The lost 10,000: German war horses among #EveryHorseRemembered

German cavalry advancing in 1918.
German cavalry advancing in 1918. Image: Mary Evans Picture Library

The ten thousand war horses who died over a period of 10 days during the German Spring Offensive in World War One are being honoured in the #EveryHorseRemembered campaign.

Brooke Action for Working Horses and Donkeys has launched an online appeal to raise £10,000 in 10 days through JustGiving to honour the heroic war horses who died between 1 and 10 April 1918 during Operation Michael. The charity is asking horse lovers to help them reach the fundraising goal by April 10.

On April 1 100 years ago Operation Michael, part of the German Spring Offensive, had ground to a halt. Germany was forced to send thousands of brave horses and mules loaded with supplies into enemy territory and ultimately to their deaths. They were rushed to the front, through shell fire and mud, with supplies to keep the operation going. As supplies ran out many of these loyal animals were sacrificed for their meat, further slowing the advance and giving the Allies the upper hand.

German artillery during the spring offensive in 1918.
German artillery during the spring offensive in 1918. Image: Mary Evans Picture Library

Brooke wants to honour those 10,000 equines who nobly gave their lives over the 10 days by improving the lives of today’s vulnerable working horses, donkeys and mules.

Brooke’s Every Horse Remembered campaign marks 100 years since the end of the First World War and highlights the struggle of working horses, donkeys and mules of the past and present. The money raised from this April appeal will help build better lives for future generations of animals and their owners.

Eight million horses, donkeys and mules died in WW1, not only from fierce shellfire and gas attacks but also from the extreme conditions they had to endure.  Brooke is calling for everyone who ever loved a horse, donkey or mule, whether as a child or as a rider now, to help prevent suffering of animals working today.

Supporters can donate through Brooke’s JustGiving page.

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