...Composite History Pages!

A Pictorial And Informational Tour Thru The Ages.

Featuring Hundreds Of Rare Photographs,

From Around The World!

SiteBuilder's Note

The K-9 History: The Dogs Of War! pages are about the World's Military use of dogs in both war and peace; with a major emphasis on both, the involvement of the United States with canines, from about 1775 during the French Indian Wars to the present; and Britain's seemingly intrinic leadership role with the US Army and US Air Force thru out their military dog history, from WW I to the present.

A Special Presentation From Hahn's 50th AP K-9, West Germany



Featuring The History of The United States and Great Britain's
Military Working Dogs Throughout the Ages!

From Before Biblical Times To The Present

When we go to war, they go to war.

Throughout the histories of warfare, from the days of the Egyptians, the Greeks and the Persians and the conquests of the Roman Empire.

To the United Nation's Police Action in Korea, the war in Vietnam, the Gulf War, and more recently during the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo.

Dogs have undergone active service at the sides of their masters, they have played the role of hero, by showing bravery under fire, saving lives (often by sacrificing their own), and bringing comfort to the injured and infirm.

Atilla the Hun, used giant Molossian dogs, precursors of the mastiff, and Talbots, ancestors of the bloodhound, in his campaigns.

During the Middle Ages, war dogs were outfited with armor and frequently were used to defend caravans.

And in the Seven Years War, Russian dogs were used as messengers by the army of Frederick the Great.

Napoleon had dogs posted as sentries at the gates of Alexandria, in Egypt, to warn his troops of any attacks.

Two centuries earlier, on this side of the Atlantic, they helped the Spaniards conquer the indians of Mexico and Peru.

Then later on, it was the native North American Indians who were to develop the use of dogs for pack and draft work, as well as for sentry duty.

In the early part of the 14th Century, the French Navy started to use attack dogs in St. Malo, France, to guard naval dock installations. These were used up to 1770, when they were abolished after a young naval officer was unfortunately killed by one of the dogs.

The first recorded American Canine Corp was during the Seminole War of 1835, and again in 1842, in Florida and Louisana, where Cuban-bred bloodhounds were used by the army to track the indians and runaway slaves in the swamps!

And during the bleakest time in the history of the United States, the Civil War, dogs were used as messengers, guards and as mascots.

In 1884, the German Army established the first organize Military School for training war dogs at Lechernich, near Berlin; and in 1885 wrote the very first training manual for MWD.

In 1898, during the Spanish-American War, dogs were used by Teddy's Roughriders, as scouts in the jungles of Cuba.

By the early part of the twentieth century most European countries were utilizing dogs in their armies and for police work.

In 1904, Imperial Russia used ambulance dogs during the Russo-Japanese War; trained by a British dog fancier, who later went on to establish the first Army Dog School in England, at the start of The Great War.

The Bulgarians and Italians employed dogs as sentries during the war in the Balkans and in Tripoli, as did the British on the Abor Expedition in the Himalayas.

Dogs were used in sizable numbers in both World War I and II, particularly by the Germans, French, Belgians; and proved to be of considerable value!

In 1988, the Israeli Special Forces sent bomb carrying Rottweilers on a suicide mission, code named "Blue and Brown," against enemy bunkers in Lebanon. But more about that later!

And when the Berlin Wall came down, Nov. 9, 1989, the East German communist government was using 5,000 dogs just to patrol the wall and another 2,500 watch dogs plus 2,700 so called horse dogs to patrol their borders.

During the Gulf War, at least 1,177 highly trained German Shepherds were use by the French forces to guard and protect their troops, supplies and aircraft. The USA used 88 teams.

But it was initially during the days of the Roman Empire, that entire formations of attack dogs, frequently equipped with armour or spiked collars were sent into battle against the enemy as a recognized and effective instruments of offensive warfare.

However, recently with the development of modern long range warfare and the consequential change in military tactics, the value of dogs as combat soldiers has steadily diminished.

But at the same time their usefulness in other military activities has increased.

