WW2 documents which explain use of pigeons to deliver intelligence

Discussion in 'Top Secret' started by jenniferspangler, Sep 3, 2015.

  1. In August I posted “The Brave Message Writers of Occupied Europe-WW2.” It includes 28 documents from the The National Archives, London, created between 1941-1944.

    The messages were delivered by pigeons. These people risked their lives because sending a message with a pigeon was a crime punishable by death under the German occupation.

    Here is the link for the blog:


    If you know anyone who is interested in World War II history, they may enjoy seeing these documents from the war.

    Most recent post is 1943 correspondence reveals use of pigeons in Operation Cockade.

    Other posts from August are:

    Docs from WW2 reveal German Secret Service use of pigeons

    Germans drop decoy pigeons to combat threat of intelligence delivered by British pigeons.

    All of the images on the blog are reproduced by courtesy of The National Archives, London, UK.
    brithm and Shiny 9th like this.
  2. CommanderChuff

    CommanderChuff Senior Member


    Thank you for posting this very interesting facet of military intelligence. The use of messager pigeons is a very long tradition war and, it is clear in the positive feedback from the operational teams, they were sometimes were essential in some areas of information blackspots.

    The report gives 16.5k pigeons on active service, and only 1.7k returning - a casuality rate of 90%. Of the returnees over half had useful information.

    We should be impressed that the British military used every opportunity, tool, and animal to achieve victory, and in doing so, demonstrated a holistic approach to winning wars.

    Great post, thanks.
  3. TriciaF

    TriciaF Junior Member

    There's a room devoted to the use of pigeons as messengers in WW2 at Bletchley Park, which we visited last month.
    But I don't think there was the amount of detail that you've managed to find.

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