The Amazing St Bernard, the Only Animal to Have Won a Gallantry Medal In WWII
While we repeatedly hear of famous war stories depicting the heroics of soldiers on the battlefield, rarely do we hear about the animals who also served in them. You’ll be surprised to know that throughout history, there have been stories of heroism and valor displayed by animals attached to regiments and battle ships on the sea.
One such four-legged hero was Bamse the Saint Bernard who became a legend and a mascot of the Norwegian army for his heroic actions during World War II.
1 A steadfast soldier even during battle
Bamse which means “teddy bear” in Norwegian belonged to the captain of a whaling ship Thorod. The ship was requisitioned for the Norwegian army in WWII as a coastal patrol vessel and was taken over by navy troops. After the Nazi occupation, the ship escaped to the United Kingdom and Bamse was soon considered as one of the crew.
The dog took his duties seriously standing guard at the forward gun turret even during heated battle. Bamse was also fitted with a special helmet for protection. He soon assumed responsibility for the ship and the crew even rounding them up for roll call.