It was the Second World War code no one could crack – a message from 1944 found decades later attached to a dead carrier pigeon in a fireplace. Wartime code-breaking analysts and experts from GCHQ were all left stumped. But now a historian has come forward with the right codebook to finally reveal what it says.

The despatch, sent by 27-year-old Sergeant William Stott, identified German troop and panzer tank positions in Normandy and highlighted ‘Jerry’ headquarters and observation posts to target for attacks.

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