A few helmets we've found over the years...
A few helmets we've found over the years...
Wonderful lids, Steve.
Nice M1 Garand clips and grenade too !
Keep the items coming ! !
Love the us helmets!! I keep hoping i will dig one up or better still a flak helmet but no luck yet.
Keep up the pics
Sorry for the stupid question guys, but do the grenades lose their ability to explode after being buried for so long? I just wonder how dangerous it is to handle these things when digging a battlefield.
These threads of battlefield archaeology and the finds you folks are showing have made me both jealous and amazed. Beautiful items and many things I have never seen before or even knew existed. PLEASE keep posting the finds.
Unlike others who come in criticising the work done by the diggers, I am grateful for it and admire the patience and labor put into finding historical items. I don't believe for a moment that there is graverobbing going on in these threads. I know from exchanges with the guys who post from the former USSR that they are very aware of the importance of documenting human remains and getting these boys a decent resting place after all these years lying forgotten in some hellhole No matter what side they fought for.
If anything, these excavations pay tribute and perpetuate the memory of those who saw that horrible conflict we know as WWII. In some cases, the same goes for the WWI digs.
ordnance that has been buried for many years is ultimately unstable,,,i would not risk death or serious injury on these,,if found i would contact the local bomb squad for proper removal and disposal...if it can be disarmed safely,then i would hope the item would be returned,,,
NOT a stupid question George.
ALL munitions potentially become unstable over time, that is why there are warning signs all over military firing ranges stating not to handle any found unexploded munitions.
You only have to look at the number of people who are killed or injured each year on the WW1 battlefields of France and Belgium etc.
Thank you for the quick replies gents. I kind of thought that was the answer, but was not sure since I see the grenades and other explosive ordinance in some of the photos of dug up items. I handled explosives in the military(grenades, ammo, rocket launchers,etc. , but never anything rusty or old). I even used C4 to heat my C-rations a few times.
So, is it safe to assume the stuff on the shelves of the collectors who excavate battlefields is inert?
i would "cautiously" assume that ordnance on collectors shelves "might be" safe....a civil war collector was killed while he was cleaning his old cannon ball that he had for many years...never assume...all are deadly until deactivated,and hopefully the prudent ordnance collector has had his items rendered harmless...
As the others have said, ordnance is more likely to become unstable with age, although it's not always the case. I find a lot of live ordnance in Normandy on a regular basis, I never touch any Mortars (apart from fired/used 2" Illumes/Smk or tail fins), or large calibre Artillery shells, they're best left alone. I have deactivated numerous American pineapple grenades as they work on the same principle as the British L2, the Mills bomb is very difficult to make safe, the M39 was quite simple. However, if you don't have the knowledge to make these things safe stay well away, there are plenty for sale on the open market which have been professionally deactivated.
It's not worth taking a chance, it will always be 50/50 with this stuff.
Thanks again folks. I am scared to death of explosives, having seen what they do a few times.
I would immediately stop digging if I saw any ordnance at the end of my spade. I am glad that the Russsian guys who post here know how to handle this stuff with confidence and I hope nobody ever gets hurt.
I am not willing to gamble life or limb on any of this. I am just hoping to get in on a dig some day in a nice battlefield and fulfilling my fantasy of finding a nice SS helmet. Maybe never, but a guy is allowed to dream.
In the 70's, I was just a broke paratrooper on REFORGER NATO exercises in Germany and was offered a really nice DD M35 SS which I know was not a forgery. Unfortunately, I could not scrounge up the cash to pay for it and the local German farmer walked away. It was only 200 dollars and 4 cartons of Marlboros. I still kick myself for not having saved up for this eventuality. That lid was absolutely mint and original and I knew that it was hidden away prior to 1945. It is the kind of dream we all have as collectors.
I digress. My respects to those of you who know how to recognize ordnance. I only want to go and dig up some stuff in Karelia or the Baltic states. Just a couple of items will make the trip and cost worthwhile. I have a nephew living in St. Petersgurg for the last ten years and his Russian wiife told me to be wary of guys offering to take me on digs. I think she has not met the likes of the guys who post here. These are really top-grade amateur archaeologists as well as historians and weapons and mil-nomencalture experts. I hope to get there next year and spend a few evenings sharing some drinks with a couple fo our esteemed excavators.