THE NAZI PIGEON AND BRITISH PEREGRINE FALCON WAR
Scores of lofts of the message-carrying birds were pinpointed by MI5 agents in 1940 across
The airborne threat was believed to be the pet project of SS chief Heinrich Himmler - who was known by British intelligence as an avowed pigeon fancier.
Under interrogation, captured "German pigeon personnel" told how the birds were a vital component of Hitler's plans to invade
The MI5 report on the phenomenon, released with a batch of wartime secret service documents this week, said: "From these prisoners of war it was learnt that it was anticipated that the birds would be used to convey information obtained by short-term pre-invasion agents."
To counter the menace, MI5 tamed and trained its own crack force of peregrine falcons, with the aim of felling incoming pigeons.
According to documents now held at the Public Record Office in
Displaying humor in the midst of adversity, an intelligence officer marked in his report: "Both birds are now prisoners of war working hard at breeding English pigeons."
The new Army Pigeon Service Special Section birds of prey were used to set up an airborne net over the Scilly Isles early in 1942 following sightings of pigeons disappearing towards
The MI5 report notes
It says: "This was a great success. The falcon flying high above the Scillies could watch not only a part of one island, but the whole group, and any pigeon flying over them would be attacked."
Agents had found that the Nazi party had taken control of all pigeon lofts in
The British document notes: "It is said that Himmler, who has been a pigeon fancier and enthusiast all his life, is the head or president of the German National Pigeon Society.
"And he has brought his enthusiasm for pigeons into the Gestapo, who are said to use this form of communication both in
Intelligence officers also investigated ways in which pigeons were deposited in the
Dropping pigeons by parachute was also identified as a possible method of their entering the country.
German Recon Pigeon
WWII security service operatives were also on the look-out for:
· Suspicious marks on telegraph poles
· Crop cutting
· Annotated maps
BRITISH SUICIDE PIGEON WEAPON
British spy chiefs secretly considered training pigeons to fly into German targets carrying explosives or biological weapons, it has been revealed.
STRANGE VEHICLES OF PRE-WAR