How did pigeons help set Europe ablaze? Why did some men of the Polish Army fighting in Italy have an insignia of a bear on their uniforms? What was the fate of Dr Brydon’s horse?
Find out the answer to these and many more questions in the first book to document the stories of various animals’ battles throughout many different wars. This book covers the contributions, roles and fates of these animals using individual stories and vignettes set against a wider context of the conflicts. For example, the graphic portrayal of Dr William Brydon in the painting Remnants of an Army clearly shows him mounted on his exhausted horse. But what were the sources of horses for the East India Company? What became of the wretched horse depicted in the painting?
Throughout history, wars have affected animals as well as humans, and often in remarkably diverse ways. Although the ‘War Horse’ of the First World War has recently become well recognised, there are a large number of stories relating to animals in war that have yet to be told. Watkins makes use of first-hand accounts to explore in detail their recruitment, their service and their fate.