Russian Suicide Dogs

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The Pop-Tart Whisperer
Feb 19, 2007
Southern New Jersey
Because of my profession and interest in WW2 I've come across some unusual ways that dogs were used. Russian dogs used to blow up tanks is one.

K-9 History: Combat - Soviets Axis!

The Red Army trained as many as 50,000 dogs before and during the early part of the war. Dogs proved themselves paricularly valuable during the severe Russian winters, when they located and dragged wounded soldiers from the front on sleds.

A wounded man's chance of survival in the extremely low temperatures of Russian winters, depended largely on how rapidily he was discovered and then transported to a first aid station. Dogs alone could travel in the deep snow, which bogged down motor vehicles, thus improving their chances!

During one battle, near Duminichi, in between attacks, a german shepherd named Bob, located sixteen wounded men, who had crawled into shell holes and ditches. Bob, when he came across a soldier, would lay down beside him, until the wounded man took some dressing from a medical kit strap on the dog's back.

And in one sector of the front, a team of sled dogs, in five weeks, carried 1,239 wounded men from the battlefield and hauled 327 tons of ammunition.

White Samoyeds, were found particularly useful for winter operations and were used to pull white-clad Russian marksmen on sleds close to enemy lines undetected. Plus six dog teams transported machine guns in sleds and two dogs teams were used to pulled soliders on skiis into battle.

The Russian military also trained suicide dogs, during WW II. The dogs (half staved) were loaded with explosives, and trained to seek out food under moving tanks; a trigger device attached to their backpacks, would depressed causing an explosion capable of cutting through the steel under belly of the tanks.

In one day, alone, on the Izyum sector, these canine tank busters destroyed nine tanks and two armored cars. So feared by the Germans, that as soon as they heard the barking and saw the running dogs, they would frantically turned their tanks around and head back towards their own lines, for they knew from experience what was in store for them.

One Russian correspondent stated that "the dogs have saved thousands upon thousands of lives on the Russian front." And he was right!

The German High Command also entered into a secret pact with Russia, to establish other military facilities across their border, in Russia; airfields, training schools, and various war plants. In return for the use of Russian soil, they were to train Russian officers in the art of warfare!

Also at that time, the Army High Command formed an alliance with Hitler, seeing in him, an opportunity to eliminate the Treaty and rearm the military. The National Socialists, then formed their own training camps, where members were secretly trained in military tactics by the army (SA K-9 Units were also formed), under the guise of being public work units.By the time, the Nazis and Adolf Hitler were in power, these units simply traded their shovels for rifles and became the new German Army.

In the ten year period leading up to World War II, Germany trained at many as 200,000 dogs. The Berlin dog paper Die Hunderwelt told of a grand recruiting rally held in that country, adding another 15,993 Shepherds, Dobermans, Airedales, and Boxers to their K-9 army. The dogs were trained as sentries, scouts, guard and messagers.

In 1939, when Hitler launched his blitzkrieg against Europe and Poland, Germany K-9 Army units were there as well, organized and trained as thorough as the Luftwaffe or armored forces were. Once occupied, the K-9 units were used for policing the cities; and the Jewish ghettos and camps create by the Nazis.

The use of large dogs gave the Bahnschutz (Railroad Police) increased effectiveness during patrols of train stations, waiting rooms and railway cars. As early as 1923, the Reichsbahn began a systematic program of training dog handlers as well as dogs.

Schäferhunde (German Shepherds), considered the most loyal and least temperamental of the large breeds and the easiest to train, composed over 90 percent of the Diensthunde (service dogs) in the Bahnschutz.

While on duty a Bahnschutzstreifer (patrolman) normally would accompanied the Bahnschutz Hundeführer (dog handler) and his dog. This allowed the handler to keep the dog on the leash while the second patrolman could perform routine duties such as checking identity papers. When a arrest was warranted, the Streifer handcuffed the suspects while the Hundeführer controlled the dog.

The Reichsbahn operated a breeding farm and training facility for Diensthunde (service dogs) in Röntgental near Berlin.

The leader of the school, was Reichsbahninspektor Langner, who was an experienced World War I dog handler and trainer; he recognized the importance of matching the appropriate handler for each dog.

He sought handlers who were, above all, Hundefreunde (dog lovers), and spent as much time training the Hundeführer as he did the Diensthund.

Each of the 700 teams of dogs and handlers underwent yearly re examination by Reichsbahninspektor Langner, and teams, that were incompatible disbanded. The K-9 training methods developed by Langner became recognized worldwide.

As noted, these same Railroad K-9 Units, were used later on by the SS during the deportation of millions of prisoners to the concentration and slave labor work camps, as well as POWs!

On November 26, 1944 - Dr. Aaron Kuptsow, a B-17 radar officer, was shot down and then captured by German farmers, This is a brief account of what it was like for him!

"We had a force march, which I think was about 17 kilometers. That was the worst experience of my life. I was still wearing my flight boots, and by the time we reached the station, my feet were bloody and raw! I think we had three policemen and two german shepherds walking with us.The march to Frankfurt was quite an experience, the guards and dogs kept us in line, the dogs nipped at us, or the guards prodded us with their guns if we slowed down."

Ousseltria, Tunisia - Allied troops held the western edge of a little valley, and the Germans and Italian forces the eastern side. The battle went back and forth, with each side trying for a knockout blow.

An American lieutenant and two sergeants were sent out to scout the enemy positions. After edging their way slowly to the eastern side, they suddenly spotted a pure white dog, about fifty feet ahead of them. The dog stood as silent as death. He didn't bark or growl a warning as a sentry dog would. Instead he stood there like a statue, head erect and tail straight out behind him. As if he was pointing!

The silents was broken by machine gun fire, hitting one of the men, both his legs shattered. The others had to leave him.

Later, a well armed patrol was sent out to find him, again near the eastern edge of the valley, the white dog appeared again. When the group finally reached the spot where the wounded man had fallen, the man was gone. To all appearances the dog had hunted him out and returned to the Germans, who found him first.

Other white dogs, were later observed, in the Ousseltia Valley, where groups of three or four would prowl through the British and American positions, pointed, then returned to their line. Apparently the German snipers were using them to point the enemy!

Towards the end of the African Campaign, both the German African Corp and Italian armies were forced to abandon most of their dogs during their rapid withdrawal in the North African desert.

The Nazis used so many dogs during the war, that by the end, there wasn't hardily any breeding stock left in the entire country.


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Not sure where it is. Was a good thread. Kind of a bummer they were using dogs like that but I guess when you get in the middle of mass slaughter of humans, who cares about dogs (horses too for that matter).
Not sure where it is. Was a good thread. Kind of a bummer they were using dogs like that but I guess when you get in the middle of mass slaughter of humans, who cares about dogs (horses too for that matter).

True apart from the fact that they didn't work too well. When released they went for Russian tanks (like they were trained on) rather than the German tanks they were meant to attack. :shock:
Ok, I guess this threads done. Now I'll start one about the squirrels that were trained by the French to recover the pins from used grenades. :oops:
Not sure where it is. Was a good thread. Kind of a bummer they were using dogs like that but I guess when you get in the middle of mass slaughter of humans, who cares about dogs (horses too for that matter).

Except that your average person will react with more revulsion to this story than one that involves the deaths of thousands of people. It's on of the odd things about our society that violence against animals seems far more shocking than violence against people

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