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These 15 Animals Are War Heroes That Helped Militaries Fight Their Battles

Ancient History | August 14, 2015

Since the dawn of war, humans have utilized animals to fight and die alongside them. From Genghis Khan's horses to the anti-tank dogs of World War II, the military never run out of ideas to enlist animals to help them fight their battles.

Here are 15 animal warriors that have served bizarre and heroic roles in military operations:

1. Dolphin spies

For more than 40 years, dolphins have assisted the US Navy in detecting, locating and marking mines, as well as suspicious swimmers and divers. They were utilized during the Vietnam War and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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Wikipedia

2. Anti-tank dogs

During the Second World War, Russians strapped bombs to dogs and used them as tank busters. Soviet sources claimed that around 300 German tanks were busted by these anti-tank dogs.

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3. Elephants

The mighty elephants, for their size and prowess, have long been utilized in warfare, most notably by Hannibal in 218 B.C.

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Wikipedia

4. Bat bombs

Bats, with small bombs strapped to their body, were used during World War 2 to unleash hell's fury on the paper and wood cities of Japan. The US military invested around 2 million dollars in the said project. Unfortunately, bat bombs were accidentally released and started a fire at an Air Force base in Carlsbad, N.M. The plan was later on cancelled.

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5. Sea Lions

Sea lions were trained by the US Navy to protect and explore coastal regions.

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6. War pigs

In ancient times, pigs were used in war to create chaos on the battlefield. They've also been used to transport supplies during war.

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Sascha Schuermann / Getty Images

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7. Hoards of oxen

The use of hoards of oxen were very common during ancient wars. They were used to transport soldiers and war supplies.

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8. Homing pigeons

They were used by American and British military during WW2 to carry messages, maps, photos and even cameras. Historians claimed that over 90% of all pigeon-carried messages sent by the US military during WW2 were successfully received.

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Wikipedia

9. Military rats

Rats have been used to carry disease to the enemy. Explosives were also strapped to their body to explode behind enemy lines.

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10. Camels

Camels have been widely used by the military to transport supplies in desert areas.

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11. Glowworms

During World War II, glowworms were used for lighting purposes. Soldiers would gather them and put them in jars to create lanterns used for reading maps and writing communications while in dark trenches.

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12. Soldier bear

A 250-pound bear named Wojtek was trained by the Polish military to carry boxes of mortar shells and ammunition during WWII. He was enlisted in the Polish Army in 1944 and traveled with the Polish 2nd Company. One time he discovered an Arab spy hiding behind the army's bat hut.

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13. Bees

Bee hives were thrown down or launched in catapults towards the enemy units. Bees are still in use today to seek out or detect explosive materials.

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Grove Pashley / Getty Images

14. Warhorses

Tracing their use back to the 2nd millennium B.C.E., elephants have played a huge role in warfare than any other animals on this list.

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De Agostini / Getty Images

15. Rhinos

Historical evidence show that rhinos have been used by the military during the ancient times create chaos on the battlefield.

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Tony Heald / naturepl.com

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H/T: Atchuup

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