Animals in Combat

Animals in Combat

Smoky the War Dog

How a Tiny Yorkshire Terrier Became a Hero on the Frontline


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More Information
By Nigel Allsopp
Format Hardback
Page Extent 112
Book Size 17 x 188 x 132 mm (H x W x D)
Imprint New Holland Publishers
Release Date 1 Oct 2013
Subject Classification True stories / True stories of heroism, endurance & survival
In March 1944, deep in the New Guinean jungle, a little Yorkshire Terrier was found hiding in a foxhole. Her presence there was a mystery, but American soldier Bill Wynne became her new owner. He named her Smoky, never dreaming that his little mate would turn out to be quite so extraordinary.

When he fell ill with dengue fever, Bill asked to have Smoky by his side and she was soon visiting other soldiers on the ward, bringing happiness to the sick and wounded. This experience inspired Bill to visit injured soldiers with Smoky while on leave in Australia and she is recognised today as the first therapy dog of record.

She performed other daring deeds as part of her war effort, including laying wire to take over a Japanese-held airfield, and went on to become a beloved performer on children?s television.

In Smoky the War Dog, historian and former military dog handler Nigel Allsopp tells the story of Smoky and Bill, long forgotten in Australia, and chronicles his own efforts to see Smoky formally recognised for her war work. He interweaves Smoky?s story with remarkable tales of other military dogs, past and present, and the vital roles they play in wartime.

Nigel Allsopp

Nigel Allsopp holds a master’s degree in history and teaches full time. He is a veteran himself and was awarded the RSL’s ANZAC of the Year award in 2017 for his charity work across the country. Nigel has been instrumental in ensuring Indigenous soldiers’ history is told. After conducting research into Indigenous soldiers in the Boer War, Nigel was so touched by their brave service to a nation that had often not been kind to them that he raised funds and established Australia’s first Indigenous Light Horse memorial in Logan, Queensland. Nigel has published nine non-fiction books, which he has donated to numerous children’s hospitals, the Starlight Foundation and Ronald McDonald House.