Saintly Pigeons of War, Brave and gallant: Pigeon War veterans
Taken from Historyarte by Dr.Cecilia Levallois Hernandez
My godson Sergio Manzanares Brethous, pigeon raiser, asked me to write about the heroic pigeons who have served in missions over war history. Considered symbols of peace and love, the holy pigeons also been able to wear their feathers as armory and be braver than many overfed, stuffy and arrogant fatso generals..
Since the world began, humans have used and abused pigeons to send messages. When the Olympic Games were held in ancient times, the tournament results were sent via Pigeon Express, and the philosopher who turned into Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius sent reports of their progress in them Marcommanic wars via these brave animals. Pigeons were much valued by the Osmanli sultans, who were dove- fanciers from the beginning of the dynasty.
The Sultan Bayezid I the Thunderbolt used pigeons to report that Timur had taken him prisoner near Angora in 1402 and one of the favorite pastimes of multitalented Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent was to develop luxurious pigeon huts to shelter the members of his postal staff service. Legend says that Suleyman gave name to each of its 1200 pigeons, and must have had an uncanny photographic memory to memorize them all. Suleyman took his pigeons with him in gilded cots every time he was in the battlefield, and several of them died on duty.
Many empirical journalists have been vilified for lacking a college certificate that proves them as reporters, but what many graduates realize is that pigeons saved many times the first page of numerous Belgian and Dutch newspapers, as no newspaper was considered complete without its staff correspondents carrying pigeons for the freshest news.
The defeat of the haughty Napoleon Bonaparte at Waterloo was reported to jubilant England through swift pigeons trained by Nathan Rothschild, which were rewarded with plenty of food and a rank of lieutenant in the British armed forces for their feat of reporting that the dwarfish Corsican had bitten the dust of defeat.
In the second half of the nineteenth century, French pigeons were destined to play an important role during the Franco-Prussian War, which was when the French lost Alsace and Lorraine to the Germans, back then called Prussians. Paris was completely cut off from the rest of the country, and only the postal system using pigeons could maintain communication between the troops and the anxious citizens.
Although this war would cost the throne to mustached Napoleon III, the brave pigeons such as "Coucou", "La Goulue" (The Greedy), The "Putaine De Luxe" and "Cassis" covered themselves with glory through challenging enemy line mortars and bullets. Interestingly, in the fine art of winged correspondents has no discrimination of sex, as in humans, and pigeons -both females and males - have excelled in this laudable work. The four most prominent doves airlifting news during Franco-Prussian War were females and mothers of several baby doves.
During WWI,, military strategist pigeons served as photographers by taking a microchamber camera tied to their legs. The famous American General John "Black Jack" Pershing praised them. The Germans took possession of more than a million Belgian pigeons and there is a memorial, which I visited in Brussels, dedicated to the memory of these brave birds. In Lille, northern France , there is also a memorial in which 20 thousand pigeons who fell in action are remembered and honored. The planes and warships always carried their endowment of pigeons.
Pigeons also brought news of military plane crashes into the sea. 95% of the birds returning from their missions, always duly reported in with their last breath. Among m it was said was wiser than his human namesake), Big Tom, Colonel's Lady, Always Fixed, Adelaine, Lord, Burton and Spike. Cher Ami was the last hope of a battalion from New York. All her friends had died, and was sent to save the lives of 194 "Lost Battalion." Cher Ami was injured, but was cured of his wounds thanks to abundant pampering. Back in Yankeeland, Cher Ami became the mascot , much adored by the Service Department.
Burton was born in 1917 and was wounded in his mission # 52, losing his left eye and part of the skull, but had life enough to spare andkicked the bucket on l June 15, 1937. President Wilson lost a leg on November 5, 1918 a few days after the armistice, having saved the lives of many American infantry soldiers. Wilson died on June 8th, 1929. Spike on the other hand was born in January 1918 and after flying 50 missions, never knew what it was to have a wound. This brave angel died on April 11, 1935.
One of the greatest treasures that the Americans nabbed off the Germans during WWI was the German Kaiser dove, born in 1917. He was captured in 1918 in the Battle of the Meuse, but had no difficulty in getting to be American Citizen because even learned to drink Coca Cola and eat popcorn. Beautiful, highly intelligent and very randy, this animal was the father of many pigeons and died of boredom at 32 years of age.
The British museums and gringos are full of memories of the brave military pigeons. The pigeons were decorated and given heroes funerals. Holding the rank of captain. 3000 soldiers and 150 officers were in charge of the military pigeons during World War II. An Irish dove named Paddy Pigeon was the first messenger to bring the news to England amphibious maneuver Normandy landings, breaking records with four hours and fifty minutes.
Snow White flew into Berlin during the Allied bombing, and Scotch-Lass fulfilled her heroic mission of taking 38 pictures in the Netherlands, returning despite being seriously injured. The Lady Mary was struck 22 times and had her military service for five years with the Allies. She died in combat as befits a true warrior princess.. The chubby GI Joe saved hundreds of lives on mission in Italy, delivering his timely message that two armies were on the same turf, avoiding a case of friendly fire, in southern Italy. GI Joe was honored in London with the Dicken Medal for Gallantry by the Lord Mayor, and posed for reporters as "male chest pen.
"GI Joe would die of old age at the beginning of the 60s in America. Others who were distinguished were Winkie, George, Vision, White Beach Bomber. Gustavo, Paddy (the only Irish pigeon ... was there any discrimination?), Commando, Kenley Lass, Flying Dutchman, Royal Blue, Costa Dutch ,William of Orange, Ruhr Express, Scotch Lass, Billy, Cologne, Maquis, Arrow Gorda, Solitude, Mercury, Duke of Normandy, Mary, Tommy, and Princess.
Pigeons provided a valuable contribution to world history, and many of them acted with more courage and gallantry that many human military, flaunting stamina, nobility and courage .