It turns out that the message – written in German – is from a Prussian infantry soldier based in Ingersheim, a former German town now French, and it details the military maneuvers. It is addressed to a senior officer, confirmed Dominique Jardy, curator at the Linge d’Orbey museum in eastern France.
The message is marked July 16, but the writing is difficult to read and the year is unclear; based on the period of WWI it could have been sent between 1914 and 1918, but Jardy thinks it was most likely sent in 1910. (You can decide for yourself by looking at the photo above) .
“The Potthof platoon receives fire as it reaches the western border of the parade ground, the Potthof platoon takes fire and withdraws after a while,” reads part of it. “In Fechtwald, a half-peloton was deactivated. The Potthof platoon retreated with heavy losses.
After finding the capsule, the French couple took it to the Orbey Museum to see if they could uncover its origins.
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Jardy said the find was “super rare” and that four copies of the post using four pigeons were likely sent at the time, he told AFP. He also postulated that the pigeon that carried this particular message must have “lost its way” shortly after take-off.
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He said the capsule likely came to the surface of the ground over time, as did many military remnants from World War I, the BBC reported. In his 40 years at the museum, he said he had never seen anything like it.
The message, as well as its container, will now be on permanent display at the museum.
Carrier pigeons, also known as “carrier pigeons”, were an integral means of communication during the First and Second World Wars. They were widely used, with some birds even winning war medals and honors.
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