CAPTURED GERMAN WAR PIGEONS

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Luis
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CAPTURED GERMAN WAR PIGEONS

Post by Luis » Tue Dec 27, 2011 4:56 pm

Truck carrying soldiers & pigeons in coop plus sign CAPTURED GERMAN WAR PIGEONS during parade celebrating Armistice Day and the end of WWI.
Location: New York, NY, US
Date taken: 1919

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Gary C V
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Re: CAPTURED GERMAN WAR PIGEONS

Post by Gary C V » Tue Dec 27, 2011 9:38 pm

I wonder if they turned out to be stool pigeons :shock: .

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Re: CAPTURED GERMAN WAR PIGEONS

Post by Ben Dover » Tue Dec 27, 2011 9:58 pm

the U.S. Army used homing pigeons thru 1960 when the last "Pigeoneer" stood down at Ft Monmouth, NJ.
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Re: CAPTURED GERMAN WAR PIGEONS

Post by Tim Kline » Thu Dec 29, 2011 5:22 pm

They taste like chicken.
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Re: CAPTURED GERMAN WAR PIGEONS

Post by tapeandgauze » Sun Sep 30, 2012 9:06 pm

NEAT ANGLE!


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Re: CAPTURED GERMAN WAR PIGEONS

Post by carbinekid » Sat Nov 24, 2012 6:21 pm

Why on earth would they include captured pigeons in a parade? Were they that notorious during the war? Little winged warriors of death, each with an MG08/15 strapped to their bellies?? :lol:
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Re: CAPTURED GERMAN WAR PIGEONS

Post by 33rdsignal » Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:24 am

carbinekid wrote:Why on earth would they include captured pigeons in a parade? Were they that notorious during the war? Little winged warriors of death, each with an MG08/15 strapped to their bellies?? :lol:

Communication is the most important thing on the battlefield. You have to call for fire support, rations, ammunition, water, fuel and so many other thing imperitive to the fight. Inturn, you have to be told what to do, where to go, when, how etc. Nothing gets done without communication.

In WW1 there were 3 main types of communication
Wire line (telephone, telegraph easily destroyed by artillery)
Messenger(easily could be killed)
Pigeon (Fast and for the most part reliable)

There are several accounts of entire battlelines opening fire on a released flying pigeon.

Destroy and cut off the lines of communication, you destroy the enemy.
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Re: CAPTURED GERMAN WAR PIGEONS

Post by Perry Locke » Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:54 am

I never can understand pigeon communications. If a patrol sends a pigeon out with info it flies to its home roost, a "homing" pigeon. For the commander to communicate with a moving unit like a patrol they can't send out a pigeon as it only knows how to fly "home". So you would only have one way communications. What if your phone only called out and no one could talk to you. Also how long does a pigeon have to be in one place for it to "home"? if the CP changed often that would be a nightmare. Anybody really know how this works? Cool picture though!
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Re: CAPTURED GERMAN WAR PIGEONS

Post by majmacs » Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:33 pm

My Father-in-law and Uncle-in-Law were both stationed in Europe during the Cold War with the Canadian Army.
They had to learn how to use, counter and understand some ''acquired" Warsaw Pact radio equipment.
They told me much of the tactical level radio gear was simplex "receive only" for the poor red army foot soldiers at the front line.
No need to respond...just move forward as told by HQ....

Patrick

Perry Locke wrote:I never can understand pigeon communications. If a patrol sends a pigeon out with info it flies to its home roost, a "homing" pigeon. For the commander to communicate with a moving unit like a patrol they can't send out a pigeon as it only knows how to fly "home". So you would only have one way communications. What if your phone only called out and no one could talk to you. Also how long does a pigeon have to be in one place for it to "home"? if the CP changed often that would be a nightmare. Anybody really know how this works? Cool picture though!
Perry

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Re: CAPTURED GERMAN WAR PIGEONS

Post by alpino » Thu Jul 27, 2017 5:39 pm

carbinekid wrote:
Sat Nov 24, 2012 6:21 pm
Why on earth would they include captured pigeons in a parade? Were they that notorious during the war? Little winged warriors of death, each with an MG08/15 strapped to their bellies?? :lol:
As 33rd Signal said, wire under fire gets cut very quickly, messengers get shot -
& how long would it take to run 2-5 miles through a cratered barbed-wire battlefield?
A pidgie would do it in no more than 2-5 minutes, or if slow 4 to 10 minutes.
A pigeon is a small & fast target, that can fly over fog, smoke & gas [you toss a bird up & it is out of the haze/gas.]
Radio was beyond primitive, fragile, expensive, complex.

