A Critical Review of the Use of Dogs in the US Army During the WWII

In the past, the main of role of trained dogs was that that of sentries or patrols. But in modern warfare, dogs had been used the most tactfully. Though in post modern warfare, dogs’ role has mostly been replaced by modern technology, they played a crucial role in the US Army during the Second World War (Blumenstock pars. 2). After the attack on Pearl Harbor Navy Base in December 7, 1941, the US Army led a campaign to inspire the pet-owners to donate their dogs to the army-training camps. The US Army named this campaign as Dogs for Defense. In order to inspire the owner, they further claimed that the dogs would be trained to be accustomed into civil life after the war. Indeed, it was the beginning of the dog-squad in the US military. Subsequently, martial dog training programs were adopted and, in the meantime, a number of dog-training centers were established to facilitate the programs around the country (MWD History, pars. 2). Some of the dog-training centers were Gulfport, Fort Carson, Rimini, San Carlos, Fort Washington, Fort Riley, Fort Belvoir, Fort Robinson, Nebraska Camp, Beltsville, etc. During the Second World War, the US Army used dog to perform a number of risky as well as routine jobs. According to the types of breed and performance, the dogs were to be sled dogs, sentry, scouts, mine-detecting dogs, wire-layer, pack-pullers, and messenger dogs. The military training of a dog used to take 8-12 week to be fully trained. By late 1944, the Army selected about seven breeds of dogs to receive the highest performances in war-fields. Among these breeds were German Shepherd, Doberman Pinscher, Collie, Belgian Sheep dog, Eskimo, Alaskan Malamute, Siberian Husky, etc. During the Second World War, the German Shepherd was the most preferred choice in the army because of its courage, strong sense of responsibility, keen nose, strength, adaptability and trainability. Doberman Pinscher was second to German Shepherd in terms of strength, nervous power, speed, sensing power, and tractability. Collie and Belgian Sheep dogs were mainly used as messengers for their loyalty, alertness, endurance and agility. Muscular and sturdy breeds were generally used for pack-pull and wire-laying jobs. Alaskan Malamute, Eskimo and Siberian Husky belonged to this group. Among these three breeds, Siberian Husky was the most desired type because of their speed and endurance. During the war, the US dog-squad’s performance was surprising (Blumenstock pars. 2-4). Due to their high sensibility, loyalty and alertness, the military dogs were the preferred options for the soldiers in many war fields. There were many fields where dogs were more skillful performers than the soldiers. During the WWII, the war-theater-wise performance of the US military dogs was great. The dogs showed great performances mainly in two theaters: the pacific theater and the European theater. In 1944, under the command of William W. Putney, the 3rd Marine War Dog Platoon played a crucial role in the liberation of Guam from the Japanese occupation. According to the MWD, approved and led by the US Congress, Twenty-five of Lieutenant Putney’s war dogs gave their lives in the liberation of Guam and were buried there in a War Dog Cemetery with name markers (MWD History, pars. 2). In the war-field of Guam, the Doberman Pincers breed showed a great performance in guarding and scouting along the frontline of the war. Evading the enemies’ eye, they successfully worked as messengers between the US camps. Several of the success stories are as following: In February 17, 1945, a war-dog called Bruce saved two wounded soldiers from the attack of three Japanese infantrymen. During the nocturnal