NEW ORLEANS, LA.- Loyal Forces: Animals in WWII is an exhibit focused on the animals employed and encountered throughout World War II, from the Home Front to the Pacific. Life-size horses and mules, harnessed in authentic World War II saddles and equipment, along with life-size mannequins, dressed in authentic World War II gear, will demonstrate the unique impression made by military animals and their masters. Animals were appreciated both for their labor and love, but unfortunately not all were shown humane treatment when their usefulness was no longer in dire need. This exhibit will focus on each different animals specific usefulness and specific role within a campaign.
Loyal Forces: Animals in WWII will examine four types of animals used by armies throughout the world from 1939 to 1945. An American Coast Guard horse and horseman will feature artifacts from the Home Front and civil defense. A German horse and reconnaissance soldier will depict the European Theater of Operations and the reliance of German forces on horses for several aspects of the war. Pigeons and their varied equipment used in Europe and to cross the English Channel will also be featured. A large part of the exhibit will be dedicated to war dogs including a look inside a veterinary clinic in the Pacific Islands. Finally, mules in the jungles of Burma will demonstrate how only they could handle these strenuous workloads and conditions.
The exhibit will also include two electronic viewing sections for displaying U.S. servicemen encountering exotic animals from North Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific Islands. It will also feature a slideshow of beloved military mascots from every service branch. Another electronic element will utilize touch screen technology to allow visitors to explore the contents of a German horse veterinary kit and learn how its contents would have been used to treat these animals.
Loyal Forces: Animals in WWII will allow visitors to see another side of World War II, and demonstrate how lessons learned then continue to help us today in the utilization of animals and their unique abilities today.