World War 1 And Carrier Pigeons, What Is The Relationship?
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As for today, we will discuss about pigeons. Pigeons or doves are species of bird that comes from Columbidae family. They are one of the bird species that are most common in the world, and you can literally found them anywhere from cities, countryside to Cliffside beach. Their general appearances are stubby bird with short neck, round body and they come with many colour from most common colour like white and grey, to many other exotic coloured pigeon like brownish and black.
What’s so special about them? You might think that pigeons are just ordinary birds. They are certainly not as beautiful and unique as peacock or paradise birds. They also don’t sing as beautiful as parrot or cockatoo. They are also not cute enough like penguins. However, pigeons have their own unique characteristics and traits that not many birds can have. Thanks to this traits, Pigeons even becoming war time hero during World War 1. You might think it is impossible for birds to contribute in war, but it is true. Today, we are going to learn about history World War 1 And Carrier Pigeons, What Is The Relationship? War Time hero of World War 1, Pigeons are hero too.
Little history lesson about pigeon, their effort during World War 1
Pigeons have very unique traits and characteristics that they are unique and can become war time hero in World War 1. Pigeons are smart birds that can navigate well, and remember any flight path well. They can be trained as postal pigeons, and they are also one of the best war time communications for pigeon service. They play very important role as war time communication, and their valor efforts are considered by many government that they are awarded with war time medals. One of the most popular war time pigeon heroes is Cher Ami. His story of valor, bravery and heroics are really interesting and very intriguing to read.
Even before World War 1, there are already a record in history that stated the use of homing pigeons as messenger and trusty way to communicate. Before the invention of telephone and fax, people will use pigeon as their postal service. The earliest record of postal pigeon is during ancient Persians. The record of ancient Persians, they are training the birds as their postal service, and way of communication for nobility and war time communication. The Romans also used pigeon messengers in their conquest of Gaul over 2000 years ago. Julius Caesar himself used pigeons as war time messengers that enable him to successfully conquer Gaul. In early 12th century, Henry Teonge a Naval chaplain and English chaplain keep a record of pigeon used as postal communication in Baghdad. He stated that during 1620 and 1690, that merchant from Aleppo and Iskenderun communicate using trained pigeons to effectively dominate trade in that region. During colonial age, Dutch government also implements military pigeon communication service in East India (Currently Indonesia) between Java Island and Sumatra in the early 19th century. From the earliest history, humans have already train pigeon as their postal service since the age of Greek-Persians and during age of Romans.
In the World War 1, along with the use of telegraph, pigeons have been used as wartime communication. During the siege of Paris (1870-1871) the extensive use of pigeons as war time communication is used, and even the opposing Germans deploy hawk as the counter measure to disrupt pigeon war communication by preying on postal pigeons. During this time too, pigeon played crucial role in World War 1 that story of heroic pigeons named Cher Ami becoming famous and recognized as war time hero.
This is the story of Cher Ami, a homing carrier pigeon that considered as war time hero, and awarded with war time medal for her efforts and valor, Delivering crucial massage behind enemy lines even when she is crucially injured. Cher Ami meaning dear friend in French. She is homing pigeon serving in U.S. Army Signal Corps during World War 1 in French frontier. She is trained as wartime pigeon by Americans, and she is famous for her dramatic deliveries of Meuse-Argonne Offensive attacks in October 1918. During his deliveries, she is critically injured and have serious injuries, like broken wings, broken legs, and attack from German hawks deployed to disrupt pigeon massager.
In October 3, 1918, more than 500 Allied soldier, trapped on the small hill behind enemy lines with no supplies, ammunition and at that time they are waiting for their certain doom. Surrounded by enemies and friendly fire from ally soldier who didn’t know they were trapped there, they dispatch runners to send massage but they were shot down by German forces. The commander then dispatch messenger pigeons to send massage to artillery battalion to stop firing at their position because they were surrounded by enemies and can’t leave because they were rained by their own allies artillery fire.
The first messenger pigeon carrying massage was shot down by German forces, just as he soon flew from the bush, the second pigeon carrying massage were intercepted. Then there came Cher Ami. Carrying massage “to 276.4 Our artillery is dropping barrage on us, for god sake please stop it”. Cher Ami was immediately getting barrage of fire as soon as she flew from bushes. A bullet pierce her breast, and she fell down, but she rise again and flew. She is injured in her breast, have blinded in one eye, and her left limb is missing, but she managed to carry on the massage successfully. Cher Ami was awarded by wartime medal the Croix de Guerre as appreciation for her valour and courage delivering crucial massage even with critical injuries.
And that’s it the story of Cher Ami, the wartime pigeon hero the story of World War 1 And Carrier Pigeons, What Is The Relationship?