MI5's deceptive pigeon plans

British spy chiefs drew up secret plans to use pigeons to spread false rumours about the impending D-Day landings.

The plot in 1943 to drop the birds into German-occupied France is revealed in previously secret files released under the Freedom of Information Act. They detail the Secret Services plans for "using pigeons for deception purposes".

Germany had been intercepting pigeons carrying Allied notes, the files say, so MI5 moved to drop false information. It planned to put extra pigeons over the west coast of France to give the impression the invasion would be there. The revelations come in newly-released files on World War II called “Channels for deception”.

Members of the public can view the 152 newly-released files at the National Archives in Kew, west London.

MI5's D-Day pigeon plot revealed (BBC News, 30 August 2008)