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Postwar Battlefield Clean-Up in USSR...

Article about: I've just been pondering the enormous scale of the war on the Russian Front, and have wondered how long it took to remove all the wrecked armor, vehicles, artillery pieces, and the other wre

  1. #1

    Default Postwar Battlefield Clean-Up in USSR...

    I've just been pondering the enormous scale of the war on the Russian Front, and have wondered how long it took to remove all the wrecked armor, vehicles, artillery pieces, and the other wreckage that was left behind...It must have been a mammoth task cleaning the landscape, and was most of it melted down?
    I appreciate your input, thanks!
    cheers, Glenn

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  3. #2

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    A great question Glenn, I am most familiar with WW I western front activities, clearing the dead, salvage etc. Point in fact some of it is still going on now and as far as unexploded munition probably for the next 100 years too, not counting the time bomb of chemical shells dumped off Holland that are corroding faster and beginning to leak. Salvage was conducted continuously byt engineer and service parties tasked with returning usable equipment to operation and recyclables to the proper chain, brass, leather, fabrics etc.

    I would conjecture that on the Eastern front the clean up was fairly fast and done immediately after the battles by mopping up units in heavily fought over high concentration areas - steel aluminum, brass etc was urgently needed for re-arming and rebuilding. The Eastern front fighting for the most part was spread rather thinly and widely so the resulting amount of material left insitu would have been small and easily addressed by local efforts for anything worth salving like vehicles, aircraft, heavy weapons. Personal items were mostly left behind or buried i.e. helmets in small concentrations or remote areas and turn up now due to small area archeological 'style' efforts. While devesated the eastern front did not look like a Mad Max set for very long.

  4. #3

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    my cousins husband told me that in the Kursk battlefield there are still wrecked tanks.this was about 5 year ago.

  5. #4

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    Thanks, Harry...I would assume that there would be such wreckage in the less accessible areas...The amount of material captured by the Soviets was surely staggering...
    Glenn

  6. #5
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    In Estonia even into the 60's some tank / Assault gun wrecks were still on some of the old battlefilds but they were all cleared for scrap as of course metal even rusty metal is money . In the forest areas some vehicles remained until more recently but they have all gone now.
    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

  7. #6
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    Quote by harryamb2 View Post
    my cousins husband told me that in the Kursk battlefield there are still wrecked tanks.this was about 5 year ago.
    Has anyone ever seen any photos of this anywhere on the internet ? Has he seen this Harry or is it just another tall tale ?

    I know guys who know the Kursk area well and have not seen any photos that prove myths such as this . Russia is a large country with vast steppes but they are not that remote that the locals haven't scrapped all the wrecks many years ago.

    When i first went to Stalingrad 15 years ago a guy tried to sell us a Panzer IV which was supposed to be out in the Don steppe but even in those days couldn't produce photos of it !!
    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. #7

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    Dont forget huge scrap drive after the war - eastern europe was ruins and all scrap was collected.
    Looking for following WWII German items:
    - anything dealing with Allenstein (Olsztyn) and Wehrkreis I in East Prussia,
    - entrenching tool carrier (straight and folding),
    - forestry and hunting items,

    Polish Militaria 1914-1945 - https://www.facebook.com/groups/124584324789966/
    GTA Militaria - Discussions and Sales - https://www.facebook.com/groups/890720157646923/

  9. #8

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    hi Paul,George has a big recycling and scap firm,he often went to Russia back in the late 90s onward.no he would not tell me porkys.the only problem is you have to deal with the local Mafia,but he did bring me back a 88mm shell case from there. he was not allowed to take pics.in year 2011 his contact was machine gunned to death.he stopped going there.

  10. #9

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    Here in Croatia all the material was taken, tanks were rarely melted since early yugoslavian peoples army used all the remaining eqipment. The weapons and all were taken and put into movie industries and army, later when they started making their own weapons all the old weapons were sent to "teritorijalna obrana", that is why you see lots of thompsons and such in the pictures from the 90s war. The StGs were used by Yugo paras until 80s, the video that shows lots of StGs in Syria-those were all Yugoslavian gift to Gadafi if i understood it correct.

    Later everything heavy (tanks, cannons..) were gifted to someone, mostly middle east.

    People however used everything, chimneys from gas mask cannisters and pak//flak containers, pots from helmets and shovels from helmets,...

    Only the tanks and heavy armament that was destroyed and could not be moved were left if they were in hard to reach places (but gypsies already got their hands on that today lol).
    Ex username - DTVPKING

    My dream - pink hue DAK M35/40 and a Jon Lord spec C3

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