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Donkey helps Bundeswehr fight Taliban in Afghanistan

The Local · 10 Nov 2010, 11:04

Published: 10 Nov 2010 11:04 GMT+01:00

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The Germans purchased the beast of burden for the equivalent of about €70 at a local market to help carry weapons and ammunition across rice fields in the unstable Char Darah district.

“Sometimes one must find unconventional solutions,” said Captain Michael L., adding that Hermann is “tactically necessary.”

The gentle-eyed grey pack animal has also been a source of amusement for soldiers at a camp made tense by frequent insurgent attacks nearby.

Click here for more photos of Hermann the Bundeswehr donkey.

Caring for Hermann has been a "welcome change," said a lieutenant nicknamed Wolle, or “Wool,” a range control officer who coordinates air support.

“Taking care of the donkey is a lot more fun,” he said, adding that the hardy creature is doing a “good service for our German Fatherland.”

In addition to Hermann, German soldiers have also taken in two stray dogs. The first is a one-eyed puppy they’ve named a sentry post after - Auge Eins, or “Eye One.” The second is an older dog called Keinohrhund, or “No-ear Dog.”

Story continues below…

German soldiers stationed in the Kunduz province have repeatedly taken in strays since their NATO mission began there. A few years ago one sergeant was even allowed to take a stray named Chloé back home to Germany to live with his family in Dresden.


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Your comments about this article

13:37 November 10, 2010 by The-ex-pat
The Bundeswehr don't do themselves any favours. No matter what they do, especially in Afghanistan they are criticised. When this animal is killed by enemy action, Animal Rights, the Greens, the Reds and the save the gay disabled whale brigade are going to have a field day. Still I am sure some poor lowly officer will have to fall on his sword and resign.
17:04 November 10, 2010 by Major B
The above comment is funny. The path to normaliy is often frought with "donkeys(asses) " who always think they know what is best. Hang in there proud soldiers of the Bundeswehr and we salute your adding some personalilty and "life" to your challenging lives.
01:41 November 11, 2010 by BrianS
I hope they bring him back to.
03:15 November 11, 2010 by TomUSA
It really shows what great people the Bundeswehr has in its ranks. Not only are they creative, they also have great hearts to taken in a few strays. I realize that the dogs also help relieve stress of the soldiers. It would be nice if one the soldiers could take the dogs back to germany for they could have a better life.

I also have to agree with Major B...lol
12:06 November 11, 2010 by Frenemy
"save the gay disabled whale brigade"... looool

...if memory serves, the CIA also realized the tactical utility of donkeys back in the 1980's.
12:19 November 11, 2010 by bakyaw
what is interesting with this? Donkeys are used in wars since many years.
19:13 November 11, 2010 by wenddiver
For the record the Official Mascot of the US Army is the Pack Mule, obviously held in pretty high esteem. Some genius in the Pentagon decided they were re-dundant once we got helcopter, so now the Army is spending millions once again to develope what??? You guessed it, a mechanical robotic mule. I would say this is a problem all Armies have always had, since the nick- name for the Roman Infantry was Martinius the mule.
20:05 November 12, 2010 by Englishted
To quote a German in WW1 about the English soldiers

"Lions lead by donkeys"

So maybe he is a English officer from Sandhurst?
15:52 November 14, 2010 by antrodemus
I wonder how much money they would save if they used donkeys and other local pack animals instead of vehicles that guzzle fuel.
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