In the French Army, one infantry battalion specialises in training about 300 soldier-dog pairs every year.
Close teamwork between a soldier and his dog
This is the 132nd dog battalion of the French Army (132 nd BCAT), which is assigned directly to the 1st Division and based in Suippes (Marne). These man/dog pairs are trained to support the infantry units. Perfectly trained, the dogs are a vital aid in the detection of explosives, narcotics, searching for the wounded, missing etc ... Their saint's day traditionally takes place on Saint Roch Day in memory of this 14th century pilgrim who healed the sick of the plague. That was up until the day when he himself was struck by the plague and withdrew to the woods. Here a dog brought him bread every day that it had stolen from its master's table. He is always represented showing his plague sores with a dog standing by his side. In French, the saying 'c'est saint Roch et son chien' (it's Saint Roch and his dog) refers two inseparable people.
A chaque arme son saint patron
- Saint Maurice (22 septembre) : Saint Maurice patron de l’Infanterie
- Sainte Barbe (4 décembre) : Sainte Barbe patron de l’Artillerie
- Saint Eloi (1er décembre) : Saint Eloi patron des Mécaniciens
- Saint Luc (18 octobre) : Saint Luc patron du Service de Santé des armées
- Saint Bernard (15 juin) : Saint Bernard patron des Troupes de montagne
- Sainte Véronique (4 février) : Sainte Véronique patron des Photographes
- Saint Gabriel (29 septembre) : Saint Gabriel patron des Transmetteurs
- Saint George (23 avril) : Saint George patron de la Cavalerie
TO FIND OUT MORE...
Article : Les animaux pendant la première guerre mondiale, available under : http://www.horizon14-18.eu/animaux-et-guerre.html
Video : Les chiens en opération, available under : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2HxrO8sMRc