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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 20 May 2013
Loved it!!! If you love animals and inspired by their heroics then you will love to read this book. Their dedication to their owners was truly amazing. Those owners that took courage to allow their 'pets' to be loaned to the War Service took herioism as well - I couldn't do that with my dog. Nice short chapters so easy to pick up and read in short intervals. Brilliant.
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on 8 May 2013
I thoroughly enjoyed hearing about the wartime and indeed peacetime bravery of so many animals and pigeons. Some of their exploits were truly amazing. I had no idea that pigeons were carried in ships and aircraft and actually saved many human lives by flying with messages for many miles sometimes over water which they did not normally do. The wonderful tales of the bravery and devotion to duty of dogs and even horses, I found very emotional.
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on 3 November 2012
This book tells the astonishing stories of each of the animals awarded the Dickin Medal, the animals' equivalent of the Victoria Cross. The tales are drawn together through an exquisitely written narrative to form a comprehensive and profoundly moving account of animals in war. While the book is profoundly moving, the author writes without a trace of sentimentalism, preferring wisely to let the stories speak for themselves. The tales do not stand alone but are woven into a contextual fabric that offers the reader enough of the greater history to grasp the importance of the work done and the difficulties of the reality faced by the combatants. Hints of the greater historical and military knowledge of the author lie in surprising but pleasing detail, which add richness without distracting from the heroism of the animal protagonists. We meet Brian, a German Shepherd-Collie cross and qualified paratrooper, as he parachutes into the chaos and devastation of D-Day; Irma, a German Shepherd who together with a companion dog Psyche rescued 233 victims from the rubble of London; pigeons Royal Blue and Billy, both flying in aircraft that were forced to land in enemy territory, carried messages back across land and sea that enabled rescuers to locate the stricken crew; Able Seaman Simon, a raggedy ship's cat, contributed invaluable service hunting giant rats that were devastating the food supplies of the crew of HMS Amethyst, stricken on the Yangtze. Horses, too, play their part, keeping calm through bombs and fire, enabling their riders to bring control to situations of panic and chaos through the London Blitz. The animals are the stars as you might expect in such a book, but their tales are as extraordinary for the devotion shown to (and by) their human comrades as for the courage shown in often hellish situations. So many of these animals lifted the morale of the units with which they worked, comforted the wounded and the traumatised, and became so attached to their handlers that the reader comes to think of them as having human qualities. The human heroes that trained them, worked alongside them, and loved them are not forgotten in this book of extraordinary gallantry and devotion.
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on 17 April 2013
As a military buff and animal lover, I truly enjoyed reading the stories of these courageous animal. They not only showed bravery and tireless devoted work in their fields, but their companionship was a beacon of light for their fellow service members.
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on 18 November 2014
Get your tissues read. My only problem was I found it a little disorganised - difficult to find my way around the Kindle edition to the story I was interested in, but if you were reading straight through that wouldn't be a problem.
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on 30 June 2013
This book contains inspiring true stories of animal heroism which put some members of our own species to shame. It is written in short story, biographical style which makes the book enjoyable to read. I discovered this book after my 5 year old son and I enjoyed the animated film, 'Valiant', which is based on the actions of a pigeon in WW2. Other recent winners of the 'Dickin medal' (Such as Ajax, the Spanish German-shepherd who discovered a terrorist bomb) are not included because they received their awards after the publication of this edition - so we eagerly await the next one.
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on 28 December 2015
Amazing stories that will keep you amazed and entertained for hours, I purchased this for my wife for xmas and weve both now read it within a few days, theres nothing more heart warming than these amazing animal stories, I definitely recommend this book
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on 28 November 2012
As humans we do like to believe our pets or close working animals feel the same love and loyalty we have for them. This book proves that many animals have the capabilty of that devotion to their owner, work companions and other human beings by showing huge courage in times of pure horror and destruction. The book focuses on the stories in a war setting with descriptions of animals nearly at the point of death at times to fulfill their mission. The author also mentions that there really should be more animals who deserve this medal of recognition.

I did enjoy reading about the fairly recent PDSA Gold Medal at the end of the book which tells the stories of animals who have shown courage and inspiration in a more cilvian background.

I did at times find myself in tears reading this book - a fantastic gift for a passionate animal lover
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on 25 September 2013
Many thanks for the book, being a mad dog lover , am happy to say the book went down well
My friend loved it very much on her birthday..All the best....Jane....
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on 22 January 2013
Highly recommended for anyone to learn about the bravery given to the armed forces from animals including dogs, pidgeons, horses and a cat. I enjoyed learning about each and every one of the receivers of the medal. Don't hesitate to buy it.
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