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Machine gun belt from Normandy

Article about: The casings were probably fired, but there is also a hole drilled in every case. Every case says 65, but the letters change on some.

  1. #21

    Default re: Machine gun belt from Normandy

    So, the spot where it can easily be seen, without moving it, is in the bottom of a hole is it ??? To tell the authorities where it is... " in the forest, 16 th Oak tree from the left, just past the dead deer, near the badger set, mind out for the fallen log " etc etc. By puting it back underground it IS making it safe for children. How can they get inquisitive if they can't see it. Use your loaf. I AM making it a safer place for children. Doing things your way will perhaps make some children very unhappy when their father is killed defusing a shell that you have called him out to unnecessarily. As to your statement "IF you worked in EOD " are you saying it isn't true ? Not that I am worried either way. You obviously have trouble with the written word because you failed to read my tenet and understand it. IF IN DOUBT< DON'T TOUCH IT. How much clearer can that be. Anyway, I'm sorry if we must agree to disagree. That's life I'm afraid. Have a good one.

  2. #22

    Default re: Machine gun belt from Normandy

    omg if you dig a hole a see a shell it must be relativly close to the surface. as far as i gather you dig a hole that is bigger than the item on the metal detector so that you can get it out so surly if the hole is big enough to see that it is unexploded then the bomb squad can see the hole as well so really isn't it just a case of "hey mate unexploded bomb in blah de blah look for a hole"(or even stick a little flag next to it thats what i was told people see flag and hey presto they have found it and do there job best bit"Doing things your way will perhaps make some children very unhappy when their father is killed defusing a shell that you have called him out to unnecessarily" okay so go and tell them they are all fired if they are obviously not needed in your book go and tell all the bomb experts in all the armys civi and military that they aren't needed and that soldiers and finders can just bury all the ieds and unexploded ordanace that will save a lot of taxes won't it yeah this worlds going to get a lot safer

    tom
    Last edited by talltom; 10-29-2011 at 06:16 PM.

  3. #23
    ?

    Default re: Machine gun belt from Normandy

    Tom , i see both points of view here and agree with both, the difference being is that with very old ordnance or munitions, the explosives become extremely unstable, in France I believe about 20-30 people a year are killed by unexploded munitions from mainly the first world war, the farmers tend to dig up or plough tons a year, they remove it to the side of the road and the local police call in the BD teams, but this has been frowned upon as it attracts people to "have a look" and nine times out of ten you can see them pick something up and get a photo, their mindset is quite simple " if it hasnt gone off by now it never will" obviously a dangerous assumption, when visiting the Somme a few years ago, i saw a family who were having photos done , one of the kids was holding a large shell in his arms, it was painted pink(something that the farmers do) when they find a mustard gas shell, my friend and i both told them the dangers, they more or less told us to bugger off , and there comments,, "If it was dangerous they wouldnt leave it here", this is one of the problems, the uninformed or the ignorant, with regards to farmers i think they are being advised now to leave it where found but most have ignored the advise because they want their land to be farmed, in respect to MD ing in France, there are some strange rules, In Normandy its frowned upon yet the locals do it all the time , on the beaches, the dunes etc, ive seen the police even watching them and just driving off without a word being said, ive always been taught if its dangerous leave well alone, especially if there is great age associated with it or damaged, you might find something because your using a detector, children wont find it if its reburied because they are not looking for it, its a sensitive subject and one that has many pros and cons

  4. #24
    ?

    Default re: Machine gun belt from Normandy

    Very well said dave ! I think it's shockig some one would put there children I'n danger for a photo ! Hope that changes ...

    Kind regards
    Alex

  5. #25

    Default re: Machine gun belt from Normandy

    I think I have to agree with informing the authorities if you come across an unexploded munition, no matter if where the location of it is. At the end of the day, the projectiles, grenades, mines etc were intended to blow up, the sooner they can be recovered and dealt with the better.

    I took this photograph when I was in Belgium a few years ago, just as an example to those who are curious about things getting left to be recovered by those trained to do so.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Anyways, can we get back onto the actual subject of the thread instead of bitching about what you should do if you come across something dangerous?



    Thanks

    Danny

  6. #26

    Default re: Machine gun belt from Normandy

    good picture danny and you are correct lets get back to the thread at hand
    dave it does seem to be a bit of a debated topic

    tom

  7. #27
    ?

    Default Re: Machine gun belt from Normandy

    Quote by flak 18 View Post
    Hallo...no, I don't think you are being rude, just incredibly naive. Imagine the scenario. I have just used my detector to uncover a German grenade with the fuse hanging off. I ring the authorities ( who are not very keen to come out at all ) and tell them where I am. They arrive... first question..What are you doing with a metal detector ? (strictly against the law, not just frowned on as the other post suggests ) Second question.. What else do you have in your bag ? ( instant confiscation ) Third question.. Let's go to your house for a little look at your collection. ( no matter if everything is totally inert, as mine all is, it will be confiscated and you will be jailed ). As I said, even 1 fired rifle cartridge case will render you liable for prosecution, so you can imagine what they would do if they saw a whole bunch of 88's, even though they are totally inert. The second post suggesting that I remove the dangerous object to another location for later inerting beggars belief. Would you pick up a German grenade with the fuse hanging off and move it ? How about a fired 10,5 cm Spreng projectile ? No, and neither will I. I operate by the tenet " if I am unsure about it I don't touch it " The law here is incredibly severe. Most collectors are very wary who they show their objects to and I know just why. I posted my first comments to the guy in Canada because I felt so very sorry for him. Didn't really expect to stir up a hornets nest of obviously well intentioned, but out of touch collectors.
    Very interesting comments , as Tom has pointed out i was suggesting leaving it in situe and calling the authorities to dispose of it which is still a very common procedure in France and Flanders as i'm sure you know . As a digger myself i do understand that if the item is found in a remote wooded location etc that presents a different problem and removal or disposal can be inpracticable , what really interests me is the fact that despite knowing the laws of France you appear to be digging and using a metal detector illegally which i have to say this forum in no way condones . "Amongst our well intentioned but out of touch collectors " are some very experienced and very much in touch diggers and battlefield Archaeologists who do have knowledge on current laws and procedures for munitions disposal for many countries around the world !!

