Monday, 6 June 2011

28mm Painted Portuguese Conquistador Mastiffs or War Dogs.

The conquerors were professional armies, using modern tactics, firearms, combat dogs, and cavalry tactics against unprepared groups. The Companies would often specialize in forms of combat that required longer periods of training that was not available in the form of a mobilized militia.
The strongest war dogs, broad-mouthed breeds of mastiff specifically trained for battle , were used against almost nude troops. The Spanish conquistadors used armoured dogs that had been trained to kill and disembowel when they invaded the land controlled by South American natives. They were used to flush out ambushes by sending the dogs out ahead of columns.


The use of dogs in warfare has been common even in many early civilizations. As warfare has progressed, their purposes have changed greatly. Some examples are:



  • 628 BC: The Lydians deployed a separate battalion of fighting dogs.
  • 525 BC: Cambyses II used huge fighting dogs against Egyptian spearmen and archers.
  • 490 BC: Battle of Marathon: A brave fighting dog was immortalized in a mural.
  • 385 BC: Siege of Mantineia: Fighting dogs cut off enemy reinforcements.
  • 101 BC: Battle of Vercellae: Large Cimbri dogs led by women defended their wagon forts.
  • 1525: Henry VIII exported 400 mastiffs to support Spain.
  • 1580: Elizabeth I sent 800 fighting dogs to fight in the Desmond Rebellions.
  • 1799: Napoleon assembled large numbers of fighting dogs in front of his reserves.
  • 1914: The Belgian Army used carabiniers, strong-muscled Bouvier des Flandres to haul heavy machine guns to the front.
  • 1914–1918: Dogs were used by international forces to deliver vital messages.
  • 1941–1945: The Soviet Union used dogs strapped with explosives to destroy invading German tanks.
  • 1943–1945: The United States Marine Corps used dogs, donated by their American owners, in the Pacific theater to help take islands back from Japanese occupying forces. During this period the Doberman Pinscher became the official dog of the U.S.M.C.; however, all breeds of dogs were eligible to train to be "war dogs of the Pacific". Of the 549 dogs that returned from the war, only 4 could not be detrained and returned to civilian life. Many of the dogs went home with their handlers from the war.[6]
  • 1966–1973: Approximately 5,000 US war dogs served in the Vietnam War (the US Army did not retain records prior to 1968); about 10,000 US servicemen served as dog-handlers during the war, and the K9 units are estimated to have saved over 10,000 human lives. 43 military working dogs and 73 US servicemen working as dog handlers were killed in action during the war. Only 200 Vietnam War dogs returned to the U.S. with their handlers; the rest were euthanized or left behind.[7]
  • 1979–1988: The Soviet Union again used dogs, this time in the Soviet war in Afghanistan.
  • 2011: United States Navy SEALs used a Belgian Malinois war dog named Cairo in Operation Neptune Spear, in which Osama bin Ladenwas killed.[8][9]
28mm mastiffs from Vendel miniatures, can be got now from Sgt Major Miniatures, real nice land sharks.







66 comments:

  1. The dogs look ready to fight and defend!!!

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  2. Nice doggies there, and very interesting history too, thanks.

    Wondering if i could work some of those soviet mine dogs into my FOW army now...

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  3. I'm sure they're only an inch or so tall, but those dogs look pretty mean.

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  4. @In Chigh: With the option of them coming right back to the tanks they were trained on aswell.

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  5. Fascinating stuff about the war dogs -- a lot of that I did not know.

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  6. woof! woof! who's a good doggy? who's a good boy? who's a happy snuggle bum?

    huh. i don't think your dogs like me.

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  7. Very interesting, and nice photos too, as always.

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  8. I didn't know that about dogs, very interesting, Lurk! Great figures too!

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  9. Who let de dogs out?!

    Always wanted to do that bad joke. Thanks for this opportunity Francis.

    As always nice models, great painting and this time even greater background stuff.

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  10. Man, you got me thinking up rules for those now, roll a 1 & your own T-34's get blown to hell :)

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  11. Interesting stuff. Great work.

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  12. @In Chigh: It was the reason the program was ended, they lost a lot of tanks and shot a lot of their own dogs.

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  13. The dogs look so awesome! :D

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  15. They look good. That´s the one thing that´s a pain in 1772nd scale...not enough war dogs. There are sets that have them but they are either rare or the dogs look too small.
    Cheers
    paul

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  16. Very nice and something not oft covered.

    Christopher

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  17. Ha! I was just ordering stuff from Warlord Games a few hours ago and considered if I should add the dogs to fill out my minimum order value, added more tufts instead as I have quite a few unpainted models in line already. But I really need to buy those dogs when I work off my unpainted collection!

