Saturday, October 3, 2015

D-Day-1944 Report on Allied Use of Pigeons to Gather Intelligence Before invasion

(c) Crown copyright images reproduced by courtesy of The National Archives, London, UK
Catalog numbers WO208/3556 #51, #52, #53

This post includes Columba Summery #12 for the first 6 months of 1944.
Points in the summary:

Returns were low but considered critical during the pre-invasion period;

4424 pigeons were dropped by parachute;

Operation Columba provided the first intimation of  “order of battle” news considered important to SHAEF regarding German troop movements;

5 reports gave the first news of military underground works;

Names of collaborators were sent to SHAEF, per their request;

After the invasion began the Germans offered big rewards for the capture of Allied pigeons;

In Denmark, pigeon owners were given the choice of killing their pigeons or turning them over to the Wehrmacht. 

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