Who just do not "called" to the war from the animals! .. Horses, elephants, camels, bulls and even their time became combat units armies. Of such divisions stories quite perfectly understandable. But, as it turned out, the fauna of the role of these animals as war does not end there. Thus, it is clear at least two samples are brought to the fighting … deer.
The first such attempt was made more first XVII. In the Swedish army had made special elk troops, but they soon disbanded. Moose were quite reasonable and animals in the event of threats immediately fled from the battlefield.
Later, in the Russian Union of time Majestic Russian war was an attempt to make the transport division of deer that have been consumed in combat criteria. Egor Ledkov, which then worked as a shepherd in Indigskom deer farm, so remember those actions: "At first we could not understand why we were ordered to overtake as many deer in Arkhangelsk. Later found out that it is necessary for the creation of military units. We have not figured out: which deer may be military units? We, the mushers — Nenets, Komi and Russian — attached to the battalion. Within a month we were trained — trained to work in combat. At first, nothing came of it. Rides reindeer team, and suddenly opened fire machine guns. Deer or immediately to the side shy or general will, as if rooted to the ground. The mines were whistling at us, the guns were heard near … camouflaged so well: dug a trench in the snow such depth, that team absolutely came, and the people with her in camouflage robe. And then we were given the command echelons to boot. We asked the chiefs: "Where are we being taken?" — "Fight! — They say. — Fritz beat. " From Arkhangelsk to Murmansk, we drove up thousands of reindeer bulls. Each deer already been trained, not afraid of shots. "
As part of the battalion was olenelyzhnogo and Alexei Ledkov, which mobilized from Nadym. Oh, so he remembers it time"Until we get a deer in Murmansk, the animals are very fallen ill, already rocked. Commanders have invented wear bags stuffed with hay, the deer on the neck — eat, he says, do not want to! And they, relatives, do not eat hay! That golodovali. While arrived at the scene, a quarter of the animals died already … "
Positions soldiers reindeer herders in the main were completed representatives of the local population: the Saami, Nenets and Komi, who are well versed in the care of the deer were able to search for their reindeer moss, very well oriented in the tundra. Whole cervine trucks stocked with pack-saddles, special equipment. The total number of deer only in the 14th Army during the war reached almost 5 thousand heads, a little less than the deer was in the 19th Army of the Northern Front.
Deer quite often used not only for the delivery of military cargo and sending the wounded, and to the time casting scouts in the enemy's rear, for the export of wrecked aircraft and their crews and to liaise with the border guards.
In general, for time combat operations in the Arctic from 1941 to 1944 with the transport of deer brought to the places fighting for more than 17 thousand tons of ammunition and other cargo, transported about 8 thousand soldiers and officers, transported from the field for more than 10 thousands of the wounded and patients.
The shooter first deer Transport Battalion Philip Filippov recalls how at first perceived deer carts Germans: "Having decided that it go back and forth farmers and reindeer herders, they just ignored them. And only then understood the nature of these shuttle trips. After that it became unsafe to run even in the black time. "
Fascinating was the landing of troops at the Cape Pikshuev in April 1942. At first, a lot of effort to lower cost of deer on warships, and later not least — plant them. Alexander Denisov, fighter, "olenetransportnik", so that operation recalls: "The deer tied with ropes and lowered into the boat. Later, they just started to drop overboard. Animals swam for the people who were sitting in the boats. As for the sleds, they tied a chain and dragged to shore. As much as 75 sleds were lowered into the water and then stretched to the land properly. The deer immediately rushed to the sledge … "