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Pigeons and Submarines WW2

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  • Pigeons and Submarines WW2

    Hi

    I'm looking for any and all information regarding the usage of Pigeons from Allied Submarines in WW2.
    From my very limited knowledge of the matter, it seems that the Germans 'never' used Pigeons in there U-Boats in WW2-not sure they used them in WW1 to be honest!

    Regards

    Andy H
    "You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." Churchill

    "I'm no reactionary.Christ on the Mountain! I'm as idealistic as Hell" Eisenhower

  • #2
    The USN, RCN and RN all used pigeons but AFAIK only from surface vessels and/or carried in Naval aircraft in case of ditching. USN YB Boats (Yard Boats - training boats) pressed into operational service as convoy escorts in inshore shallow waters each carried two pigeons, I think because they had no radios fitted. The RCN used pigeons at Dieppe because radio silence was being maintained.
    I suspect that given the conditions inside a submarine at sea any birds kept inside the hull would very quickly be in very poor condition (possibly dead). Pigeons used in WW1 tanks could only be kept inside for about 5 hours before becoming very sick birds and days and even weeks inside a submarine hull would not be good.
    Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
    Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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    • #3
      Contrary to the above I now find that pigeons were used on WW1 U-boats - The UB-1 class carried them in 1914-15 because they had no radio. British National Archives at Kew have a message carried by one of UB-6's birds -translated it reads “23.11.1915. Pos. 51.31N, 2.46E. Please open the locks today at 2.30 a.m.”. How reliable these submarine carried birds were may be open to doubt - this one landed in Calais and was captured.
      Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
      Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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      • #4
        Originally posted by MarkV View Post
        Contrary to the above I now find that pigeons were used on WW1 U-boats - The UB-1 class carried them in 1914-15 because they had no radio. British National Archives at Kew have a message carried by one of UB-6's birds -translated it reads 23.11.1915. Pos. 51.31N, 2.46E. Please open the locks today at 2.30 a.m.. How reliable these submarine carried birds were may be open to doubt - this one landed in Calais and was captured.
        The discussion is focused on WWII submarines - not WWI.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
          The discussion is focused on WWII submarines - not WWI.
          Correct, good point well made... RAF four engined heavies all carried a box of pigeons.

          The long toll of the brave
          Is not lost in darkness
          Over the fruitful earth
          And athwart the seas
          Hath passed the light of noble deeds
          Unquenchable forever.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
            The discussion is focused on WWII submarines - not WWI.
            Do bother to read the OP where the issue of WW1 U boats is raised - I answered that question

            From my very limited knowledge of the matter, it seems that the Germans 'never' used Pigeons in there U-Boats in WW2-not sure they used them in WW1 to be honest!
            Do you own the thread pray?
            Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
            Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

            Comment

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