HomePetsEnough War Horse: 5 Real Fighting Animals of War

Enough War Horse: 5 Real Fighting Animals of War

Image: Tracy-Anne

I haven’t seen war horse – and I don’t have the desire to. I like animals as much as the next man, well, I like cows – well, I like steak. But I’m sick of Horses getting all the plaudits.

I am here today to pitch to you as a member of the general public and as internet friends; the most general of all the public’s, my revolutionary movie idea that will no doubt be picked up by a huge movie studio as soon as this reaches press.

Today, I look to secure funding for production of my big screen epic adaptation of a real life, true story, actual event, non-fiction, accurate representation, painstakingly reconstructed film of the real animals of war – part one. To provide best value for money for you the punter, I have included a selection of 5 animals that will all feature as comrades fighting side by side.

This will make Noah’s Ark seem like a cruise-class Destroyer.

1.     Marine attack mammal

Since the U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program was declassified in the 1990s people have known that dolphins, sea lions and other mammals (I’m hoping manatees) have been used in mine detection. Sure there has been no proof that our watery friends have been transformed into mechanised killing machines, but I feel that artistic license in delivering a big screen blockbusting hit could allow for some… leeway.

2.     Camo Camel

Camels have been used to cross deserts for centuries and with no better way for soldiers to cross endless expanses of utterly boring sand, the camel was the natural choice. Horses get to play polo and run round in circles, Camels have to trek hundreds of miles in sandstorms. Have you ever tried walking up a sand dune? Hard work. It’s enough to give anyone the hump. And they might get shot too.

3.     In Soviet Russia, Dog Walks You

Soviets used dogs with explosives attached to their backs to blow up tanks. Admittedly, this is more of a support role in my film. But an important document of the sacrifice dogs made in the pursuit of bravery*.

(*the tasty treat under an enemy tank)

4.     Homing Pigeon

Pigeons were used for messaging during both World Wars, but in the Second World War it was taken a flap further – a rather unimaginatively named Project Pigeon was created to train them to guide bombs. I’d like some nice aerial shots in my masterpiece so this is a great fit.

5.     Pte Bear

Wojtek the soldier bear was formally enlisted and drafted into the Polish Army as a private in order to make him eligible to travel on a British transport ship. I’m not even sure whether they let guide dogs onto ferries anymore. Wojtek retired and was moved to a more bear friendly environment in Scotland where he lived out his last days in peace catching salmon with military precision (probably).

So there we have it, the greatest war story never told, I’m going to sit back and wait for the plaudits. Hey ‘War Horse’, why the long face?

Oh, the war… right.

Dan Izzard dabbles in everything from Jazz flute to gardening, he writes for Pest Control Group who provide pest control products like the classic mouse trap to stop pests invading your home and/or country.

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