May 232016

As Memorial Day approaches, AKC has posted a nifty short film called My Buddy: The Dogs of WWII on YouTube.

This piece features photographs from AKC’s collection and anecdotes about some of the dogs who served in the US military’s K-9 Corps. While by no means all inclusive – nor was it intended to be – the film is definitely worth the investment of 8 minutes of your time.

Although no Dachshunds are shown in the AKC film, a number of Dachshunds did serve in the K-9 Corps during WWII.

CH Bertra v Hildesheim and Herman of Lindakin served as mine detection dogs in the European theater, for instance.  These two distinguished veterans as well as their handler Corporal Harold Deitch participated in an obedience demonstration at the Dachshund Club of America’s Golden Anniversary show in November 1945.  According to a New York Times story on the specialty show, Bertra, Herman and Corporal Deitch uncovered more than 600 land mines in battle zones, mainly in Italy.

Herman belonged to Deitch, but Bertra was loaned to the Dogs for Defense program by her owner, Mrs. Richard Pell.  Bertra was a grand-daughter of TDHP “mascot” CH Feri-Flottenberg.  Herman was a son of CH Leutnant v Marienlust and appears to have had a show career prior to his military service.

The Dogs for Defense program was run out of the Office of Strategic Services. The OSS was a wartime intelligence agency of the United States during World War II and a predecessor to the Central Intelligence Agency. Famous handler W. Frank Hardy worked in the Dogs for Defense program for five years during the war and its aftermath.

Tracy Freeling

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