I am writing a true story. I am writing the war time memories of my friend. My next chapter is about a German ambulance dog (German Shepard named Rex) who was rescued when the German Army surrendured to the Red Army in Eastern Germany. Rex was to be shot when his master was captured and his master begged for his dog's life - so my friend's father (an officer in the Red Army) took the dog which became a family member and lived to be 14 years old, if the age the officer gace her father was correct. (I even have a photo of this dog!!) I like to include verifiable facts in my true stories. Do you know how many trained military dogs the Red Army had in 1939? Is it true the military dogs were not used as successfully in the Red Army as by the Germans? Another question: did the US military use ANY white German Shepherds in Germany in WWII? I have heard a story from a WWII of a handler that had a white German Shepherd scout dog, but that sounds contrary to all I have read on this website.
Doubt that anyone will be able to answer your question about the trained dogs in the Red Army 1939.
We do know that the USMC determined in 1937 that the German Army had at least 200,000 trained dogs on duty, and started working on their own program.
White German Shepards do exist, I had one befor I went to Vietnam.
Eye witness accounts of WWII are hard to come by, in the past 7 years I've only met one WWII Veteran Dog Handler, and that was in Ohio.
I do know for fact that the USMC had at least one White German Shepard Scout dog in Vietnam in 1970 when I was there.
Let me get this straight you are writing a true story about a German Soldier who was a Dog Handler, and/or the Red Army Soldier who captured him, and was ordered to kill them both and took the dog home as a family pet.
Definitely will be tough to validate the story, but good luck.
My friend was 10 in 1941,living with her Dad in an army training camp on the Finnish border when Germany blitzkreiged. He sent her back to Leningrad to be with her mom (St Petersburg - but when I write the stories I use the city's names as they were in that time) and went to war. He was a T-34 tank commander.
The low-ranking German officer had surrendured to the Red Army and her father was in charge of that group prisoners. I am sure Rex had a better life than the German officer, since German was sent to a Soviet labor camp.Rex didn't have any "demiliterization training," but he was the kindest,gentlest, most appreciative, and protective dog the family could have wished for.
My father, a US MP in Germany during WWII told me about the white German Shepherd. Everything he told me about military dogs coincided with what I read on this and other websites, except about WHITE german shepherds.
My father and my friend concur that most German military dogs were euthanised by the occupying forces. The US used a drug,(what drug?) the other forces simply shot them. When the dogs were shot, they were eaten. My father and friend say that by the end there wasn't alot of meat on those dogs, but it offered some nourishment. I conduct these interviews separately, for validation.
I have several text books and resources about Soviet preparedness in 1941 - the number of tanks still on the assembly lines, how many horses, how many cows - but nothing about dogs. The numbers vary greatly depending on the source, so I usually figure somewhere in the middle.
I do not wish to offend anyone with this post. If you have other information, please let me know.