Holiday Ops 2023: Man's Best Friends


When we think of humans' best friend, the first species that comes to our mind, without a doubt, are dogs - and arguably, cats!

This year, along with two heroes Arnold and Milla, we've got two cute friends helping us to achieve more during the Holiday Ops 2023 events. Yes, what good friends indeed!

Today, we will dig deeper into the history of the relationship between humans, dogs, and cats on the battlefield.

Since ancient times, dogs have been indispensable assistants to man. Remarkable flair, courage, strength, endurance, developed intellect and obedience of our canine kin have more than once served their owners in good stead. Dogs accompanied their masters in war and took part in the fighting themselves: guarding strongholds, escorting patrols, helping to detect enemy ambushes, pursuing the enemy, and in other ways, cooperating with the warriors. 

Delivery dogs

One of the most crucial roles dogs played was that of messengers. When telephone cables were damaged, when it was too dark, foggy or wet to send carrier pigeons, dogs helped to establish communication. A dog can move three times faster than a man, it can easily overcome obstacles, and was a less visible target for snipers. It was believed that messenger dogs could cover a distance of 5 km in just a quarter of an hour, regardless of the rugged terrain or enemy shelling.

A German Shepherd with a reel strapped to its back lays a telephone line in the front line, August 1914. © IWM (Q 50671)


Mercy dogs

Mercy dogs were trained to look for wounded soldiers, and during the Great Patriotic War, were used to evacuate the wounded to the rear.

The idea to use dogs on the battlefield to search for the wounded arose during the wars of the 18th-19th centuries. However, the practical implementation of this idea dates back to the beginning of the 20th century.

Back in 1893, the animal painter Jean Bungartz founded the German association for Red Cross dogs, where animals were trained to search for the wounded, deliver dressings and food to them, and then notify the orderlies about their find.

The most successful ambulance dogs were usually police bloodhounds, who were trained to follow the trail and, when a person was found, give a sign to the owner.

Employees of the German Red Cross with dogs are sent to the front line.


Sappers and miners

The twenty interwar years were not wasted for dogs. Inspired by past successes, people tried to assign more and more new military specialties to dogs. Our canine friends eventually learned to be sappers, miners and mine detectors.

Among other things, dogs were taught to detect mines by the smell of explosives. To prevent the sapper dog from blowing itself up on the laid ammunition, the trainer used a fake mine with exposed electrical contacts. Upon finding a "mine", the sapper dog received an electric shock. Thus, they were taught to see danger in the “find”.

The German Shepherd Dzhulbars is the only service dog awarded the Medal for Military Merit. Thanks to their excellent instinct, from September 1944 to August 1945, sappers defused 7468 mines and more than 150 unexploded bombs and shells in Czechoslovakia, Austria, Romania and Hungary. 

Shepherd Dzhulbars, 1944.


What Role do they play in the Holiday Ops 2023?

We have a cute dog "Chaffee" who will appear in your Village when you reach Festive Atmosphere Level II. He is so friendly and generous that if we pet him, he will give us extra resources everyday that can be used for upgrading Festive Levels.

Once you have Chaffee in your Village, you can spend some gold and treat your new pet with various goodies, such as a new collar and even a kennel—very important things for any dog! After the end of the event, once the festive Holiday Ops Garage is disabled, your friend Chaffee will bid you farewell and leave with all his items, which will not be compensated.

After all that talk about dogs, what about cats?

Historically-speaking, have they helped out in battle? Did they survive harsh training conditions?

Other than hunting down mice and providing purrfect companionship, not much is known about their war efforts. Perhaps they're so elegant and graceful that any form of training is beneath them.

But they sure have a special place in our hearts!

"Hey, Servant! Did you just try to train me?? That's hilarious."

In the Holiday Ops 2023, opening large boxes can give you cool Premium tanks, amazing 3D styles, and other goodies. You may also come across a fluffy but self-assured Redshire Cat. This is a unique Holiday Ops character that you can always see at Headquarters alongside our celebrities. 

The Redshire cat provides you with three additional Assignments. For each of them, you will receive one reward upon completion. Use Warm Amber and Meteoric Iron to fulfill them and get your hands on the following:

  • 1 day of WoT Premium Account
  • A funny decal
  • A special cat-tastic style

Along with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Milla Jovovich, our two fluffy friends Chaffee and Redshire will be there to keep you company for the festivities, and also help you to reach higher Festive Levels and get more rewards. 

We wish you a jolly holiday season with these friends!