Heroes among animals
Cats and dogs are not only human friends, but also faithful companions in a variety of situations. This is evidenced by the award lists where, along with military people, our four-legged friends are listed. Unfortunately, official awards and medals for animals are very few. And for this they are awarded the same as the people. In addition to cats and dogs, others deserve the title of heroes, our smaller brothers. And now we'll talk about them.
In Great Britain there is the highest military award, which is awarded to real heroes. Here are just these characters - four-legged. After all, not only people are worthy of memory and awards.
“We serve too”
The history of this medal is remarkable. She was initiated by the founder of the animal welfare organization (PDSA), Maria Dikin, an Englishwoman who founded a shelter for sick and injured animals in London in 1917. She was the eldest daughter of eight children of a priest, from her youth she helped animals. By the mid-1930s, thanks to the efforts of the animal care organization, which she headed, there were 5 veterinary hospitals, 71 shelters, and 11 mobile laboratories.Also thanks to her, the same places appeared then in Egypt, Greece, South Africa and Palestine.
The four-footed and feathered, Mary believed, who risk their lives on the battlefield and in the rear just as people should receive their reward. And in 1943 established a special medal. From 1943 to 1949 it was awarded to animals that distinguished themselves during the Second World War.
The medal is cast in bronze. It depicts a laurel wreath with the words "For courage" and "We also serve." This high award is presented by the Lord Mayor of London. The medal of Maria Deakin is equivalent to the highest military award in England - the cross of the Order of Victoria. During the war years, 32 pigeons, 18 dogs, 3 horses and 1 cat received it. We want to tell you about some of these heroes.
Most of all awards - at pigeons. And this is not surprising. Postal pigeons at risk to life delivered secret dispatches. Among them is a dove named Mary Exeter, who returned after one of the military flights with a fractured wing and three wounds. In October 1940, another postal pigeon, Royal Blue, flew 120 miles in record time, delivering an important secret dispatch to England from Holland. He made many other flights.Awarded in April 1945.
The medal for bravery was awarded to the post pigeon Commando, which also carried out responsible missions. During the war years there was a National Pigeon Service, in which the bird was. Dove was officially considered an agent of the British intelligence services. At the risk of his life, he repeatedly flew into the territory of occupied France with the most important information. In 1945 he was awarded a medal.
The crew of each British reconnaissance aircraft and warship during the war included a carrier pigeon. It must be said that the Nazis were very afraid of pigeons and saw in them a great threat. German snipers shot all the pigeons, and special services even hawked hawks to destroy them.
"Where were you today, pussy?"
In the nursery rhyme, the pussy responds: “The Queen has English!” And during the war, cats and cats carried their service far from the royal chambers, and they carried her regularly, saving people from death. The most famous mustache gentleman is the ship's cat Simon from the warship Amethyst of the British fleet. The ship was detained on the Yangtze River in 1949, and for a hundred days was officially considered a prisoner of revolutionary China. Simon also suffered - he was wounded by shrapnel, the hair was scorched.However, he remained a true sailor with an indestructible spirit: all this time, Simon, as stated in the award list, "lifted the spirit of the servicemen and performed his duties, catching ship rats." He saved food, saved people from infection, and was just an ordinary cat - which in itself is priceless.
After August 5, 1949 in the Times newspaper wrote about awarding the cat, he, as they say, “woke up famous”. Tons of messages from his admirers addressed to the cat began to arrive on the ship. The captain of the ship had no choice but to appoint Simon a personal secretary who was obliged to answer all the letters.
Simon is buried at the animal memorial cemetery. Fresh flowers are still being brought to his grave. His tribe, cat Faith, also awarded a medal for personal courage and heroism. Before the war, the cat walked by itself and was listed under the London church of St. Augustine and the Holy Faith. In September 1940, during a raid of German aircraft, Faith rescued her kitten by hiding him in the basement, and did not leave the baby, even when the house caught fire and collapsed. Faith and her kitten were not injured, and on October 12, 1945, the Medal of Bravery was presented to her by the Archbishop of Canterbury and 75-year-old Maria Dikin.
