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Posted: 11/16/2003 4:42:45 PM EDT
Just watched a show on British spies during WWII about how agents of the SOE would pass information using carrier pigeons. Sometimes the pigeons would carry documents over distances of 20 miles. My question is, how in the heck would the pigeon know where to bring the message? I'm guessing the destination was always the birds home/cage, and the agent would let the bird go from wherever his position was and the bird would instinctively fly to it's cage. The cage was kept near a radio/signaling center. Anyone else have an explanation?

Some of the pigeons were awarded medals after being shot up by the Germans.
Link Posted: 11/16/2003 4:54:30 PM EDT

I'm guessing the destination was always the birds home/cage, and the agent would let the bird go from wherever his position was and the bird would instinctively fly to it's cage.


That's exactly how it works.

NsB
Link Posted: 11/16/2003 4:57:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By deimos:

I'm guessing the destination was always the birds home/cage, and the agent would let the bird go from wherever his position was and the bird would instinctively fly to it's cage.


That's exactly how it works.

NsB


so how would two agents send pigeons back and forth?
are the pigeons aware that there are two "homes" and always go to the other one?
do the agents meet up and switch birds after every flight?
Link Posted: 11/16/2003 5:02:13 PM EDT
I read about this one time. The agent would take a 1/2 dozen or so with him and they would fly back home with the info.
I dont think home base sent anything back.

It was a one way deal.
Link Posted: 11/16/2003 5:07:23 PM EDT

Originally Posted By tivoli410:

Originally Posted By deimos:

I'm guessing the destination was always the birds home/cage, and the agent would let the bird go from wherever his position was and the bird would instinctively fly to it's cage.


That's exactly how it works.

NsB


so how would two agents send pigeons back and forth?
are the pigeons aware that there are two "homes" and always go to the other one?
do the agents meet up and switch birds after every flight?



When you release a pigeon it goes back to what he considers Home, and only to that place. So if you want to have a chat (so to speak) you have to have several pigeons at each location.
Place A has to have pigeons raised on place B (so they go back there) and viceversa.

I guess at some point pigeons are exchanged so they can be reused.

NsB

Soldiers at X position, only could send messages, as no pigeon would go back to that particular position, as they were not raised there.
Link Posted: 11/16/2003 5:12:27 PM EDT
alright.. makes sense

It would work good between soldiers and their HQ but wouldnt work too good for a lone special agent carrying 5-6 pigeons.. not very tactical

Link Posted: 11/16/2003 5:21:03 PM EDT

Originally Posted By tivoli410:
wouldnt work too good for a lone special agent carrying 5-6 pigeons.. not very tactical


You can always parkerize them

NsB
Link Posted: 11/16/2003 7:07:34 PM EDT

Originally Posted By deimos:

Originally Posted By tivoli410:
wouldnt work too good for a lone special agent carrying 5-6 pigeons.. not very tactical


You can always parkerize them

NsB



"Guchi-Flage"
Link Posted: 11/16/2003 8:29:21 PM EDT

Originally Posted By deimos:

Originally Posted By tivoli410:
wouldnt work too good for a lone special agent carrying 5-6 pigeons.. not very tactical


You can always parkerize them

NsB



Wrap the fusela
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