One for the history buffs out there. On a trip to Cuba (highly recommended) last year, I encountered a mural painted on the wall of a hotel bar. Take a look at this:

Is this World War One?

Click the picture for a bigger version. Probably best to open it in a new tab so that you can flip back to it easily.

Is this World War One?

My drinking companion on the tour and I spent about an hour (I think it was 4am – 5am) trying to figure out what, if anything this painting was about. In a very inhebriated state, we came to an uneasy conclusion that it is World War 1 represented by dogs.

The Players

From left to right, our final agreed line-up was as follows: Portugal looking aloof as they didn’t wish to take part, Spain looking disinterested as well (they remained neutral throughout), Ireland winking because they took advantage of the war to push for independence (Easter Rising was in 1916), could this shifty looking guy be German (they conspired to supply arms to the Irish rebels) or Russian (the revolution took place in 1917), French poodle being seduced by an American sailor, British boxer fighting German doberman over Belgium, Australia (because it looks like a Koala, is at the bar and is next to Turkey who they fought at Gallipoli), Turkey (or possibly Russia), but we weren’t sure at all on the little guy at the end.

Not sure though where Austria Hungary and Serbia might be.


The hotel was in Havana and the barmaid featured had no idea what the mural was about, plus seemed to be really struggling to understand my drunken pigeon Spanish.

I’m a bit of an armchair historian (I gave up history in favour of software development some time ago) so any thoughts from a more committed student of the past are much appreciated.

Of course, it could just be a pretty painting of some dogs…