1. USE OF DOGS
Germany used dogs for military purposes during
World War I and also is using them in the present
conflict. Some are trained to carry messages, some to help
locate opposing forces during reconnaissances, some to
do guard duty, some to help locate injured persons on
the battlefield, and others to pull or carry supplies over
b. Breeds Selected
Several breeds of dogs are used for the military
work. All dogs selected must be fairly large and strong,
and capable of being trained. The German shepherd
(police) dog generally is favored over other breeds, and
numbers about half of all the dogs used by the Germans. The
Doberman pinscher breed also is highly
satisfactory and is widely used.
Training of dogs for military service begins when
they are only a few weeks old. At the age of 6 months
they usually are given an examination to weed out
those which prove unfit for additional training. Dogs
which show any signs of nervousness are eliminated
immediately. The others, to qualify for the additional
training, must follow their masters over very rough
terrain, both by night and by day, and they must show
ability to get across ditches, streams, and other
obstacles. And they also must not be afraid of battlefield
d. Duties After Training
(1) Tracking dogs.—After the training period, the
dog and its trainer are assigned to a company. The
trainer remains with the company for about 3 weeks,
or until the dog has become familiar with the new
master, who is chosen from volunteers who are dog
lovers. During this same period, the dog also becomes
familiar with all the men of the company's reconnaissance
party, with whom it will work later.
After the period of adoption, the dog must obey
its master at all times. If well trained to work with
the reconnaissance party, it can precede the patrol by
30 to 40 yards (without losing touch) and on scenting
the presence of any stranger, warn the patrol by returning
silently to its master. Some of the dogs are
said to have been trained to signal the presence of
strangers by pointing—much like a bird dog which has
spotted a covey of quail. The dogs must not bark or
whine. At the end of every reconnaissance, the dog
immediately returns with its trainer to company
headquarters. It must never stay in the front line.
(2) Messenger dogs.—The smartest dogs are used
as messengers. The message containers are strapped
to their backs or collars. They either find their way
by memory or follow a scented trail. The scent is a
mixture of 10 parts of water to 1 part of a substance
which, when dissolved, looks like molasses and smells
like root beer. The mixture is placed on the message
trail by means of a container which allows about five
drops per yard when it is carried at a normal walk.
(3) First-aid dogs.—These are trained to seek
wounded or dead soldiers on the battlefield. The dogs
have a short stick (bringsel) tied to their collars.
When they find a soldier lying down, they take the
stick in their mouths, return to their masters, who are
ambulance operators, and guide them to the wounded.
The dogs pay no attention to soldiers standing up.
First-aid dogs were credited with saving thousands
of lives in World War I.
(4) Guard dogs.—These are trained to attack
strangers or to give warning of their presence.
(5) Draft dogs.—These pull sleds or other small
vehicles, usually in mountainous areas. Light loads
sometimes are harnessed to the dogs' backs.
2. SPEED OF VEHICLES
According to a captured German manual, the speed
at which various German motor transports and
armored-force vehicles travel while alone or in convoy is
(m. p. h.)
| In convoy |
(m. p. h.)
|Motorcycles and cars ||38||22|
|Trucks with trailers ||20||15|
|Mark IG and Mark II tanks ||15||11|
|Mark III and Mark IV tanks ||15||11|
3. GERMAN-ITALIAN RELATIONS
Is there a spoke or two broken in the Axis?
There have been many reports for a long time that
German and Italian soldiers do not get along well
together. The Italians are said to hate the Germans, and
the Germans, in turn, make sly remarks about the fighting
abilities of the Italians. Some of these reports have
come from official sources. The following extract from
a German publication captured in Libya seems to bear
out these reports:
"ITALIAN WAR COMMUNIQUE"
"On the Tobruk front a large force of Italians
attacked an enemy cyclist, causing him to dismount.
After heavy and prolonged fighting they were able to
puncture his tires. The front wheel was destroyed, and
the loss of the rear wheel must also be considered
possible. The handlebars are in our hands, but
possession of the frame is still being bitterly contested."
"H. Q. Royal Italian Army"
The Japanese are said to make similar jokes about
their Siamese (Thailand) allies.