    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

  8. #28

    Default Re: Machine gun belt from Normandy

    Hello Paul... seems I have stirred up an ants nest. I only wanted to help a fellow collector in Canada. Won't make the same mistake again. Head below the parapet from now on. Let me ask you, seriously, as a detectorist. If you are in the middle of a forest, 10 miles from civilisation, no paths or tracks and you find an unexploded item, what would you do ? Carry it back to a roadside where it will definitely be found by children or tourists or just rebury it? To give the authorities directions as to where to find the item is impossible. Now seriously, moral high ground aside, what would you do. In the early 80's I visited the Somme area and frequently saw many piles of shells on the roadside where they had been left by farmers. I also saw children going through these piles looking for items they could sell to tourists and collectors. Horrendous scenario which I took steps to stop then and there. But, it happens all the time. One particular pile I noticed was still there 6 months later when I revisited. I know it was the same because the shells were the same ones, one in particular had a very weirdly twisted fuse. My point is that puting these things some where conspicuous is totally, mind blowingly dangerous and is inviting some awful consequences. The French demineurs do NOT like being called out all the time. On the Somme I spoke to one of them and he assured me that they were totally sick of English collectors coming over and getting into dangerous situations with unexploded munitions, hence the police crackdown. You don't condone the illegal use of detectors ? By having a battlefield archaeology site here you do because it is totally illegal in France, Italy, Belgium, Estonia, Latvia, Russia and no doubt many other countries to dig on battlefields. TOTALLY. So long as there are no problems most authorities tolerate such activities but the fact remains, it is illegal. Speaking for myself, I harm no one, do not ruin property, leave as I find and keep sites of danger to myself. If I told the demineurs where there were items they would not come out. They have so much work to do to clear up after 2 world wars, when everyone just went home and left all the detritus lying around, especially the US, who just buried munitions wholesale all over the country. Around Verdun it is estimated there is enough work for at least another 50 years. I am not trying to be smart here, just realistic. They WONT come out to an isolated incident. I know there are many knowledgeable diggers working on these sites, but at the end of the day, most of them ARE breaking the law. Those who visit old ranges and MOD sites most definitely are. Hope this explains my position on this subject. Regards Flak 18

  9. #29
    ?

    Default Re: Machine gun belt from Normandy

    As i pointed out i do understand that in some circumstances it is completely impracticable to inform any authorities re munitions and the areas are so remote that the risk of removal far outweighs the benefits of recovery . I have experienced that myself in the very remote forests and swamps of the east !!

    As far as the illegally of digging the policy of this forum is not to condone illegal digging of any kind in any country and to actively discourage such practice and challenge it if it is clear that someone is digging illegally as you clearly are , the fact that you don't make a mess , harm no one etc is irelavant your are still breaking the law !!

    You may have noticed we have a section on the relevant laws and authorities required in different countries , as you are such an expert on the laws of the countries you named perhaps you could peruse the section and comment on any that you feel are incorrect ?

    If you have read the threads the people digging and then posting are doing so with the relevant paperwork or permissions which applies and no one is digging on old ranges and MOD sites in the UK , if they are and post here they are informed of their illegal activity.

    I have visited the Somme and Normandy many many times but have never dug there because it's against the law and i have no authority to do it . Yes i;ve seen the piles of shells etc and seen munitions lying in the fields where they have been ploughed up or come to the surface through time but the people of the Somme still have so much to deal with even 90 years after that they have to get rid of them and they deal with the only way they can !! As you will be aware a number of farmers are killed every year in Farnce or Belgium whilst ploughing , they do not have the option of just ignoring it or it might just get them next time they plough it up.

    I did read your initial comments about never handling any live munitions etc but did notice that you stated that you had reburied something but in a deeper hole !! Not sure how this would have been possible if you hadn't had it out of the original hole in the first place !!

    So just to reiterate no we do not condone the illegal use of metal detectors or 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

  10. #30

    Default Re: Machine gun belt from Normandy

    So you have been digging in the forests of the east.....illegally. Plain and simple, not hard to understand really. You have been breaking the law. Not up for questioning. Blind eye often turned by the police, but nevertheless, you are breaking the law. I have lots of friends in the east and they all dig very carefully and out of sight because what they are doing is against the law. I am glad you agree that it is sometimes the best policy to leave an item in situ. As to how I get an item deeper, I merely dig under it and it slowly and with no jolts, sinks deeper. Simple. Well, what you all do is really not of interest to me. I see pictures of items from MOD ranges and ask the question, "what are these people doing there." I know some areas are open, but believe me, the items in some of the photos I have seen would not be on land open to the public. I leave you with my best wishes for a happy and fruitful life. Enjoy yourself, it really is later than you think

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