Navigation Links
Dogs of war: Historian shows the role of canines in World War II
Date:12/5/2011

Seventy years since the United States entered World War II after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, a BYU historian has a new look at an often overlooked breed of soldier.

In his book "Empire of Dogs," Professor Aaron Skabelund goes beyond the battlefield duties of these four-legged soldiers and captures how dogs like New York City's "Skippy" and Tokyo's "Aren" mobilized their people to their nations' causes.

"It may be surprising to some that dogs were used in a similar manner by all combatant countries, both Axis and Allies," Skabelund said. "They ran messages, carried ammunition, guarded prisoners and flushed out enemy soldiers that remained in the aftermath of certain battles."

In America, an organization called "Dogs for Defense" encouraged people to enlist their dogs in military service. The recruitment included school assemblies where the military could appeal directly to children. At Public School No. 66 in New York City, one 10-year-old girl enlisted Skippy, a shepherd-collie mix, while the rest of the student body sang "The K9 Corps" march.

For families that owned dogs too small for military specifications, Dogs for Defense provided an alternative: Sponsor another dog's training in your pet's name.

"In exchange for a financial donation, their dog was awarded a military rank, so Rover could become a general at the right price," Skabelund said.

In Tokyo, a teenage girl named Teshima Tamie was similarly honored for enlisting her German shepherd puppy. A newspaper quoted her as saying, "As a woman, I cannot stand on the frontline, so I asked Aren to go fight for me."

In his research for the book which has a Japanese focus Skabelund located Teshima's own scrapbook. In it she had pasted several advertisements for the movie Sensen ni hoeyu (Barks at the battlefront). Contemporary critics of the 1936 film praised it for "moving, tear-jerking scenes" of dogs wounded after they captured an enemy spy without human help.

"Both film and literature at the time are full of stories about children who love their dogs and in the end part with them and give their dogs to the military," Skabelund said. "Ultimately this prepared children to part with their other loved ones: their father, their brother, their son, or even to prepare themselves to go off to war."

While the United States emerged from the war as a world superpower, Skabelund presents in another chapter how Japan became a "pet superpower," in part through the popularity of "pure Japanese breeds," such as the Akita and the Shiba. "Empire of Dogs" is published by Cornell University Press.


'/>"/>

Contact: Joe Hadfield
joe_hadfield@byu.edu
801-422-9206
Brigham Young University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Noted science historian Elof Carlson traces how the idea of mutation has changed in 6 generations
2. Historian says history of nuclear power needs to be addressed
3. Educational historian looks at origins of the culture wars
4. Montana State University historian wins prize for book on Montana, Utah copper mines
5. Environmental historian now tackles industrial disease in Japan
6. FSU Historians Arctic research has him sitting on top of the world
7. L-arginine: Supplement tested on fit, athletic men shows no advantage
8. New Study Shows Impact of Employee Wellness Efforts
9. New projection shows global food demand doubling by 2050
10. Study of flower petals shows evolution at the cellular level
11. Long-term study shows acid pollution in rain decreased with emissions
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/5/2017)... Today HYPR Corp. , leading innovator ... of the HYPR platform is officially FIDO® Certified ... architecture that empowers biometric authentication across Fortune 500 enterprises ... over 15 million users across the financial services industry, ... product suites and physical access represent a growing portion ...
(Date:4/3/2017)...  Data captured by IsoCode, IsoPlexis Corporation,s ... statistically significant association between the potency of ... objective response of cancer patients post-treatment. The ... cancer patients will respond to CAR-T cell ... to improve both pre-infusion potency testing and cell ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... Trends, opportunities and forecast in this market ... (fingerprint, AFIS, iris recognition, facial recognition, hand geometry, vein ... use industry (government and law enforcement, commercial and retail, ... others), and by region ( North America ... Pacific , and the Rest of the World) ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... May 24, 2017 , ... Patient ... developed with Wi-Fi connectivity to reduce the amount of wiring in a healthcare ... addition, compact mobile devices including infusion pumps, heart and hypertension monitoring, glucose monitoring, ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Firmex today announced the general ... for organizations to send and gather large files and confidential documents beyond the ... size limitations. , Using the same market-tested infrastructure as Firmex’s flagship Virtual ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 23, 2017 , ... ... source of human cardiovascular cells for research and the development of cardiac ... possible to generate large numbers of cardiomyocytes (hPSC-CMs). Due to varying differentiation ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 22, 2017 , ... NetDimensions has been ranked as ... Globe™ for Corporate Learning, 2017. , Aragon Research defines Leaders as organizations who ... perform against those strategies. NetDimensions’ ranking as a Leader due to its strengths ...
Breaking Biology Technology: