Saturday, May 7, 2011

Cry Havoc And Let Slip The Cats Dogs Of War

Among the highly trained soldiers sent to dispatch bin Laden to meet his 72 sturgeons, one had 4 legs, canine teeth - and it wasn't a cat. According to reports, it was a Belgian Malinois named Cairo, though his precise mission in the bin Laden raid is not known.

So why was Cairo there and not Felix the cat? Rob Long, writing at Ricochet, states the obvious - you "don't bring a cat to kill a terrorist," explaining:

[I]n the debate of Dog v. Cat, case closed. Dogs are fierce warriors, loyal friends, hard chargers, face lickers, snack lovers, and, clearly, patriots.

True. All true. And as one commenter to Rob's post cogently adds, "if we depended on cats to protect us we would all be in burqas by now."

Today's military canines perform a wide variety of tasks, from security and capture to sniffing out IED's. But dogs have been used in warfare since antiquity. Indeed, prior to the invention of gunpowder, and for several centuries thereafter, war dogs have been used to fight as part of armies. This from Wiki gives a good overview:

War dogs were used by the Egyptians, Greeks, Persians, Sarmatians, Alans, Slavs, Britons, and the Romans. The Molossian 'Canis Molossus' dog of Epirus was the strongest known to the Romans, and was specifically trained for battle. However, when fought against the broad-mouthed, powerful mastiff of Britannia, they were outmatched. The Romans exported many of this breed of mastiff to Rome and then disseminated them over the known world. Often war dogs would be sent into battle with large protective spiked metal collars and coats of mail armor. The Romans had attack formations made entirely of dogs. Native Americans also used dogs, though not on this scale.

During the Late Antiquity, Attila the Hun used giant Molosser dogs in his campaigns. Gifts of war dog breeding stock between European royalty were seen as suitable tokens for exchange throughout the Middle Ages. Other civilizations used armored dogs to defend caravans or attack enemies. The Spanish conquistadors used armoured dogs that had been trained to kill and disembowel when they invaded the land controlled by South American natives. The British used dogs when they attacked the Irish and the Irish in turn used Irish Wolfhounds to attack invading Norman knights on horseback. Two wolfhounds, or even a single one were often capable of taking a mounted man in armour off his horse, where the lightly armed handler would finish him off if necessary.

Later on, Frederick the Great used dogs as messengers during the Seven Years' War with Russia. Napoleon would also used dogs during his campaigns. Dogs were used up until 1770 to guard naval installations in France . . .

Bottom line, I agree with Rob, if I have to go to war, its going to be with my hounds by my side - no cats need apply.

Shhhhhhhh . . . . warrior sleeping.


Elvira Mistress of Pussydom said...

Sorry, old chap, but you are as seriously misguided, and ill-informed, as Mr. Long.

I invite you to come by, and see my post, sometime, to get edumicated. ;-D

GW said...

Ha. A wonderful post Ms. Elvira.

Elvira Mistress of Pussydom said...

Thank you, very much.

Your gracious response, and your curiousity, is something that those who originally got my whiskers in a bunch, have so far failed to show. ;-D