The amount of heroics & lives saved by these birds, in both world wars fill volumes.
GI Joe, William of Orange, the Mocker, Winkie, Cher Ami, Mary of Exeter, & thousands just numbers
Indeed no one animal has saved more humans at one time than homing or messenger pigeons.

Just reading & writing a bit of "pigeon history" from the RNAS Royal Naval Air Service in WW1

> Seaplane shot down in flames by five enemy machines 30 miles from base. This pigeon 23371 NURP.18F a blue chequered hen, brought the message, and three of the crew were saved, after being in the water three-quarters of an hour. [This report & action is of the highest testament to the bird and air-sea rescue, as the fliers would have been dead from hypothermia in less than half an hour more. I do not know if this was a 3 or 4 man crew]

> A pigeon which saved six lives. The seaplane, out of Yarmouth Naval Air Station, was hit by anti-aircraft fire over the Kiel Canal and came down into “high seas” As it sunk, the three men & their pigeons scrambled onto the sister plane, whose wing & float collapsed due to pounding waves. For three days the men & birds were at the mercy of the elements, and the enemy who hunted them. Three of the pigeons sent out were lost, never heard from again. The last bird, later known as “the Gallant Gentleman” struggled against gale force winds with its message; the bird dropped dead from exhaustion upon arrival, but it mission was accomplished & the six fliers were saved. One pilot saved was Harold Gilligan, one of the most famous names in British cricket in the 20th Century.

My favorite story about military pigeons comes from the end of WW2, or was it WW1? An RAF pilot complained "what's the big deal with these pigeons? They're not heroes, all they want to do is return home!" An infantryman sitting next to him replied "that's all I really wanted to do."
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Re: CAPTURED GERMAN WAR PIGEONS

Post by alpino » Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:04 pm

Perry Locke wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:54 am
I never can understand pigeon communications. If a patrol sends a pigeon out with info it flies to its home roost, a "homing" pigeon. For the commander to communicate with a moving unit like a patrol they can't send out a pigeon as it only knows how to fly "home". So you would only have one way communications. What if your phone only called out and no one could talk to you. Also how long does a pigeon have to be in one place for it to "home"? if the CP changed often that would be a nightmare. Anybody really know how this works? Cool picture though!
Perry
The idea of pigeon communications is a return to battalion or higher headquarters, often where the artillery is situated. Two famous birds involve artillery, the Mocker who was not hit until his 42nd & most vital mission. A German bullet took part of his skull & one eye away, but he got through to HQ, his head a “welter of clotted blood” this “game pigeon” as his Army biography describes him, “homed in “splendid time” [20 minutes] from the most forward US position, flying the twelve miles to regimental headquarters, “gallantly reached his loft and delivered his message.” The message, the locations of three German heavy artillery batteries, that would raise real hell with the Meuse-Argonne which would kick off a few days later. Of course the other is the famous Cher Ami of "the Lost Battalion" whose similar mission saved her men from their own artillery [a shift of positions] Two other messenger birds were shot out of the sky, Cher Ami had a leg shot off & a bullet through her breast bone, a splinter from, went into her eye.

The Army [US & every other] had "mobile lofts" the Brits used requisitioned double decker buses! A loft would set up, & fly birds "in training" for four days, then the birds were ready "homed" so to say, & baskets brought to the front line trenches, even out on patrols across no-mans-land. In WW1 or WW2 the lofts leap-frogged to stay viable. Be advised the vast majority of these birds were or came from champion racer stock, esp in Great Britian & the USA, but every nation in those days had pigeon racing. It is fading in the West, but in India & China it is massive. It is a bit one way, but until radio was perfected after the Korean War, pigeons remained the most reliable... & they can't be hacked. & to be honest, the "Blue Force Trackers" we had in Iraq were lame... & when I looked at our ONE satellite radio 50 miles away from base, I darn sure wish I had a few pidgies.... but the AH-64s & medevacs were there... birds

Thanks for the info about Soviet radios, despite facing the MFers for ten years I never knew this.... "the miracle of marxism"

PS. I tell people "I have 28 military vehicles" & they reply "really! I had no idea, where do you keep them?"
I just have to smile & say "one M-38 jeep & 27x racing pigeons."
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