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  18. didnt know they were used in war. interesting history

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  19. I still find myself rather attracted to your foliage more than anything. Hopefully that didn't come out weird.....

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  20. They look really mean. Especially the one leaping on two legs.

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  21. Great history, love the dogs.

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  22. These are some great looking dogs. Nice work job you did on both dogs and dog handler.

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  23. Loved your story about the use of dogs in warfare

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  24. Those look cool. And a good history lesson as well.

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  25. Interesting stuff, made me think of this massive monument next to Hide Park in London dedicated to animals killed in wars.

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  26. Nifty lil' hounds. And it looks like they'd work mulit-period too.

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  27. I must get some of these hounds.

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  28. Don't forget to mention that dog are also used for smell infected in a pre Z-Apocalypse ;)

    Good Job, as always! D:

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  29. dags, facking awesame. looks good. check out that detail

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  30. Honestly, if I had a 200ish lb mastiff coming at me, with a look of murder in its eyes, I'd crap my pants.

    Those beasts strike fear into soldiers' hearts everywhere.

    My Own Private Idaho

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  31. Very cool on the Mastiffs. My goodness those are big doggies. Not like Miss Wiggy. Although, if I keep feeding her homemade treats, she'll be well on her way.

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  32. Release ze hounds! Kind of sad to think that dogs were killed in wars, but that's life

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  33. so Portuguese were sending dogs to do their dirty work :)

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  34. Thanks for posting this - I have a great love for dogs. Those are nice sculpts and a good paintjob!

    I understand that the U.S. government is finally moving towards classifying their service dogs as 'veterans' instead of 'surplus equipment' - that way they get to be repatriated instead of being left behind. I really hope this bill passes.

    Also, as a tear-jerker, here is a link to an article describing a dog team that was buried together after they were killed in action in Iraq.

    http://www.armytimes.com/news/2007/07/army_canineteam_070722w/

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  35. Those mastiffs sound vicious.

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  36. Very interesting article. Lots of facts I wasn't aware of.

    Regards,
    Matt

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  37. Amazing work on the dogs.

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  38. Very cool miniatures, and writeup to boot. The "master of hounds" archetype is one I've wanted to play with, in either a historical or fantasy setting. I may have to base a future character on this concept, as I have a few painted dogs ready to go...

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  39. Reminds me so much of warhammer fantasy :D followed

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  40. Great figures and history Fran. I do not think the dog lunging on two feet is smiling. WHen I was 10 an uncle had a mastif. The dog was a terror, he would break chins to attack and kill any dog he could find in the neighborhood. His favorite tactic was crushing the skull of his victim with one bite. I was not short, but he would drool and it would hit me on top of the head. It still gives me a chill whenI think of him.

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  41. The Beast master. Dogs look awesome, would be better to have had some Wolves i think.

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  42. lovely Job, are they the Eureka dogs?

    Another Job for current Aussie combat dogs is bomb disposal and sniffing out ammo dumps in Afghanistan!

    cheers
    Matt

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  43. I stopped painting figures b/c the figures got too expensive :(

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  44. This is so cool.

    Kind of reminds me of Dragon Age. (so nerdy i know)

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  45. Truly a dog eat dog world.

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  46. Damn, even as miniatures they look viscous! Good thing I'm not 2 centimeters tall or i'd be running for the nearest tree!

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  47. My old room mate was a Dawg Handlah from Lawn Guyland; his dog was a wimp but another sentry dog we had just back from the Thirty-Eighth Parallel in Korea was ferocious and I thought for sure he was going to break through the car windows to come and kill me. He was trying to.

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  48. Great! I always find it difficult to paint animals. The dogs are awesome.

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  49. Great post on the dogs, interesting stuff. They are very nicely done as well.

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  50. Hi Fran,
    Excellent post, what I really really like in your blog is the "History" bit, with all the link you provide it's an excellent excuse to actually know the historical period we are playing....
    Really really good!! ;)

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  51. That is sad, using poor animals to do our dirty work, that is despicable.

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  52. The loyalty of dogs, definitely have had a helping hand in guiding history.

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  53. Nice post, Fran. I could definitely find a use for them.

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  54. These are really great! love em

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  55. Saw this image just after this post went up.

    'Medics Treat a Wounded Dog in Guam@'
    http://www.life.com/gallery/23079/image/50624347#index/12

    Regards,
    Matt

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  56. Hi Angry,

    Fascinating reference. I love this article you wrote. I have a Doberman but I didn't know it was used by the USMC. As an animal lover I never like dogs use for war but I can't help it but be proud of these brave dogs. What an great article sir!

    VS

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  57. Very impressive art work! Congratulations - and thanks for sharing :)

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