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What to look for on a battlefield?

Article about: Just did some research or you saxman. Found some information about the place, there's not alot writen about it, but I knew what to look for. Will send you the translated by PM. If you're pla

  1. #1
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    Default What to look for on a battlefield?

    I'm going to spend a month in Holland. Most of my time will be spent within the area of Market Garden, and as this is my main interest, I'm planning on spending a fair amount of time walking around the battle area and surrounding areas as well.
    I'm fairly inexperienced at this and metal detectors are outlawed in the Netherlands, so my question is what should I look for, what sort of tell tale signs am I likely to see and where should I start my rummaging?
    Some of the areas that I'm going to visit are in woodland, and one is the site of a German anti aircraft position. This position is fairly undisturbed since the 1950's. Did the Germans build their flack positions to a particular formula or were they randomly built? Does anyone have any pictures of anti aircraft defence positions that I could have a look at?
    Thanks in advance, Pete.

  2. #2

    Default Re: What to look for on a battlefield

    Pete

    There are a few things you can look for;

    1. Straight lines in the undergrowth/ground - There is very little in nature that makes a perfectly straight line. Many buildings used during the war, including barracks and 'permanent' gun poisitions, were knocked down afterwards, but sometimes the foundations remain. You can spot these as straight lines in the earth or maybe patches of forest were no trees grow. Searching near such objects can lead to finds.

    2. Changes in ground level - Nearly all trenches and fox holes and such like have long since filled in. However, most haven't totally filled in and you can spot depressions in the ground. Trenches are relatively easy to spot as they follow a set course, sometimes straight, sometimes zig-zag and will be in good defensive areas such as around the top of rises in ground level, (but not always....they can be anywhere !). Foxholes are more difficult to spot as they are usually small square depressions. However, if you find one and stand in it, then look around, you may well see a number more going off into the distance. Treches and fox holes are not likely to show surface finds and you may need to dig.

    3. Odd ground features - You can also spot areas of activity through odd ground features that don't fit into the surroundings. These are difficult to explain....more of a 'feeling' when you are there

    4. Boggy ground or ponds - Many a tank or plane are still to be discovered in the forests of Europe. They sometimes leave behind deep depressions in the ground that either fill with water, or just become boggy. Look for oily water or even rusty water. You may have to dig and get very wet and smelly !

    Hope that helps

    Steve T

  3. #3

    Default Re: What to look for on a battlefield

    i have found a few relics in that area...a heavly deteriated sten gun magazine and a gearbox inspection plate off a jeep aswell as smaller bits......they were all badly rusted... very dark brown rust, it tends to show up quite well amongst the leafs and grass so look at anything thats very dark brown on the ground .... when you get your eye in and know exactly what signs your looking for it gets easy to spot the relics from the dead wood and leafs.......just be very carefull though there is still alot of live stuff around that area esp in the woods

  4. #4

    Default Re: What to look for on a battlefield

    Quote by lee edwards View Post
    i have found a few relics in that area...a heavly deteriated sten gun magazine and a gearbox inspection plate off a jeep aswell as smaller bits......they were all badly rusted... very dark brown rust, it tends to show up quite well amongst the leafs and grass so look at anything thats very dark brown on the ground .... when you get your eye in and know exactly what signs your looking for it gets easy to spot the relics from the dead wood and leafs.......just be very carefull though there is still alot of live stuff around that area esp in the woods
    just show some pictures, and you can clean them up using oxalic acid

  5. #5

    Default Re: What to look for on a battlefield?

    I don't want to spoil any searchparty's but keep in mind that the Dutch can be
    enoying when it comes to searching.
    It's not forbidden to search unless there's an APV. Algemene Plaatselijke Verordening. These are local laws
    in which they CAN forbid searching in some areas or the whole area.
    The foresters often don't like searchers in there woodlands.
    U can get a fine from the forester, this is about €60
    If the police comes, u will spent an afternoon down at the presinc and you (probably) will go home without the MD and with a fine.
    Some areas can be seen as monuments. If you get caught searching at such a place the fine will be much higher.
    There are enough places where u may search.
    Have fun searching..

    cheers,

  6. #6
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    Default Re: What to look for on a battlefield?

    Thanks for all the help folks. Klokhoane, I don't use a metal detector so hopefully I won't spend any time in the police atation, but I thank you for the advice. Steve, Lee and Klinger, again thanks for the advice. I'll have a handy digital camcorder with me and fingers crossed, I'll come home with something memorable.
    Thanks also to Lee for the heads up about live stuff although I always watch what I'm doing.
    Cheers guys.
    Pete

  7. #7

    Default Re: What to look for on a battlefield?

    no problem Saxman when i get time ill post some pics of the bits i found and the areas they came from.........

  8. #8
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    Default Re: What to look for on a battlefield?

    Thanks Lee, I'll find that very intersting. The only things I have so far are some unrecognisable parts of a Stirling bomber found near the Hotel Bilderberg in Oosterbeek!
    Better luck this time eh?

  9. #9

    Default Re: What to look for on a battlefield?

    You can't search in or around that area with a detector, it's forbidden. But as you said you are not going to use a detector, but even then you are not aloud off the tracks in the woods. They don't realy check on people wandering around, unless they have a detector, then they can be a little harsh.
    A few places where you are not aloud to search with a detector are;
    Arnhem and Oosterbeek, Nijmeggen, Reichswald, Hurtgenwald.
    There is a very interesting place north of Arnhem where there was a German cemetery. They have reburried the soldiers after the war as good as they could (most where unmarked graves, or had more bodies than expected); that could be an interesting place to visit and have a look around. I am planing of going there myself next year. I've heard that they still find stuff there like Erkennungsmarke lying around. Some bloke even brought back an aluminium cross grave marker with name. If you like I will give you the excact coordinates.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: What to look for on a battlefield?

    Hi Feuerbach, thanks very much for the information. I'd be very interested in the coordinates or the GPS location. It sounds like a n interesting place to walk.

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