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21cm shell head blown up in Jersey, Channel Islands

Article about: Had an interesting couple of hours today. Went out with my friend who is our local bomb disposal officer here on the Island and attended a call out on the beach in Grouville Bay. A local met

  1. #1

    Default 21cm shell head blown up in Jersey, Channel Islands

    Had an interesting couple of hours today. Went out with my friend who is our local bomb disposal officer here on the Island and attended a call out on the beach in Grouville Bay. A local metal detectorist had found a large piece of ordnance. He took us to the spot and we had a dig. We were expecting a somewhat smaller find than what we got, maybe a 105, or even a 15cm but what we ended up with was a 21cm head. This can only have come from Batterie Mackenson in St.Martin and it had failed to explode after being fired on a training exercise during the German Occupation.
    This is only the 2nd 21cm that Stuart has had to deal with in many years as our BDO. It was nice to see, but it could not be saved so it was dulely dealt with. The explosion was immense and the crater was very impressive being at least 10 feet deep at its deepest point and 15 or so feet across. Luckily I managed to find a nice piece of shrapnel to bring home.... it was still hot when I found it.
    Everything went smoothly and without incident, just how we like it. It just shows you can never tell what you might find on the beach.
    All the best from Jersey,
    D.
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  2. #2

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    A great story, thanks for sharing it.

  3. #3

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    Helping out every now and again with things like this is a real treat, and you sometimes get to keep a bit of what ever it is as a souvenir. The chap who found this did the right thing, called it in and let the expert deal with it properly. Unfortunately there are still people who find ordnance and take it home, and hit with a wire brush etc. If anything like this turns up and its safe/inert then it can be kept but as seen with this one, it was as deadly as the day it was made.
    D

  4. #4

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    too true.

  5. #5
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    Did he use a Pulse detector, or a ordinary? The sea mines, and tellermines i have found on the beach are all found with my Pulse detector.
    Collect ROA, Cossack, Schuma and other WW2 Volunteer militaria.

    "Be Humble and kind, for you may find that it was Odin you entertained"

  6. #6

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    Hi,
    To be honest I don't know. He had it with him but I was only looking at the dig and getting the head out for a look. When I see him next I will try to remember to ask him. I have attached a phot of one of the three guns that made up Batterie Mackensen. Could even be this gun that fired the shell. At the end of the German Occupation these guns along with many other big pieces of artillery were dumped over the cliffs at Les Landes in St.Ouen. Not one was kept intact. But some barrels have been recovered in the recent years and put on display by the Channel Islands Occupation Society.
    All thebest from Jersey,
    D,
    The Channel Islands Military Museum.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #7

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    Just joined so bumping this old thread - I was the chap who found this and as Jsy34 says always best to report anything dodgy to BDO.

    TrondK - no I used a non PI machine, no disc as I dig every target own the beach, this shell was only 6" down at the tail so easy to find.

    I have since bought a PI machine just for the beach, not used it much yet but very low tides coming soon so fingers crossed.

    Cheers

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