The pigeon as a war hero
In modern times the pigeon has been used to great effect during wartime. In both the First and Second World Wars the pigeon saved hundreds of thousands of human lives by carrying messages across enemy lines. Pigeons were carried on ships in convoys and in the event of a U-boat attack a messenger pigeon was released with details of the location of the sinking ship. In many cases this led to survivors being rescued and lives saved. In the First World War mobile pigeon lofts were set up behind the trenches from which pigeons often had to fly through enemy fire and poison gas to get their messages home. The birds also played a vital role in intelligence gathering and were used extensively behind enemy lines where the survival rate was only 10%. In the Second World War pigeons were used less due to advances in telecommunications, but the birds still relayed invaluable information back to the allies about the German V1 and V2 Rocket sites on the other side of the English Channel.