Rebel ResolveSeason 1, Episode 12
With Kanan in Imperial custody, Ezra makes a risky deal and sets a plan in motion to save his Master.
Rebels Recon: Inside "Rebel Resolve"
Star Wars Rebels: "Hit it!"
The events of Rebel Resolve find the Rebels feeling the weight of Grand Moff Tarkin’s relentless pursuit. Kanan is now in the hands of the Empire and under interrogation. Ezra and his friends know they must develop a plan to locate and rescue their leader before he is killed by the Inquisitor. After the Empire destroyed its radio tower to prevent Ezra from relaying his rebellious message, the Empire has been forced to use the primitive method of sending messenger droids to relay communiques. Learning of this, the Rebels send Chopper in to pose as an Imperial droid tasked with obtaining Kanan’s whereabouts.
Although World War I is known for its advances in modern warfare, many older and reliable methods continued to be used. One such technique was the use of carrier pigeons. Despite living in the modern age of telegraphy and phones, soldiers and their commanders found that these forms of communication often proved unreliable. Enemy troops or bombardments could sever the phone wires, rendering them useless. The heat of battle requires instant communication and a trusty back up to wired communication was needed. Thus, the carrier pigeon found its way to the battlefield.
Perhaps the best known use of carrier pigeons in World War I occurred in October, 1918. The US Army’s 77th Division led by Major Charles Whittlesey had advanced into the Argonne Forest and was surrounded by German forces. Although the 77th took many casualties, Whittlesey was initially able to send messages by phone, but their line was later cut leaving them with only carrier pigeons. Efforts were put in place to aid and rescue the men, but commanders were unsure of the exact location of the "Lost Battalion."
On October 3, 1918 allied artillery launched a barrage on the Germans, but were also unknowingly shelling the 77th. Faced with growing casualties, Whittlesey scribbled a note that read: “We are along the road parallel to 276.4. Our own artillery is dropping a barrage directly on us. For heaven's sake, stop it.” The note was placed in a canister on the left leg of their last carrier pigeon, Cher Ami.
The pigeon quickly rose out of the bushes, but was immediately shot by the Germans. After landing for a moment, Cher Ami once again took flight and completed the journey to headquarters some 25 miles away. Although gravely injured (shot through the breast, blinded in one eye, and one leg only hanging by a tendon), Cher Ami survived, also saving countless men of the 77th.
Cher Ami was hailed as a hero and was dispatched back to the United States. Her fame grew and she was awarded many commendations including the Croix de Guerre for her service at Verdun. Following her death in 1919, Cher Ami was mounted by a taxidermist and put on display at the Smithsonian where she remains to this day.
First posted on: March 31, 2015