The Dogs of War & Brave Buccephalus

The British are, above all, passionate about two things – their animals and their Nationalism. At the outbreak of World War I, when Kaiser Wilhelm II decided to take over the world, twenty-five thousand German Shepherd dogs were destroyed by their British owners. Another ten thousand Schnauzers were put down and five thousand Rottweilers went west. A further casualty of that war to end all wars was a Golden Retriever in Bolton, Lancashire who was drowned by his patriotic master. The Golden Retriever is not a Germanic breed but this one happened to have been called Bill.

A million horses were conscripted into the British Army during WWI. Approximately 62,000 survived the conflict. Of these few returned to Britain after the Armistice. Most were sold, ending their lives on French dinner tables.

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