If you think about what humanity is obliged to dogs, then the transfer of their merits can take forever. Orderlies, rescuers, detectives, messengers ... A fox terrier named Krasavchik was one of the first dogs that were used in rescue work. He was the most common orphanage puppy - cheerful and friendly. During the bombing of London with his help 63 people were rescued. The dog died in the ruins, saving the 64th.
English Pointer Judy spent three and a half years with the host in Japanese POW camps, helping prisoners and risking their lives every minute. Rob Spaniel during the war made 20 parachute jumps and took part in dozens of operations behind the front line. He guarded the sleep of his colleagues during the execution of secret operations, led paratrooper patrols over enemy territory. And after the war, he became an ordinary rural dog - respected and revered.
The German Shepherd Dog Antis from the Czech Republic was also awarded the Dikinov medal. The dog served in the French and British air forces throughout the war, participated in operations in North Africa. Antis became the first "foreign gentleman" of the British highest animal award.
Treo - the hero of our time.Black Labrador distinguished himself during combat operations in Afghanistan. The award found a hero in 2010. Saved the lives of dozens of people, finding an explosive device of enormous power.
And what about us? What were the heroes among the animals?
On the participation of animals in the Second World War, we have an idea mainly on films such as the Four Tankmen and the Dog, and among them were real heroes.
The Great Patriotic War ... A terrible period in the history of the country. But it was precisely at this time that such qualities as courage, friendship, mutual aid, courage and devotion were most clearly manifested. But they were inherent not only to people, but also to their four-legged friends — animals, in particular, dogs.
Not many of us know about these four-legged heroes who saved hundreds of thousands of human lives. Perhaps some veterans of the Great Patriotic War survived only because of their excellent work and the unquestioning discharge of their duty - to help a person in any situation, even if it will cost them their lives.
Our dogs carried the most different service, were:
- Sled dogs bringing ammunition in small carts and carrying wounded soldiers to them.During the war years, they removed about 700,000 wounded from the line of fire and delivered about 3,500 tons of ammunition.
- communication dogs who delivered important orders and reports through the thick of the battlefield. During the war years, they delivered over 120,000 such orders.
- dogs mine detectors. It was one of the most sought-after dog "professions". Thanks to them, about 4 million mines, land mines and other ammunition were found and neutralized.
- The orderlies dogs searched our wounded soldiers in the forests and swamps and brought them medical aid. In addition, they carried on themselves small backpacks with all the necessary medications necessary to provide PMP.
- dogs - tank destroyers. Not the most pleasant dog profession that emerged during the war. These dogs were trained for a single task in their lives - the undermining of enemy tanks. To do this, they were trained not to be afraid to crawl under moving tanks. Before the assignment, special sacks of mines were put on them. And as soon as the dog was under armored vehicles, the mine exploded. In this way, about 300 enemy tanks were destroyed during the war.The reason for stopping the use of dogs in a similar way was the fact that such dogs began to throw themselves under the tracks of not only German but also Soviet tanks. For special merits they were awarded on an equal basis with counselors. So shepherd Dzhulbars was awarded the medal "For Military Merit."
- dogs of the intelligence service helped our scouts to successfully pass through the advanced positions of the enemy. They also clearly and harmoniously worked with their guide when capturing the "language".
- dogs of the subversive service were engaged in undermining bridges and German trains.
It is not possible to tell about all, but about some "four-legged fighting friends" we must know!
Dogs - heroes of the Great Patriotic War
1. German Shepherd Dog Dzhulbars - a veteran of World War II.
He served in the 14th Assault Engineering Sapper Brigade. The only dog awarded the medal "For Military Merit." Thanks to its excellent scent, 7,468 mines and more than 150 shells were cleared in Czechoslovakia, Austria, Romania and Hungary (from September 1944 to August 1945). He also participated in the demining of palaces above the Danube, the cathedrals of Vienna and the castles of Prague.Dzhulbars took part in the parade on Red Square in 1945. Shortly before the Victory Parade in Moscow on June 24, Dzhulbars was injured and could not pass in the composition of the school of military dogs. Then Stalin ordered to carry the dog across Red Square on his overcoat. Therefore, it was carried in the hands of soldiers - the commander of the 37th Separate Battalion of Demining, a dog handler, Major Alexander Mazover.
