Operation Columba—The Secret Pigeon Service Operation Columba—The Secret Pigeon Service

Operation Columba—The Secret Pigeon Service

The Untold Story of World War II Resistance in Europe

    • 12,99 €
    • 12,99 €

Publisher Description

“No Frederick Forsyth thriller could be as gripping as this real-life story” of British intelligence, brave WWII resisters, and 16,000 homing pigeons (Daily Mail).

Between 1941 and 1944, Britain dropped sixteen thousand homing pigeons in an arc across Nazi-occupied Europe, from Bordeaux, France to Copenhagen, Denmark, as part of a spy operation code-named Columba. Returning to MI14, the secret government branch in charge of the “Special Pigeon Service,” the birds carried messages that offered a glimpse of life under the Germans in rural France, Holland, and Belgium. Written on tiny pieces of rice paper tucked into canisters and tied to the birds’ legs, these messages were sometimes comic, often tragic, and occasionally invaluable—reporting details of German troop movements and fortifications, new Nazi weapons, radar systems, and even the deployment of the feared V-1 and V-2 rockets used to terrorize London.

The people who sent these messages were not trained spies. They were ordinary men and women willing to risk their lives in the name of freedom, including the “Leopold Vindictive” network—a small group of Belgian villagers led by an extraordinary priest named Joseph Raskin. The intelligence Raskin sent back by pigeon proved so valuable that it reached Churchill, and MI6 parachuted agents behind enemy lines to assist him.

Gordon Corera uses declassified documents and extensive original research to tell this true story for the first time. A powerful tale of wartime espionage, bitter rivalries, extraordinary courage, astonishing betrayal, harrowing tragedy, and a quirky, quarrelsome band of spy masters and their special mission, Operation Columba is, ultimately, a tale of how, in one of the darkest and most dangerous times in history, under threat of death, people bravely chose to resist.

“The eccentric idea of enlisting pigeons as spies, combined with the bravery of those in occupied Europe who picked them up, vividly animates Corera’s excellent addition to the annals of WWII espionage.” —Booklist

“Witty and meticulously researched.” —Publishers Weekly

“Once you’ve read this book you’ll never look at a pigeon disdainfully again . . . .an intoxicating mixture of comedy and high seriousness.” —Daily Mail

GENRE
History
RELEASED
2018
16 October
LANGUAGE
EN
English
LENGTH
337
Pages
PUBLISHER
HarperCollins
SIZE
9.5
MB

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Russians Among Us Russians Among Us
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Voor God en vaderland Voor God en vaderland
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Secret Pigeon Service Secret Pigeon Service
2018
Intercept Intercept
2015
Russians Among Us Russians Among Us
2020

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