(Research and Translation by Adrian Chan-Wyles PhD)
Julbars (Джульбарс)), with extreme Red Army courage under fire, managed to locate more than 7 thousand mines and 150 shells during the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945). He also participated in the clearance of palaces over the Danube, the castles of Prague and the cathedrals of Vienna.
Indeed, the sight of Red Army Anti-Mine Dogs advancing with the Soviet troops into the Nazi German formations and fortifications, has given rise to the myth of the Soviet Regime heartlessly sacrificing dogs to blow-up enemy tanks – particularly when these dogs were inadvertently killed by the exploding ordnance they were trying to find (for dis-arming).
On March 21st, 1945, for the successful completion of a combat mission, Julbars was awarded a medal for ‘Military Merit’. He became the only dog awarded such a reward.
As these animals were generally German Shepherds, the Nazi Germans often brutalised these dogs if caught, cutting their legs off and throwing the still living bodies back into Soviet lines. At the end of the war, Julbars was severely wounded in action and was unable to stand. As a consequence, it was thought that he could not take part in the Victory Parade held in Moscow during 1945.
Major General Grigory Medvedev reported this to the Commander of the Parade – Marshal Konstantin Rokossovsky – who informed Joseph Stalin. Upon hearing this news, Joseph Stalin immediately order that the Julbars be wrapped in his jacket (which he handed over) and be carried by a Red Army soldier in a place of honour.
In the Park of the Victory in Moscow, a Monument can be found of a statue of a Soviet WWII Dog placed on the caterpillars left from a blown-up enemy tank. This Monument is a tribute to the many four-legged warriors who fought and died during the Great Patriotic War.
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