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Operation Columba--The Secret Pigeon Service: The Untold Story of World War II Resistance in Europe
What an amazing book! Who knew that pigeons were used so extensively in WW2 as carriers of messages?
Did you know that as just part of Operation Columba, the British dropped 16,000 pigeons into Western Europe, trying to get information about the enemy? Pigeons returned with valuable intelligence, especially concerning German radar and listening stations and V-1 and V-2 launch sites.
Did you know that pigeons were also used as emergency message carriers for downed bombers and were used by the USA in Europe as well and that they were also used in the Pacific Theater?
Believe it or not, there was extensive competition between the multiple British military organizations trying to use pigeons to gather intelligence, some of which made the various efforts less effective. Partially due to this contention and confusion, the Germans were able to return false messages via the pigeon service and later via radio.
I thought this was surprisingly interesting, well written and engaging to read. I actually expected it to be boring, but it really was mostly about the people involved, including a very brave group of Belgian patriots. Great stuff.
>4 Shrike58:, I've added that book to my various wishlists!