20 Dec 2012

WWII Carrier Pigeon Code Cracked

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Remember the WWII carrier pigeon found mummified last month in a chimney being repaired in Surrey?

It seems that the coded message from Sgt. Scott in Normandy has already been deciphered.


A Canadian World War II enthusiast says that he has deciphered the message after realizing that a code book held the key to the encryption. Gord Young, editor for the history group Lakefield Heritage Research, says the 1944 note uses a simple World War I code to give information about German troop positions in the area around Normandy, France. …

Young, however, said that the code is not complex, and that people who are trying to decrypt it are “over thinking.”

The code, according to Young’s account, belonged to 27-year-old Sgt William Scott, who was placed in Normandy to report on German positions. Scott was killed a few weeks later and buried in a Normandy war cemetery. …

According to Young, the decrypted message reads:

    “Artillery observer at ‘K’ Sector, Normandy. Requested headquarters supplement report. Panzer attack – blitz. West Artillery Observer Tracking Attack.

    “Lt Knows extra guns are here. Know where local dispatch station is. Determined where Jerry’s headquarters front posts. Right battery headquarters right here.

    “Found headquarters infantry right here. Final note, confirming, found Jerry’s whereabouts. Go over field notes. Counter measures against Panzers not working.

    “Jerry’s right battery central headquarters here. Artillery observer at ‘K’ sector Normandy. Mortar, infantry attack panzers.

    “Hit Jerry’s Right or Reserve Battery Here. Already know electrical engineers headquarters. Troops, panzers, batteries, engineers, here. Final note known to headquarters.”


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