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A Carrier Pigeon Message From WWI Was Discovered in France

France News
by Eben Diskin Nov 9, 2020

For anyone doubting the effectiveness of carrier pigeons — it might take a while, but it seems that they deliver the message eventually. In this case, it took over 100 years.

While out for a walk in a field in Ingersheim in eastern France, a couple found a small capsule containing a message sent by a Prussian infantry soldier over a century ago via carrier pigeon. Written in German, the message was addressed to a superior officer and described military maneuvers during World War I. The date isn’t easily legible but reads July 16 of either 1916 or 1910.

The message says, “Platoon Potthof receives fire as they reach the western border of the parade ground, platoon Potthof takes up fire and retreats after a while. In Fechtwald half a platoon was disabled. Platoon Potthof retreats with heavy losses.”

Useful information at the time, perhaps, but it’s unclear if it ever reached its intended recipient.

The couple in 2020 who discovered the incredibly rare items brought it to the Linge Museum in Orbey where both capsule and message will now sit on permanent display.

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