How the Israeli Army Sent Messages in the Days Before WhatsApp

The humble homing pigeon played a key role in the army's communications during the War of Independence in 1948. Now, the country's most famous dovecote is looking to take flight once more

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Haim Wolf at the Givat Brenner dovecote in central Israel, April 5, 2017.
Haim Wolf at the Givat Brenner dovecote in central Israel, April 5, 2017.Credit: Ilan Assayag
Ofer Aderet
Ofer Aderet
A soldier from the Signal Corps trains a messenger pigeon, 1949.Credit: Palmach archive
A soldier from the pigeon unit with a messenger pigeon in a mobile carrying case, 1950s.Credit: Palmach archive
Lea Ziegler-Anafi, a pigeon handler in the Palmach.Credit: Palmach archive

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