Pigeons in uniform: what role did birds play in the First World War and what does double-decker buses have to do with it

Pigeons in uniform: what role did birds play in the First World War and what does double-decker buses have to do with it

Categories: Animals | Conflict | History

There are some things in this world that scientists seem to be able to explain, but they are unclear to us, ordinary people. For example, how do birds manage to find their way home, flying thousands of kilometers away? It's completely incomprehensible!

This amazing feathered feature was used by the British Army during the First World War. There were more than a hundred thousand pigeons in His Majesty's service. That's what's in the service, because they were entrusted with an important mission.

Pigeons in uniform: what role did birds play in the First World War and what does double-decker buses have to do with it

Pigeons in uniform: what role did birds play in the First World War and what does double-decker buses have to do with it During the fighting, when it was not possible to restore the broken telegraph wires, notes were tied to the pigeons' paws and the birds were sent to the headquarters. Under heavy artillery fire, they flew several tens of kilometers. Those pigeons that did not die while performing a combat mission always returned back. In general, there is nothing special about this: pigeon mail worked for many centuries before that. Special was the military equipment used by the units where the birds served.

Pigeons in uniform: what role did birds play in the First World War and what does double-decker buses have to do with it Pigeons were transported in mobile poultry houses. They were mounted on trucks or converted double-decker buses. Bright identification signs were painted on the roofs of the cars to make it easier for the winged soldiers to find their quartering place, even if the aviary changed its position.

Pigeons in uniform: what role did birds play in the First World War and what does double-decker buses have to do with it

Pigeons in uniform: what role did birds play in the First World War and what does double-decker buses have to do with it There were no fools on the other side of the front either. The Germans quickly realized what an important function birds perform. They also began to use pigeon mail and, naturally, developed methods of counteraction. There is documentary evidence that the Germans trained hawks to intercept English pigeons in the sky.Pigeons in uniform: what role did birds play in the First World War and what does double-decker buses have to do with it

Pigeons in uniform: what role did birds play in the First World War and what does double-decker buses have to do with it

Captured German pigeons on the parade of American troops

Keywords: Pigeons | World War I | Mail | Birds | Soldiers

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