Polish Army Trains Dogs To String Phone Lines (Sep, 1939)

Polish Army Trains Dogs To String Phone Lines
Modern warfare may be becoming more and more mechanized, with tanks replacing cavalry and trucks doing the work of mules, but Polish Army authorities are now busily training corps of dogs for military duty. The war dogs are taught not only to carry messages and emergency supplies of food and ammunition, but also to haul reels of wire for stringing field-telephone lines.

7 comments
  1. jayessell says: April 23, 20086:39 am

    How many Polish dogs does it take to string phone lines?

  2. Rob Roy says: April 23, 20087:47 am

    Slight understatement … “Modern warfare may be becoming more and more mechanized”

    Note the issue date of Sept 1939 … as the magazine was being read, Poland was finding out the hard way how much use cavalry (the sort with with actual horses) was against Stukas and Panzers.

  3. Thundercat says: April 24, 200810:00 am

    Ever tie a dog to a tree? He just wraps himself around it until he is stuck to the tree.

    This phone line thing has got to be 50 times worse!

  4. KHarn says: May 3, 20089:50 am

    Rob Roy
    The Polish cavalry did better than history lets on. In fact, one unit fought on as guerillas for several months after Russia and Germany over-ran Poland.
    What people remember was one battle where the horse solders scattered a German infantry unit but ran into the TANKS that were coming up behind them!

  5. John Smith says: May 7, 20084:41 pm

    This is sad. The Polish Army stood up valiantly against Germany, just to be overwhelmed by a technically superior enemy with a hyper-conscripted army. We forget that German losses were quite high in spite of it all. The Poles, with their slow and outdated PZL-11 fighter planes took on Messerschmitt ME-109 fighters and Heinkel HE-111 bombers, all faster and higher flying machines. For every one Polish plane lost, the Germans lot two, often the Germans lost four to one Polish plane. The Polish pilots who escaped to Britain flew in the RAF with Hurricanes and Spitfires. The heroic struggle turned into a humiliating bloodbath for the German pilots wh met the Poles. Most armies were using dogs for transport. And most transport was done with horses. In 1941 the American cavalry had more horse units than the USAAF had planes. The Germans used horses almost exclusively throughout the war to move small artillery and troops. They were told to clear out when the film cameras were around, giving the impression that everything was mechanically mobilized. Only the British were horse-shy, for good and bad.

  6. stefan says: June 2, 200811:35 am

    Please read the comment above, and for the last and final time, for the love of God – there was never, EVER such a thing as a Polish cavalry charge against German tanks. It’s the 21st century already and about time to stop quoting nazi wartime propaganda.

  7. John Smith says: June 2, 20081:21 pm

    There is no evidence that the Polish Army used their cavalry on a frontal attack against tanks. Granted. But cavalries and animal driven supply lines still do exist. Cavalry warfare has been dubious since the middle of the 18th century, the last real decisive charge being at Blenheim in 1704 under the Duke of Marlborough. There are no great cavalry charges in the Seven Years War or in the U.S. War of Independence. The great charge in Waterloo by the French led to a slaughter at the muskets of Scottish and Irish infantrymen. Balaclava…yes, it was a British victory, but a real Pyrrhic victory. Not too many charges worth note in the Civil War. The retaking of Khartoum…see Waterloo. One charge…ONE…is worth noting in World War One when the British took Damascus. Budeny’s Red Cossacks had success against the half frozen troop of the Wehrmacht. Otherwise, from Agincourt to Tannenberg, cavalry charges are not practical. As mentioned, the Poles had a relatively modern army…RELATIVELY. And that included anti-tank weapons. They were just overwhelmed. Next time you see David’s painting of Napoleon crossing the St. Barnard pass on a white charger, remember that the charger was a mule.

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