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New (prickly) finds from my WW2 site(s), please help ID some other.

Article about: Hello dear fellow battlefield archaeology enthusiasts. So I was just out in the maquis over the sea shore, in my hometown (a long distance away from the German coastal Bunker I frequently &q

  1. #1
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    Default New (prickly) finds from my WW2 site(s), please help ID some other.

    Hello dear fellow battlefield archaeology enthusiasts.


    So I was just out in the maquis over the sea shore, in my hometown (a long distance away from the German coastal Bunker I frequently "hunt" for relics), picking wild asparagus shoots for the dinner's salad.
    It's a tricky job, you have to check every (thorny, tangled) bush to find them. I had alreaady scratched up my hands quite a bit when I found two large pieces of rusted barbed wire deep under an old cypress bush. I instantly recognized the german ww2 wire I knew from my hunting spot. I know there used to be a machine gun bunker there but the place was all cleaned out and changed some 50 years ago...
    Some days later at another beach location, again looking for wild asparagus shoots, one prickly thing lead to another so I found another piece of old wire under a juniper bush this time! It;s the shortest in the pics.
    At my hunting spot I remember that when I was a kid (some 30+ years ago...) I saw large coils of brown-red corroding barbed wire, rusting away under the salty sea spray. When I started collecting relics there the usual finds were the remains of these, just small pieces of wire with 2-5 "stars", not longer than 12-15cm.
    I was very excited about my finds so I wanted to share these large pieces of history I found (the longest is 92cm long!) with some people that may appreciate my excitement.
    I know the whole coast was fortified but I had never found anything war-related before at other locations. The conditions at the new sites, as it seems, allowed the pieces to be kept in such a good shape in comparison to my beach finds. I will have to go back to these places from now on and keep my eyes open, all my finds are surface finds, no metal detecting allowed here in Greece.

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    Yesterday I went to "my site" as the weather was ideal and I found an aluminum (I think...) adjustable buckle I cannot identify. All Germans I saw are one piece buckles.
    I remembered that I had found a similar looking piece, like a small broken frame and I saw that it was an exact match with the complete one I found and going through my unIDed/junk finds to get this one I also saw the matching (but broken) movable center piece, that I was unable not only to ID but to match to something, to start with... I added them in the group shots, too.

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    In the pics there is also a large piece of brass shrapnel I found lodged inside a crack of the beachrocks under the bunker. Pieces of barbed wire rust and pebbles had formed a conglomerate with it, I had to break it away with a chisel. I kept it in the state I found it only cleaned it with a brush, a small barnacle is still on it , too. I like the "weathered" look of it.
    Can anybody guess if it came from a German or Allied grenade? This Bunker was fought over at the end of the German occupation of Greece and I have found both Allied and German cartridges and bullets.

    And the last thing I found is this piece of corroded iron tube (~7cm) with a disc (~3cm) attached to one end (it was attached it is now broken off). The two broken ends show some verdigris green patina inside the rust. Can anybody take a guess or identify this find?

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    Thanks for taking a look.
    Any help and suggestion will be appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: New (prickly) finds from my WW2 site(s), please help ID some other.

    Some nice finds there! I was on Omaha Beach last Thursday and had a couple of nice surface finds (both of which we only took pics of and left in place!). One a 20mm round from the old Pointe Du Hoc ammo dump and a German spike for barbed wire. Also got some barbed wire from Utah 2 years ago from one of the bunkers. Amazing what can still be found lying there on the surface if you know where to look!

    The peice of fragment looks to me like it once was an artillery shell? However I'm happy to stand corrected as my knowledge of frag from 70 years ago isn't what it could be!

    The last item I have no idea about, I was thinking it could be a flare cartridge but re-read your post and if it's iron then it rules that out!!!

    Thanks

    Jon

  3. #3
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    Default Re: New (prickly) finds from my WW2 site(s), please help ID some other.

    So I'm back.
    Despite of many people looking at this thread it seems no one had anything to add and I had to do a little (a lot to be honest...) research on my own.
    I managed (I think...) to find out what the piece of brass shrapnel is from.

    It looks like it's part of the ring at the base of a 3.8 inch british anti-aircraft shrapnel shell (the so called "driving band"). The "decoration" gave it away.

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    Source: An Introduction To Collecting Artillery Shells And Shell Casings - International Ammunition Association

    They were in use since WW1 but it turns out that british subs in WW2 were equiped with deck guns that used this kind of ammo and it makes total sense to me that the coastal German bunker it came from was under fire by either a british submarine or some other kind of battleship using everything they had, during the fighting 70 years ago...

    Hope you enjoy my update...

  4. #4
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    Default Re: New (prickly) finds from my WW2 site(s), please help ID some other.

    (I don't know how the ad got into my post!!!!)...

  5. #5

    Default Re: New (prickly) finds from my WW2 site(s), please help ID some other.

    Hello there.... It's always nice to meet new Greek members here! Your barbed wire reminded me the one i found in Crete last summer when i visited a formal Naval gun instalation at Chania! They were placed on top of a cliff guarding the sea area! The way to the sea is very dangerous and stiff due to the sand that is easily falling off and the rocks rolling down the cliff! The distance from the surface of the sea to the instalation on a vertical measurement is near 50 meters so it is a long way down if you fall!

    Well, when the Germans evacuated the island they blew off the guns and everything they could not carry with them! That made the whole place around and especially towards the sea full of relics laying on the ground! We managed to climb down and found thousands of big fragments, shells, metal pieces from unknown ammunition and tons of german barbed wire! But due to the exhausting climbing under the hot sun in the middle of the summer in Crete we left all the big items behind for another tour there some other time! We only took small fragments and pieces of barbed wire! Next time i think we might dive under the guns to see what is hiding there! The sea area should be full of relics from the big explosion...

  6. #6
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    Default Re: New (prickly) finds from my WW2 site(s), please help ID some other.

    Something similar may have happened at "my" site ,too now that I think about it.
    So could the driving band be from a German shell that was still laying around when this happened?...
    I guess they may have had AA guns posted there and the german shells also show these kind of bands as I just saw... no way telling what it came off I guess...

    Be careful around WW2 battle sites, lots of live ammo and mines may still be hidden and that damn german Cordite is very time-resistant...
    Recently the Greek Army did a mine-sweep to clear a wooded area that had a German base during WW2 near the town I live and the whole place is still closed to the public with lots of yellow tape from tree to tree...

  7. #7

    Default Re: New (prickly) finds from my WW2 site(s), please help ID some other.

    I'm as cautious as one can be when i visit a battlefield! Same goes for you and your trips but also when exploring near your town my friend... May i ask where are you from? I'm from Crete, Rethymno! Lucky me i have never found a live round! The only tricky item was a big artillery shell but there was a hole on one side so i managed to empty everything and keep only the shell without it's contents!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: New (prickly) finds from my WW2 site(s), please help ID some other.

    Found a live round only once and that was not where I regularly search but in a forest on a Sunday walk(!) stuck under a tree's root. Can't Id it (too much rust on it, may have been inside a cartridge that rusted away and I didn't attempt cleaning it the hard way, scratching or rubbing or anything similar) but it is probably WW2 or from the civil war.
    I don't like stuff that can explode, I keep off things that look still full...

    Liked your post about the private "war museum" on your island, your ancestors put up a good fight against the invaders back then!
    I live on the coast of the mainland. The Nazis had a Hafenschutz Stuetzpunkt located nearby and that's all I'll say about that matter... :-)

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