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German 88mm Shell Casing picked up 2 miles up the coast from Utah

Article about: The shell casing was found here, in a field behind the beach: (click on stp9 below) Stp9 Thanks, Swayne

  1. #1

    Cool German 88mm Shell Casing picked up 2 miles up the coast from Utah

    I was in Normandy for the D-Day celebration.

    On June 7th I was walking around Stp. 9 -- a group of german bunkers showed in the following link:

    Stp9

    I met a nice couple from the UK who were metal detecting around 50-120 yards from the beach up on the rolling hills. They had dug up some great items- german helmet, 30 rifle shell casings, 50cal shell casings, etc. Earlier they had found a massive and live artillery shel that must have been a few feet long! (they buried that one) I wish that I had had the opportunity to metal detect two. I thought it would be great to have some shell casings or shrapnel, or anything from Utah beach. I didnt have my wallet with me so I said "If I had some euros I would try to buy some of those casings from you guys."

    They said that I didnt need to pay them anything and that I could have a few. They also let me use their metal detector and dig up a 50 cal. casing and some shrapnel which they let me keep.

    The nice man walked away for a minute and came back with this huge hunk of metal, it took me a second to realize that this was an artillery shell casing. (not the projectile, but the casing) Which mysteriously had exploded? They handed it to me and said they they wanted me to have it, because they didnt want to drag that back to England.

    Of course I didnt mind bringing that back to the states

    Anyway, I have been doing some restoration on it--cleaning off a lot of the corrosion to uncover the actual metal which is working very very well.

    After a bit of work trying to uncover the base of the casing to determine if it was a German 88 casing--I found out that it was!

    I was really excited becasue it was one of the casings from the german 88's that were housed in the bunkers nearby!

    The coolest part for me is, what I have was definately there on
    D-Day!

    But the strange part about the casing is, it looks like it had exploded? Casing arent supposed to explode, they just fall out of the gun once it has fired its projectile. What do you think could have happened?

    Swayne
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture IMG00398-20100709-1135.jpg   IMG00399-20100709-1135.jpg  

    IMG00400-20100709-1136.jpg   IMG00401-20100709-1136.jpg  


  2. #2

    Default Re: German 88mm Shell Casing picked up 2 miles up the coast from Utah

    Perhaps it was blown up during the intense bombardment from sea prior to the landings. A lot of batteries were hit at this time. Have a look at Merville for example?
    Best regards,
    navyman.

  3. #3

    Default Re: German 88mm Shell Casing picked up 2 miles up the coast from Utah

    just goes toshow not everyones in it for a profit lot good decent collectors who dont mind sharing their discoveries congrats on your aquisitions

  4. #4

    Default Re: German 88mm Shell Casing picked up 2 miles up the coast from Utah

    Thanks for the kind words guys. I was involved in a discussion on Wehrmacht Awards forum about metal detecting, it turned into an argument: this is what I said:

    "I think that digging relics from the beach is just the same as digging for relics anywhere else--civil war, WW1, WW2 relics in Russia, but nobody complains about them digging there!

    It is all the same.

    I think that it honors the men who fought by remembering them through the relics of history. It is better to be able to keep history alive than to let it rust away underground. As said earlier, if bodies are discovered--GREAT!!!! All that means is that the person who died gets a long awaited proper burial."

    Swayne

  5. #5
    ?

    Default Re: German 88mm Shell Casing picked up 2 miles up the coast from Utah

    Without wanting to rain on your parade here or start another argument after reading your account it does raise a number of issues particulary that metal detecting anywhere has to follow the laws of that particular country and in this case i'm not sure they have been ,

    1) If these people were digging off the beach in the hills then they were more than likely digging illegally , the law in france and many other countries is very strict regarding metal detecting , it isn't a free for all and penalties can be very severe.

    2 ) They have discovered live munitions and then left it near the beach!! Apart from being very irresponsible as the dangers are obvious those who dig legally in France know if live munitions are found they Bomb disposal department can be contacted and the shells etc will be removed safely , this is nothing out of the ordinary as shells are found many times each day on the WW1 and WW2 Battlefields , which again may suggest illegal digging.

    regards

    Paul
    The gates of hell were opened and we accepted the invitation to enter" 26/880 Lance Sgt, Edward Dyke. 26th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers , ( 3rd Tyneside Irish )

    1st July 1916

    Thought shall be the harder , heart the keener,
    Courage the greater as our strength faileth.
    Here lies our leader ,in the dust of his greatness.
    Who leaves him now , be damned forever.
    We who are old now shall not leave this Battle,
    But lie at his feet , in the dust with our leader

    House Carles at the Battle of Hastings

  6. #6

    Default Re: German 88mm Shell Casing picked up 2 miles up the coast from Utah

    Those are some great points Paul.

    Swayne--at least I wasn't the one doing the metal detecting, except once when they let me try.

  7. #7

    Exclamation Re: German 88mm Shell Casing picked up 2 miles up the coast from Utah

    That 8.8cm has a C-22 electric primer... a tank case.

  8. #8

    Default Re: German 88mm Shell Casing picked up 2 miles up the coast from Utah

    Was this casing fired?

    Swayne

  9. #9

    Default Re: German 88mm Shell Casing picked up 2 miles up the coast from Utah

    Any ideas as to if this casing was fired???

    Swayne

  10. #10

    Default Re: German 88mm Shell Casing picked up 2 miles up the coast from Utah

    Swayne

    Judging by the look of the casing and the way it has peeled apart like that, I suspect it blew from the inside out. This being the case, it was unfired. I did think it could be 'plough' damage but this kind of damage is more commonly 'crushing' damage rather than peeling like this. Of course this is just educated speculation. I think the fact that you have relics from Utah beach is awesome. It's the only beach I have not searched myself, (I have searched Sword, Gold, Juno and even Omaha), and would love to give it a blast ! (pardon the pun).

    Paul is right though. Given their reaction, the likelihood is that the detectorists you came across were almost certainly there illegally. ......and to leave unexploded ordnance in the ground is just awful and totally irresponsible.

    Anyways.....enjoy your relics. They are a real piece of history

    Steve T

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