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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Tirpitz the Pig


RobL
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Interesting story - survived being slaughtered on the SMS Dresden for meat, swam away from the SMS Dresden when it sank, almost killed a Royal Navy Officer, adopted by the crew of HMS Glasgow, named Tirpitz, then after a year lived out the rest of it's life in Portsmouth, then auctioned off for pork!

Never noticed his head whilst at the IWM, anyone spotted it?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tirpitz_(pig)

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It seems from the report that he didn`t live out his natural life on Glasgow but was auctioned off for pork. All heart those sailors!

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Mature pigs of either sex are too big and potentially ill-tempered to keep aboard a warship for long, and there may have been animal health regulations in force that prevented a foreign pig like Tirpitz from being re-homed ashore. I suspect that the auction for charity was probably a convenient way of resolving the problem.

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However the story actually says he was rehoused on Whale Island where he spent the remainder of his life until bacon surprise. What it doesn't say is how long that was. Possibly the petty officer who had adopted him was posted elsewhere and couldn't take him with him.

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All the Naval Establishments had a pig farm anyway, so no trouble keeping a pig ashore. Excellent (Whale Island) had a Zoo with most of the animals presented to the Monarch by foriegn dignitys.

Regards Charles

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This pig was known to be an exception to the Diseases of Animals Act, 1896 as was a goat which was found in Gallipoli and brought to this country by HMS Prince george.

Mick

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This pig was known to be an exception to the Diseases of Animals Act, 1896 as was a goat which was found in Gallipoli and brought to this country by HMS Prince george.

Perhaps the zoo at Whale Island was regarded as the next-best thing to quarantine.

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  • 2 weeks later...

British submarines operated out of Polyarnoe in WW2 and on departure the crews of two boats were presented with baby reindeer by their Russian hosts. Although both survived the journey into home waters, one sickened and died. The enterprising matelots served it up with chips then sold the pelt off to a local spiv.

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If your warships are not large enough for your mascots, you probably should petition the government for larger warships!

Ahh, I recall the days in WW2 where the Saratoga's elephants would roam the deck. ;)

tone

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British submarines operated out of Polyarnoe in WW2 and on departure the crews of two boats were presented with baby reindeer by their Russian hosts. Although both survived the journey into home waters, one sickened and died. The enterprising matelots served it up with chips then sold the pelt off to a local spiv.

Christmas came early.

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Christmas came early.

I believe I recall a story of one submarine carrying a camel that was offered as a gift. As comedic as it sounds, it breaks my heart to think of the panic and stress this must have caused the poor guy.

tone

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Tone,

That must have been one small camel. I recovered a stolen camel on level 4 at Earls Court London and the creature was 10 foot high and weighed more than 1800 lbs as we had to overide the weight restriction on the lift to get it down. It did have two humps and had been filled with copious amounts of beer though.

Regards Charles

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In November 1915 the submarine E19 sank a German merchantman, and once her German crew had abandoned the ship Lt Cdr Francis Cromie sent on board his boarding party. They found a pup the German crew had forgotten to take in their hasty departure. E19's crew rescued the little dog and continued on with the mission and sinking the German cruiser Undine. So the first dog on a successful patrol? The whole crew received the St George Cross, a shame the pooch didn't as well. This pooch was named Chorni and went everywhere with the crews as their mascot, weddings crew photos, and sadly was accidentally left behind in the middle of nowhere after a train stop on their way to Murmansk in January 1918. As the train was pulling away the poor pooch tried to keep up until the trains speed got the better of him. This upset the crews terribly. Unbelievable how we all get so attached to our animals.

Cheers DB.

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I believe I recall a story of one submarine carrying a camel that was offered as a gift. As comedic as it sounds, it breaks my heart to think of the panic and stress this must have caused the poor guy.

tone

The was perhaps the UC-20, she embarked a young riding camel at Misratah in Libya in 1917. The poor beast was a gift sent to the Kaiser by the Senussi arabs who were supplied with arms by U-boats.

Regards

David

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