2. Sheepdog Dina - the first dog-saboteur.
Member of the "rail war" in Belarus. She was able to successfully undermine the enemy’s echelon on the Polotsk-Driss segment (August 19, 1943). As a result, 10 wagons were destroyed, and most of the railway was disabled. She also distinguished herself in the demining of the city of Polotsk, where in one of the hospitals she discovered a mine-surprise left by German soldiers for our children.
3. Scottish Collie named Dick.
Mine detector. Dick "served in the 2nd separate regiment of the special service -" Kielce. Thanks to his instinct, thousands of lives were saved. Dick's best-known merit is the discovery of a 2.5-tonne bomb with a clockwork mechanism. He was discovered by a dog in the foundation of the Pavlovsky Palace (Leningrad) an hour before the explosion.If not for this dog, the explosion would have taken thousands of human lives. During the war years, about 12 thousand mines were found and neutralized with its help.
4. Mukhtar - dog-orderly. During the war years he saved about 400 wounded soldiers, including his guide, Corporal Zorin, contused by a bomb explosion.
5. Jack is a scout dog. Thanks to him, about 20 “tongues” were captured, including an officer from the well-guarded impregnable fortress Glogau.
The dogs involved in the war were not all pedigree. Most of the official dog breeding clubs were located in the European part of the country under occupation. Many thoroughbred service dogs died at the beginning of the war in tank destroyers. At the end of 1941, the question arose of the need to use hunting and mongrel dogs in the current army. Especially it should be said about other dogs, widely known under the common name "mongrel". Some of them are big and strong dogs, soldiers of battalions of military dogs called them “volunteers”, others are small. Large village dogs that never knew a collar worked perfectly.They tirelessly took out the wounded, fearlessly rushed towards the German tanks and diligently searched for mines. For many military merit, many dog counselors received military awards, and those who obeyed a person, serving him faithfully and, at best, received a piece of sugar or a slice of bread, and this was enough for them, the main thing was that the owner was alive and healthy.
And many, many other dogs. They have long been dead, but the memory of them will live forever.
Cats - participants of the Great Patriotic War
During the war years, the need for cats was great - in Leningrad they were almost gone, rats attacked the already meager stocks of food. Four wagons of smoky cats were brought to Leningrad. The echelon with the "meowing division," as the St. Petersburg group called these cats, was safely guarded. Cats began to clean the city from rodents. By the time the blockade was broken, virtually all cellars had been freed from rats.
About perhaps the only surviving blockade cat - Maxim - was legendary. In the post-war period, the house of its owners took entire excursions - everyone wanted to see this miracle. Maxim died of old age in 1957.During this monstrous war, there was no trace of the whole vast population of German dwarf cats - kangaroo ... The breed was completely destroyed ... For the cats that saved the greatest number of human lives during wartime, a special medal "We also serve the motherland" was instituted. This award is considered one of the most honorable in the beast world.
Cats helped to survive the war and war veterans. The soldiers started cats in their trenches and dugouts, and they rescued them from rodents, and therefore from infections that mice and rats endured. Among the legends of wartime there is also a story about a red cat, the “rumor”, who settled at the anti-aircraft battery near Leningrad and accurately predicted attacks by enemy aircraft. Moreover, as the story goes, the animal did not react to the approach of the Soviet aircraft.
The army used postal pigeons. In all, during the war years, more than 15,000 pigeons were delivered by mail pigeons. Pigeons were such a threat to the enemy, that the Nazis specifically gave orders to snipers to shoot pigeons and even hauled hawks who played the role of fighters.In the occupied territories were issued decrees of the Reich on the removal of all pigeons from the population. Most of the seized birds were simply destroyed, the most thoroughbred were sent to Germany. For harboring potential "feathered partisans" their master was only one punishment - death.
