Dobermans in WWII

By: Bill Ober

In the early 40’s my parents purchased a Doberman as did one of our neighbors. During WWII the Marine Corps requested Dobermans and being patriotic Americans they both complied. At the end of the war the Corps asked if we wanted the dogs back. My parents declined but our neighbor took his. The dog was extremely docile and lived a long life.
PS> My Dad was a WWI veteran and I served in the Corps during the Vietnam era as an 0311 grunt.

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  • Gil Tercenio

    After WW II, Chesty Puller was asked for an assessment of the Marine Corps war dog program. Chesty recommended that German Shepherds and boxers be used, as some of the Dobermans were high strung and turned on their handlers. About a week after he had sent in his report to the Commandant, Chesty got a phone call from a lady in Chicago who was the president of a national Doberman society. The woman demanded that he retract his report, as he was insulting the Doberman breed. Chesty refused.

    The woman wanted to know where Colonel Puller was stationed. He told he was at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, but that she could save the trip, as he wasn’t going to change his report. She told him that she would be there in 24 hours.

    She arrived on schedule and she and Chesty debated the use of Dobermans as war dogs. When the good colonel refused once again to recommend Dobermans as war dogs, she left, saying, “I’ll see that you do retract that report! I’m going to Washington this instant.”

    Much to Chesty’s surprise, a few days later, Headquarters Marine Corps returned his report to him, asking that he make changes in his recommendations. He refused again and sent his report back to HQ.

    Chesty told his aides: “I knew we had many minorities in our country, and that some were powerful indeed-but not until now did I realize that the damned Doberman Pinschers had organized, and were ready to take over at any moment.”

    Taken from “Marine! The Life of Chesty Puller” by Burke Davis.


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