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Dog Tags and world war

In 1907, the British Army introduced identification discs instead of identity cards. These were made of aluminum discs, which were rolled up in Regiment stores by machines similar to those that are nowadays commonly used at various events. The initials were then embossed into a thin metal plate with a character sign after sign.


There were also a few important changes in military orders. These orders change the usage of dog tags in the army. Among the most important belongs Military Order No. 287 of September 1916 required the British Army to provide all soldiers with two official tags. These tags were both made of vulcanized asbestos fibre because they are more comfortable to wear in a hot climate. Both tags carried identical details. The first stamp, an octagonal green disk, was attached to a long cord around the neck. The second label, a circular red disk, was threaded on a six-inch string hung on the cord of the first tag. The first tag was made to remain with the body for the future identification while the second tag could be taken to record the death.


This change is the basis for most of the later dog tags. There were mainly changed the production itself after this order. The Second World War was mainly a "novelty" in the form of a notch at the end of the dog tags. It is said that the intention was that if a soldier found one of his comrades in the battlefield, he could take one mark to the commanding officer and the other to drop between the teeth of the fallen soldier.


Various printing options were also used and the tags were improved with respect to the material to make them water, dust and dirt proof. Due to the mistakes that occurred during the production of tags on the war front, a guiding notch for a printing machine was engraved into the tags, which unfortunately was not as functional as expected. Therefore, the production of these stamps was terminated. These stamps are being produced in a small number today due to the demand of filmmakers, hobbyists, collectors and various other interest groups.


Dog tags are a traditional part of provisional war memorials created by soldiers for their fallen comrades. The monument consists of an assault rifle with attached bayonet, a helmet is placed on the rifle, everything stands beside empty boots. Dog stamps hang from a rifle handle or a helmet protector.



  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Dog tag," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (z 15.10. 2017)
  2. "AO 287 - September 1916".
  3. Jump up "Identifying the Dead: a Short Study of the Identification Tags of 1914-1918"

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