During the Siege of Paris (1870-1871) by Prussian forces, what novel way did the besieged French communicate with the outside world?

Answer: Balloon mail. Prussian forces had cut telegraph lines and captured messengers, so unguided balloons were used to deliver messages. Around 70 balloons were sent, with most reaching their intended recipients.

Source: Air Power in the Age of Total War by Jeff Buckley

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