There are plenty of war stories involving animals – and plenty unique to World War I.
The story of Sergeant Stubby stands out.
If you can’t watch the video:
It’s one that features one of World War I’s finest heroes – of the four-legged variety.
Sgt. Stubby’s journey begins in July 1917, when the Boston Terrier mix was found wandering campus of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. Incidentally, members of the American 102nd Infantry Regiment were training there, and one of them, Corporal Robert Conroy, befriended the dog.
When the 102nd deployed to Europe, Stubby went with them, smuggled in Conroy’s overcoat. Eventually he was discovered, but when Conroy’s commanding officer found Stubby, the dog saluted and was allowed to continue with the 102nd.
Stubby served with the 102nd for 18 months, doing all manner of duties. He took part in four offensives and 17 battles. When Stubby and the 102nd attacked a German-held town near St. Mihiel, the tenacious dog was wounded in the foreleg chasing retreating Germans. He was sent to the rear of the line to heal-up, where he also boosted the morale of other soldiers.
After Stubby was injured by Mustard Gas, a special mask was made to protect him. The experience evidently stuck with Stubby, since he became adept at warning his regiment of gas attacks. Stubby also excelled at alerting friendly soldiers of incoming artillery. Ever the watchdog, Stubby even caught a German soldier by the seat of his pants, holding him on until other soldiers arrived. Stubby confiscated the German soldier’s Iron Cross, and wore it proudly on the backside of a special blanket made for him by local French women. For this encounter, the 102nd’s commanding officer nominated Stubby for the rank of sergeant.
Sgt. Stubby ended the war with two wound stripes and many medals. Conroy also survived and took Sgt. Stubby home, where he was now a well-known celebrity. Sgt. Stubby basked in the spotlight, leading many parades and meeting three Presidents.
Sgt. Stubby died in his sleep in 1926. Speaking to his popularity, his obituary was longer than most famous people of the time. After his death, Sgt. Stubby was preserved, and is now on display in the Smithsonian Institution along with his signature blanket, as part of the “Price of Freedom” exhibit – next to another famous wartime animal – the messenger pigeon Cher Ami.
For all his heroic deeds in World War I, it would be a nice gesture by DICE to include Sgt. Stubby in Battlefield 1, in some way, shape, or form. Wether that takes the role of an actual character, or just a dog tag or emblem, let’s make sure Electronic Arts and DICE honor Sgt. Stubby’s memory. Tweet @EA @DICE_EA @Battelfield #SgtStubby for #Battlefield1 and make your voice heard!
After all, doesn’t a game as badass as Battlefield 1 deserve a badass like Sgt. Stubby?