This is their story and in some ways, mans as well!

A K-9 History's
Special Presentation!

British and Soviets In
The Afghan Region

Courtesy British Museum, Painting by Peter Archer

Maiwand, Afghanistan - the last stand of the 66th; the dog in the painting is Bobbie, the mascot of the British 2nd Battalion, of the Royal Berkshire Regiment, the only survivor of the battle of Maiwand in 1880, during the British 2nd Afghan War. Bobbie received the Afghan Medal from Queen Victoria the following year in 1881; he died the year after, run down by a cab.

Two of the World's very first Sentry Dogs, that were trained by Edwin H. Richardson, and were used in the British Expedition against the Abors on the Northern India frontier, in 1911.

An Soviet Union K-9 Handler, from the Spetsnaz, during a recon patrol in Afghanistan, finds time to goof off alittle with his german shepherd, during a short rest break.

A squad of eleven battle harden Soviet Razvedchiki (Reconnaisance) Scouts, from a Spetsnaz LARP Company hitching a ride on top of a Russian ATC during an patrol of the Soviet Union, Afghanistan border, 1982.

Afghanistan is called the most mined area on Planet Earth.

Photograph Commonwealth of Australia, 2000

The United Nation's Mine Dog Program for Afghanistan is the largest in the world, with 244 mine sniffing dogs...half of the dogs in the entire world with such skills. The Afghan Mine Detection Centre is located in the capital, Kabul.

Soviet KGB Border Guards, 1985

The USSR KGB Border Guards used tracker dogs
on the mountainous terrain, bordering the Soviet Union and Afghanistan. Entry into the KGB Border Guards K-9 was highly selective, a recruit had to have an unimpeachable political background; normally it was limited to applicants of Russian, Byelorussian or Ukranian descent.

Russian Federal Border Service K-9 Team, 2000

When the Soviet Union collaped, Russia and Tadjikistan agreed that Russian border guards would patrol the border with Afghanistan. This is an ideal border for drug traffickers, and now world terrorists trying to cross undected.

9-25-01 AP Efrem Lukatsky

An Uzbek frontier guard and his dog stand watch in Termez, Uzbekistan, which borders Afghanistan eastern frontier.

Photo Courtesy of The Ministry of Defence UK

Kabul, 2002. British Warrant Officer Graham Smith of The 216 Air Assault Squadron, with Tiger, the newly adopted mascot of the British 16 Air Assault Brigade Headquarters, Kabul.

Come now on a pictorial K-9 journey:

...before Biblical Times with Ancient Warriors,
to 1775 and Benjamin Franklin's view on the use of dogs against the American indians

to Courage Under Fire ...with British regimental dogs, to the first military war dog school in Germany, and the Battle of Belfort of 1871 with a Prussian officer,

then onto the trenches of the Western and Eastern Fronts during The Great War,

to the Second World War...the Homefront and the start of the K-9 Corp, coast-to-coast with the Coast Guard's Beach Patrols and enemy subs

...training the Army's Search & Rescue K-9s and D-Day and the war in Europe, to the Pacific with the Marine's Devildogs, and the Army's Dog Platoons,

the Post War years, before and after Korea, fifteen years in Vietnam, the fall of the Wall and the end of the Cold War, and finally Bosnia and Kosovo, to the end of the twentieth century and our journey.

Navigating This Site...Is Simple!

Note - On the bottom of every page, there are 2 BUTTONS: the one marked NEXT, will take you to the next page in the series, and also a HOME button to return here to the History Main Index!

Hahn K-9

K-9 History Index

World War I

World War II

  • WW II: GB Awarded For Gallantry!

Post War To Present

  • War Dogs In The U.S. Military!

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    While every possible attempt has been made to ensure that the information presented here is accurate, let's face it, accidents and typos do happen.  Be aware that should you come to any grievous bodily harm as a result of the information presented here, or worse yet ...you get a K-9 History question wrong on Final Jeopardy, just remember that you were warned so I won't be held accountable.


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