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Animal Heroes of the Great War

‘Inspiring and very moving – the story of the army of animals who support our troops in WWI. They were heroes on so many levels, and here their story is told by a truly gifted author.’ Damien Lewis, author of War Dog and Judy – A Dog In A Million

During the First World War there were nearly seventy million combatants who served in the armies of numerous countries and empires, but there was another army involved, one that is often overlooked in the history of war:

The army of animals that supported the armies of men.

From regimental mascots to beasts of burden, animals played a vital part in the war machine of all involved, and often beyond anything we might imagine.

There was man’s best friend – brave, loyal dogs who served as patrolmen, messengers, sentries, even combatants and detectives.

Communication has increased importance in modern warfare, yet at times a homing pigeon’s instinct of orientation was the sole hope available to soldiers in the field.

And despite the lowering esteem in which conventional cavalry was held, horses were still able to go where the most modern of vehicles could not.

Focusing on the Allied Powers, Baynes tells of “the work done by animals in helping to win the war,” recording the services and sacrifices borne by these noble animals and more, including the advent of chemical warfare and what it meant.

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