15 Times Animals In War Turned The Battlefield Upside Down

From mutts to medals, pigeons to heroes, and emus to kangaroos; explore stories of animals in war.
15 Times Animals In War Turned The Battlefield Upside Down

Are you ready for a journey through time? From a humble mutt to a heroic baboon, and even a slug brigade, these fifteen tales of bravery and loyalty will leave you inspired. Meet Sergeant Stubby, who became the first dog ever given rank in the US Army, and Rags, a World War One pooch who was evacuated to America and went on to become an honorary lieutenant colonel. Learn about Cher Ami, the carrier pigeon who saved the Lost Battalion, and Jackie the Baboon, who wore a uniform and marched with the 3rd South African Infantry Brigade. You'll even meet Gustave, the WWI pigeon who delivered news from the front lines, Wojtek the bear who captured an anti-British fighter in Palestine, Tirpitz the pig who became the mascot of HMS Glasgow, and the Slug Brigade, whose discovery of slugs' sensitivity to mustard gas saved thousands of lives. And what of the Emus? Read on to find out.

G.I. Joe flies 20 miles in 20 minutes, earns PDSA Dickin Medal.

Heroic pigeon saves 100 soldiers from bombing. For Gillantic LLES SCREE GRACKED.COM G.I. Joe, a member of the United States Army Pigeon Service in World War II, flew 20 miles in 20 minutes to save at least 100 Allied soldiers from being bombed by their own planes and was awarded the PDSA Dickin Medal for his heroic efforts.


Machine Guns vs. Emus: 10,000 Rounds of Futility.

Military vs. Emus: Epic battle ensues. CRACKED.COM In 1932, the Australian military attempted to cull a large population of emus in Western Australia with machine guns and 10,000 rounds of ammunition; however they were unsuccessful due to the birds' quick movements and ability to withstand bullets.

History Extra 

WWI's unlikely hero: the slug.

Mustard gas? No problem for the Slug Brigade. CRACKED.COM Paul Bartsch's discovery of slugs' sensitivity to mustard gas in WWI led the U.S. military to use them as a warning system against toxic fumes, saving thousands of lives and becoming known as the Slug Brigade.


Polish mascot turns soldier: Wojtek's incredible story.

Wojtek: Syrian bear turned Polish hero, captures enemy in shower. CRACKED COM Wojtek, a Syrian brown bear adopted by Polish soldiers during WWII, was allowed to stay as the unit's mascot and eventually became something of a national hero. Не even captured an anti-British fighter in Palestine while cooling himself off with showers.


WWII's feathery War Correspondent: Gustave!

Gustave the Pigeon overcomes 50 mph headwinds to deliver news from front lines. CRACKED.COM Gustave, an RAF Coastal Command carrier pigeon in WWII, brought the first War Correspondent's despatch back to England from Allied Invasion forces off enemy coast and was released at 8:30am. The message arrived safely in London after a 50 miles per hour headwind flight of 5 hours 16 minutes.


Sailor saves pig from watery demise; 'Tirpitz' becomes HMS Glasgow mascot.

Sailor saves swine: HMS Glasgow's unlikely mascot is 'Tirpitz' the pig. CRACKED.COM A sailor from HMS Glasgow rescued a pig, 'Tirpitz', that had been swimming in the water after its ship was sunk by the Royal Navy in WWI. The pig then served as mascot of HMS Glasgow for one year before being transferred to Whale Island Gunnery School.


Baboon joins army: Jackie the Baboon marches with 3rd SA Infantry Brigade.

Alerting his troops: Jackie the Baboon's skills increase morale and protect soldiers. CRACKED COM The 3rd South African Infantry Brigade in WWI had an unusual mascot, Jackie the Baboon, who wore a uniform and marched with them. Не was also able to alert his companions of enemy attacks and boosted morale among the soldiers.

The World War 

Brave mare saves the day: Uphill Battle monument commemorates Staff Sergeant Reckless.

Marine mare defies odds, honored with three monuments. CRACKED.COM The Uphill Battle monument in Virginia memorializes Staff Sergeant Reckless, a United States Marine mare who was purchased from a stable boy during the Korean War and became famous for her bravery while carrying ammunition to the front lines. Three monuments have been dedicated in her honor since 2013.

Atlas Obscura 

Small donkey, big heart: Simpson Kirkpatrick's legacy.

Heroic Englishman: Unstoppable on donkey back. CRACKED.COM John Simpson Kirkpatrick, a 22-year old Englishman and trade union activist who had deserted from the merchant navy in 1910, became an unlikely national hero when he enlisted with the AIF at ANZAC Cove on 25 April 1915. Не famously used a small donkey to carry wounded men down from the front line during battle, becoming one of Australia's best known historical figures for his bravery and selfless sacrifice.


Brave pup Chips: from loyal companion to war hero.

WWII hero dog: Saving lives with style. GRACKED.COM Chips was a heroic dog during WWII, who saved the lives of many U.S. soldiers and earned prestigious awards such as a Purple Heart and Silver Star for his bravery in battle.


Legendary K-9 and handler: their heroic night in Vietnam.

Injured Nemo defends Bob: a bond of courage in Vietnam. CRACKED.COM Nemo the military working dog and his handler Bob Throneburg stopped a Viet Cong attack at an air base in Vietnam, with Nemo sustaining injuries while protecting Throneburg. The bond between them was unique and their actions that night became legendary among those who worked with military K-9s.


Loyal pup rises to ranks: Rags is an honorary Lieutenant Colonel.

War hero dog evacuated to America: Rags makes it big. GRACKED.COM Rags was a World War One dog who served as both a mascot and messenger for the U.S. 1st Infantry division, later becoming an honorary lieutenant colonel in recognition of his service before being evacuated to America where he became famous.

Owlcation / Wikipedia 

Mutt to Medal: Sergeant Stubby's incredible journey.

From humble mutt to WWI hero: Sergeant Stubby's remarkable rise. CRACKED.COM Sergeant Stubby, a short brindle bull terrier mutt, was honored with an engraved solid gold medal by General John J. Pershing in 1921 for his bravery and heroism during World War I; he is the first dog ever given rank in the U.S. Army and became famous as a celebrity meeting three presidents, traveling to veterans' commemorations and performing vaudeville shows earning more than twice the weekly salary of average Americans at that time.


Scroll down for the next article
Forgot Password?