On one of the submarines on board, there lived a post pigeon, nicknamed “My dear”. During one of the combat trips, the boat torpedoed the fascist transport and, moving away from pursuit, hit the minefield, received severe damage - the radio went out of order and it could not return to the base by itself. It was then that a pigeon came to the rescue, delivering a letter in two days, flying more than a thousand kilometers. The speed of the pigeon from 60 to 100 km. at one o'clock. And the pigeon is well oriented at night. The boat received assistance and was towed to its home base by another Soviet submarine.
It is believed that the history of the combat use of horses ended with the appearance on the fields of battles in a massive number of machine guns. The horse is in no way protected from the machine-gun queue, which means that the cavalry automatically dropped out of business.The appearance on the battlefields of tanks and self-propelled artillery finished the job. Now the horse in the war began to be seen as an anachronism. But nonetheless…
Still, despite the fact that the Second World War was called the war of engines, horses played an important role in it. Both in the Soviet Army and in the Wehrmacht horses were used as a transport force, especially in artillery. It was the six horses that drove the entire war without any complaints or whims, and the guns changed the firing positions of the battery.
This is how front-facing newsreel footage stands in front of us: Red Army men are pushing out the jammed cart drawn by horses from all their might. The reason for such a wide use of horses is quite simple - on the road (especially in spring and autumn), where any cars stuck, only these hardy animals could pass.
However, not only guns and shells were the concern of horses. You can’t feed a soldier without a horse, because carts with food and field kitchens were delivered to the position of a horse. By the way, it was for these (and some other purposes) that even in the rifle regiment in the state it was supposed to have three hundred and fifty horses. It is impossible to imagine the commanders of battalions and regiments without their faithful four-legged assistants.Fighters designated as cohesive also often preferred the horse to the motorcycle. And how many wounded owe their lives to these modest war workers! After all, the majority of hospitals and medical battalions were also “on horseback”. It often happened that the infantry traveled to positions not by truck, but by horse-drawn carts. Well, and movements and raids of partisan detachments without such a mode of transport can never be imagined.
Yes, and the cavalry, as it turned out, was too early to send to the archive. The horses proved to be indispensable for rapid raids on the enemy’s rear, for raids and sabotage. And all because although the horse runs at an average speed of no more than 20 km per hour and can overcome no more than 100 km per day, it can pass where no equipment passes - and will do so unnoticed.
How many horses "served" in the ranks of the Soviet Army during the war? It is hard to say. According to official data, the number of horses in the army was 1.9 million. However, many of them were not listed.
The clarity of the work of the veterinary service during the war years was genuinely admired. Wounded horses were never abandoned, but collected after each fight and sent to special veterinary hospitals.For the delivery of the worst wounded and sick in the front rear, motor transport was used in special evacuation hospitals. In the army and front-line hospitals there were surgical, therapeutic and infectious departments, which were headed by qualified specialists. Severely wounded horses were operated on here, and then they were treated for many months and cared for until complete recovery. So the wounded horses were surrounded by the same care and attention as the fighters.
Help camels needed the Soviet army during the defense of Stalingrad. For transportation of artillery guns and shells, then there was not enough equipment or horses. And the command decided to attract camels. These animals could carry up to 200 kilograms of cargo and go without food and water for a week. However, the soldiers had a hard time, many saw these animals for the first time in their lives, and here they were to manage two humps on the front line. Then the local shepherd boys came to the aid of the Red Army. Just a few weeks, they taught the soldiers to pacify wayward animals.
The most famous camels in the Soviet army were Yashka and Mashka fromThe 902th Regiment, formed in Astrakhan. They dragged heavy artillery to Berlin and transported a field kitchen. The chest of animals was hung with orders of German generals. After the war ended, the command decided to send Yashka and Mashka for meat. But the officers and soldiers of the regiment almost revolted: no one wanted to have supper with their comrades. And then Masha and Yashka left in the Berlin Zoo.
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