Para dogs in WWII.

#2
There is one buried in Ranville War Cemetery with his handler, Emile Cortile from 9 Para. Both were killed on D Day by "friendly aircraft". Thery had landed well away from the drop zone and were killed by a straffing allied aircraft which mistaken them for Germans. According to an interview with Otway, the handler had been selected because he had been a poacher.

I have never understood the thinking behind para-dogs. What were they supposed to do?
 
#3
Well, technically it wasn't friendly fire as the dog indeed WAS a German Shepherd.
 
#5
...

I have never understood the thinking behind para-dogs. What were they supposed to do?
Do? It's got a parachute on and jumps out of plane. If it had a proper hat on it would be perfect.
 
#8


Seven paratroopers of the 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment pose with the regimental mascot "Geronimo" prior to a paratroop training exercise in 1943. Sgt. John Carson Smith (standing, at left), wounded in action; Pvt. William H. Witt, killed in action; Pvt. Lewis S. Toye, killed in action; Cpl. Walter L. Choquette (kneeling, at left), executed at Graignes by the Waffen-SS,Pfc. John D. Williams, injured in training; Pvt. William McDade, wounded in action; Pvt. Bernard E. Kelly (front) taken prisoner of war.

Geronimo survived to be hit by a car in 1947
 
#9
I have never understood the thinking behind para-dogs. What were they supposed to do?
In theory - like any war dog they are supposed use their superior nose and ears to detect approaching enemy long before troops (even airborne ones) are able to do.

In practice - war dog allocated to ambush stop party snuggles down between me and its handler, drops off to sleep and wakes with a start when the ambush is sprung.
 

Wordsmith

LE
Book Reviewer
#10
When I was in the space cadets may years ago we saw a demo by the dog handlers at Brize Norton. They told us that one of the reasons the dogs search so enthusiastically for drugs is that they get given a sample if they find any. So the dog searches for drugs because it likes getting stoned. No change there then.

The other thing that stuck out in my mind was the cadet who volunteered to be the target for the dog to chase down and restrain. After being fitted out in the padded gear he was told to trot a hundred yards off, then the dog would be released. He duly did that and the dog was let off the leash. Instead of running off he charged at the dog, screaming his head off. The dog took fright and p*ssed off to general amusement, leaving one seriously hacked off handler....

Wordsmith
 
#11
Post WW11 we didn't appear to have further use for 'para' trained dogs although dogs were used on the operational sorties in Borneo, Malaya and all campaigns since but arriving by vehicle or helio.

There were no airborne 'signs' ie harnesses et al of the means of parachuting with dogs within No1PTS. There were loads on data on out of the norm special loads but no dog harnesses / parachutes. I went to Tancos in Portugal on a short exchange visit in the early '70's to find that the Portuguese parachuted with dogs. They had a harness which was clipped on two extended straps and positioned beneath the reserve. I only ever saw the dog(s) in training descents and not when the jumper carried an operational load with a dog as well.
The jumper landed with the dog attached to his harness in those times

Currently there's hundreds of canine photos in para free-fall mode
 
#12
#14
In theory - like any war dog they are supposed use their superior nose and ears to detect approaching enemy long before troops (even airborne ones) are able to do.
So why were there no war dogs on the establishment of other units needing to detect an approaching enemy e.g. units of the Recce Regiment, non parachute infantry battalions, commandos etc.
 
#15
I am not sure whether dogs were actually "on the establishment" for a para bn, but graduates from the War Dog School at Potters Bar were certainly used by both para and non-para infantry.

"Bob, a white dog of no particular breed, was the first to win the Dickin Gallantry medal given by the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals and the Allied Forces Mascot Club in London. He earned these awards on a cold and rainy night in North Africa.
Attached to the Queen's Own Royal West Kents, an infantry outfit, he was sent out with a patrol, camouflaged with paint, like the others Tommies. Suddenly, he froze and nothing would budge him, although the men could not see any indication of trouble. But a few seconds later, a movement betrayed the presence of the enemy. The patrol then withdrew and skirted around this spot, discovering a German unit, that had moved up unexpectedly. If the patrol had advanced a few yards further, the men might have been killed or captured." From K-9 History: Great Britain's War Dogs!
 
#16
There is one buried in Ranville War Cemetery with his handler, Emile Cortile from 9 Para. Both were killed on D Day by "friendly aircraft". Thery had landed well away from the drop zone and were killed by a straffing allied aircraft which mistaken them for Germans. According to an interview with Otway, the handler had been selected because he had been a poacher.

I have never understood the thinking behind para-dogs. What were they supposed to do?
And here lies his handler. One of three (I believe) who jumped with 6th Airbone on D-Day.

Dogs were supposed to be fighting dogs (some Rodney had heard of the Germans(??) using fighting dogs somewhere) but it didn't turn out to be a great succes. I think 1 refused to jump (he'll be on a charge, then..), 1 killed himself on a tree and the third did alright.

This moggy was called "Glen".
 

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#17
Hello

I'm the author of the book 13 - Lucky For Some: The History of the 13th (Lancashire) Parachute Battalion, the unit which trained the 'paradogs' and can state that the dogs were indeed used as patrol dogs. The area that the 6th AB Division dropped into was country side with hedgerows and woodland, perfect for concealment of defensive positions. The CO wanted aggressive patrolling to seek out the enemy and also advanced outposts were established so that the dogs eyes and ears were employed. They could detect any enemy patrol approaching and allow the troops to set up ambushes and bag a prisoner etc.

The 13th Para Bn dropped on D-Day with 3 dogs and Bing (Brian in civvy life) landed in a tree, was wounded in the face and neck by mortar fire and was stranded for 12 hours before he was located and retrieved by his "comrades" of the sniper platoon. He survived another jump into Germany and was awarded the Dickin Medal (Animal VC) for the many lives he saved by his actions, most of which were under enemy fire...

Andrew Woolhouse
 
#19
Hello

I'm the author of the book 13 - Lucky For Some: The History of the 13th (Lancashire) Parachute Battalion, the unit which trained the 'paradogs' and can state that the dogs were indeed used as patrol dogs. The area that the 6th AB Division dropped into was country side with hedgerows and woodland, perfect for concealment of defensive positions. The CO wanted aggressive patrolling to seek out the enemy and also advanced outposts were established so that the dogs eyes and ears were employed. They could detect any enemy patrol approaching and allow the troops to set up ambushes and bag a prisoner etc.

The 13th Para Bn dropped on D-Day with 3 dogs and Bing (Brian in civvy life) landed in a tree, was wounded in the face and neck by mortar fire and was stranded for 12 hours before he was located and retrieved by his "comrades" of the sniper platoon. He survived another jump into Germany and was awarded the Dickin Medal (Animal VC) for the many lives he saved by his actions, most of which were under enemy fire...

Andrew Woolhouse
Thank you for your informative reply.
 
#20
There was a dog at the Merville Battery assault and he did get thrown out of the plane; at least, one of them did but it wasn't "Glenn" who jumped with Emile Corteil

6th_airborne_emile_corteil_dog_glen.jpg
 

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