Sea Dog Bamse

World War II Canine Hero

By Angus Whitson, Andrew A. Orr

Format: Multiple Formats

Presents the story of one of the Second World War's most unusual animal heroes - a 14-stone St Bernard dog who became global mascot for the Royal Norwegian Forces and a symbol of freedom and inspiration for Allied troops throughout Europe.

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RRP: £7.99

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Birlinn Limited

Birlinn publishes mostly non-fiction books, ranging from biography to history, military history and Scottish interest. Their imprints, Polygon Books, Arena Sport Books and John Donald Books, publish a wide variety of genres including culture, literary fiction, poetry and sports.

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This is the remarkable story of one of the Second World War's most unusual animal heroes - a 14-stone St Bernard dog who became global mascot for the Royal Norwegian Forces and a symbol of freedom and inspiration for Allied troops throughout Europe. From a happy and carefree puppyhood spent as a family pet in the Norwegian fishing town of Honningsvag, the gentle giant Bamse followed his master at the outbreak of the war to become a registered crew member of the mine-sweeper Thorodd. Often donning his own steel helmet as he took his place in the Torodd's bow gun turret, Bamse cut an impressive figure and made a huge contribution to the morale of the crew, and he gallantly saved the lives of two of them. After Norway fell to the Germans in 1940, the Thorodd operated from Dundee and Montrose, where Bamse became a well-known and much-loved figure, shepherding the Thorodd's crew-members back to the boat at pub closing time, travelling on the local buses, breaking up fights and even taking part in football matches.

Mourned both by locals and Norwegians when he died in 1944, Bamse's memory has been kept alive both in Norway, where he is still regarded as a national hero, and in Montrose, where a larger-than-life statue of him was unveiled in 2006 by HRH Prince Andrew. Written from extensive source material and eyewitness accounts, "Sea Dog Bamse" is a fitting tribute to the extraordinary life of an extraordinary dog.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Format Multiple Formats
Imprint Birlinn Limited
Publication Date 2 Sep 2009
SKU 9781841588490-grouped
Number of Pages 224

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Press Reviews

'This story should have been told ages ago ... a magnificent book about one of the most unusual war heroes to come from Norway. It isn't a second too late'

'Why all  this fuss for a dog? You'll find the answer in an entertaining ... touching story'

'Prepare to read this fantastic story in one sitting. Very highly recommended'

'A well-researched, carefully crafted and hugely enjoyable account of one of the most remarkable animals to play a part in World War II'

'a highly readable book, a useful piece of living local history … the best possible memorial'‘a lively and affectionate account of Bamse's life'

'a fitting tribute to the extraordinary life of and extraordinary dog'

'A stirring memorial to a pet who inspired two war torn nations'

'Angus Whitson and Andrew Orr have succeeded in piecing together fact and folklore to give as full an account as possible of the life of a singular animal. This is a well researched, carefully crafted and hugely enjoyable account of one of the most remarkable animals to play a part in World War II'

'Bamse's extraordinary life is told … by the people who knew and loved him'

'It is a great story, easy to read, with an excellent index'

'It tells the tale of how he raised the morale of the Norwegian Navy and recounts his extraordinary interactions with the sailors and civilians who knew him'

'New literary tribute to the Norwegian dog who captured Scottish hearts'

'The British love a heroic dog, none more so than Bamse … Charming'

'This fascinating book tells not just the story of a remarkable dog - it also gives an insight into life during the war'

'One of the most charming, enterprising, and charismatic characters in the story of World War II'

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