enter the messenger dog vital
information is hastily written out for dispatch to the outpost position to the
rear an emergency ammunition supply is
urgently needed if the patrol is to hold out and instead of a soldier runner the
messenger dog will do the job. A human life is not
risked and a war dog will get the message through
his speed and size make him a tough target and there’s no halt or backwards glance
until he comes to the ammunition supply point it’s just brief minutes since he left
the patrol but already the messenger dog has
brought in the information that will help to avert possible disaster and he’s
raring to race back with an emergency supply of ammunition under such conditions he can pack up to
25 pounds (music playing) the cartridge carrier with weight well
distributed fits snugly on his back and the pictures
show how rapidly it can be made secure his special collar is replaced and he’ll be
hurrying back to the patrol again the elapsed time is barely minutes it’s a case of passing the ammunition
and praise for the dog and his ability to follow teachings and instincts back with a patrol empty rifles indicate
that it will be an arrival in the nick of time all the realism of combat is simulated
but the messenger dog won’t be steered of its
parts and reaches the patrol safely a life-saving ammunition is ready for
instant use by employing the scount and messenger
dogs to advantage the patrol carries out a successful
mission the carrier pigeon helps us illustrate another job the messenger dog
can handle. two pigeons go into a carrier specially designed by the Quartermaster
Corps and the explanation is clear. the homing
pigeon is naturally just back a one-way messenger flying from field to
home as the dog is a two-way messenger he
can be used to transport the pigeons to the tactical unit operating away from
the home base the harnessing of the birds to the dogs
back is very simple by now you’ve noticed the attention
given to the dogs collar it is important for he’s been trained to
recognize it as his cue to run from one master to the other
thus the dog collar plays a major role in the successful use a messenger dog incidently both masters have
undergone careful training with a dog and they alone handle his every operation
this demonstration proves that where pigeons are employed the messenger dog fits in for delivery
duty that free soldiers or vehicles for other work and the messenger dog can
handle further tasks as soon as this pigeon is released we’ll
move on to still another assignment a telephone switchboard in the combat area
and the need for additional lines over various short distances so again the messenger dog gets the call
and now that you’re actually seeing it the whole thing appears so obvious. yes, you
just equip the dog with a harness which is designed to hold the loose end of the wire and you’ve got a wire
layer who will ask no questions and show no concern over the risks involved and here still another case where a dog
spares human life and limb the risk of crossing an area under fire the noise of battle has no effect on the
canine signal now as ever rapid and reliable the dog gets the line across the battlefield to his
master and you’ve been given an idea of
the multiple jobs the messenger dog can handle. he humbly stands by as his
master puts the first call over the newly connected phone line and so when you’re talking about getting
the message through don’t forget the messenger dog, he helped
make this connection now we join the Medical Corps and the search
for casualties after a battle those who fall right in their tracks can
usually be found quickly enough but other wounded before they lose
consciousness may have crawled to some hidden spot for safety. Some may be
buried in the wreckage of a bombing naturally prompt discovery of such victims
is vital the casualty dog is a life-saving answer he’s been trained to search a given area
for casualties and report his discoveries to his master highly specialized traits identify this
war dog excellent power of scent, endurance, uncanny
sense of direction and the keenest hearing the casualty dog has found a stricken
soldier who may easily have been passed up by a medical patrol and poste haste, he’s back to where his
master awaits him a master fashions the leash to the dog’s
collar. a signal for the dog to lead him to the casualty his mission a success the dogs complete
happiness is expressed in is every movement a portrait of service, obedience and
devotion to the job within the limitations of this film
we’ve given you a brief insight into the new tactical employment
of the war dog the proven possibilities for issues go
beyond what we have shown. Full advantage is being taken of the dog’s natural
attributes he’s ready to do a soldier’s job, he’s yours
at your beck and call anxious to show but he’s truly man’s
best friend

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