“U.S. Military War Dogs in World War II: A History and Collector’s Guide”

war dogs

By Robert Rosenkrans. Schiffer Publishing, $49.99.

This lavish coffee-table volume will stir poignant memories for some and become a revered keepsake for war buffs and collectors with its kaleidoscope of training and war photos, images of war dog equipment, books and manuals, related items, paper items and first-day issue envelopes and post cards.

Lavish color, striking typographical layouts and a vast array of equipment produce a vivid cultural mosaic designed to entertain and inform the reader.

The book is a sobering reminder of the unparalleled accomplishments of handlers and dogs in the Big War and a reflection of their importance in warfare. In that context, it showcases the role of Dogs For Defense, which was established in January 1942 by a group of dog-savvy civilians and quickly recognized as the official agency for choosing and training sentry dogs. More than 10,400 dogs were ultimately trained, many donated by families. Following the war, many of these animals were retrained to adjust back to civilian life while others remained with their military partners.

A fresh presentation, it deftly captures the emotional realism and camaraderie of war abroad with a deep commitment at home.  And traversing that treacherous psychological landscape, the dog is the seamless link.