Triumphant dog sitting atop a gun surrounded by gunners, France, during World War I
Triumphant dog sitting atop a gun surrounded by gunners, France, during World War I. Proudly perched on top of what looks like a howitzer, this pet dog was the regimental mascot of the artillery gunners also gathered round the gun. Despite the many dangers posed by life in and near the front line, many regiments kept pet dogs and cats. Keeping a regimental mascot also helped to maintain the troops morale.
There were so many artillerymen fighting in 'the war to end all wars', that, on many occasions, there were more gunners supporting an offensive than infantrymen leading the attack. Given the massive number of infantry soldiers that regularly went 'over the top', this lone fact offers a revealing insight into the devastating power of artillery units during World War I.
[Original reads: 'OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPH TAKEN ON THE BRITISH WESTERN FRONT IN FRANCE. The mascot of a battery who are kept very busy shelling the Germans.']
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- World War One official British photographs 1991 photos