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WW1 Weapons Found in Canadian Public Works Shed

Article about: WW I trench warfare guns found in Manitoba shed Thursday, April 17, 2008 Project Number:08-219 ST. ANDREWS, Manitoba After collecting dust in the back of a Public Works storage shed for de

  1. #1

    Default WW1 Weapons Found in Canadian Public Works Shed

    WW I trench warfare guns found in Manitoba shed
    Thursday, April 17, 2008
    Project Number:08-219

    ST. ANDREWS, Manitoba After collecting dust in the back of a Public Works storage shed for decades, three forgotten World War I weapons were recently rediscovered and donated to the Royal Canadian Artillery (RCA) Museum in Shilo, Manitoba.

    Staff at the Public Works site thought the weapons were Canadian. But museum staff immediately recognized them as being German, two MG-08 machine guns, and a 24-centimetre Flugel-Minen Werfer (mortar). The weapons are in remarkably good condition but missing many of the parts that would allow them to function.

    "Canadian soldiers fought and died capturing these," said Marc George, Director of the RCA Museum. "Theyve been sitting in obscurity for years and its good to have them back."

    "This is a cool moment. This mortar was captured by Canadian troops 90 years ago and its just now returning into the hands of the Canadian Army," said Mr. George. "Its very rare, I would be surprised if there was another one in Canada. There were never many made and only a handful left that we know of," he said, excited by the find.

    There were probably fewer than 200 of the mortars manufactured, but they had a devastating effect on the battlefield. Deployed at the frontlines and used extensively to destroy trench lines in preparation for assaults, each mortar had a crew of 42 men. Each round weighed 100 kilograms and had a maximum range of 1300 metres. On impact, the round would create craters 6 metres wide and 3 metres deep.



    Accounts from soldiers of the day described the bomb as easy to see in flight. Sentries would watch for incoming rounds. If the launch was spotted, they could track the bomb and alert soldiers in the target area to take cover, with as much as a minute to clear the area before impact.

    How the weapons ended up in a storage shed near the St Andrews Lock and Dam, on the Red River about 20 kilometres north of Winnipeg, may never be known. An area supervisor, seeing them wasting away, suggested they belonged in a museum. Shortly afterwards, an on-site manager watched a war documentary featuring the RCA Museum in Shilo; he found the program very interesting and saw a solution to the weapons issue. A phone call was all it took to arrange a new home for the weapons.

    "We really dont know why the guns were here, they just were," said Brent Murray, Superintendent of Marine Facilities at the St Andrews Lock and Dam. "When I first started here years ago there were old stories that the guns were mounted on the bridge, but no one is really sure about that."

    "Were going to miss these guns," he added, "but we really thought they should be in the proper place, like a museum."

    Article and photos by Sgt Dennis Power, Army News, Shilo
    Attached Images Attached Images   
    "As long as there are brave men and warriors the halls of Valhalla will never be silent or empty"

    In memory of my father William T. Grist December 26, 1920--September 10, 2009..
    901st. Ordnance H.A.M. North Africa, Italy, Southern France....ETO
    Also in memory of my mother Jane Kidd Grist Feb. 22, 1920-- September 27, 2009... WWll War bride May 1942...

  2. #2

    Default Re: WW1 Weapons Found in Canadian Public Works Shed

    What a great find! Just goes to show what is still hidden away and almost forgotten about.

    Cheers, Ade.

  3. #3

    Default Re: WW1 Weapons Found in Canadian Public Works Shed

    That's pretty outstanding and I agree with Ade, it IS amazing what is still out there!

  4. #4
    Johnnie
    ?

    Default Re: WW1 Weapons Found in Canadian Public Works Shed

    Glad they will now be appropriately cared for and preserved.
    Yep, there is still a lot of stuff out there to be found!
    The search goes on!
    Johnnie

  5. #5
    Rifleman
    ?

    Default Re: WW1 Weapons Found in Canadian Public Works Shed

    if that was here in Oz they would have destroyed them, in fact today they are jumping up and down because someone found 2 old guns stashed away.

    one of them would look great on my front lawn though

  6. #6
    ?

    Default Re: WW1 Weapons Found in Canadian Public Works Shed

    What a find!

  7. #7

    Default Re: WW1 Weapons Found in Canadian Public Works Shed

    Very cool....I think I'm going to go and have a look in my garden shed...I'll keep you posted should I find 4-5 MG42's.
    hahahaha
    Awesome stuff!

    Rob

  8. #8
    ?

    Default Re: WW1 Weapons Found in Canadian Public Works Shed

    Wow ! Wish I had these I'n my shed lol ! Great find

  9. #9
    ?

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    Does anybody kow the outcome/fate of these finds several years later?
    mark
    ''Seeking all items to the Imperial German MG08, LMG08/15, T Gewehr & MG08/15''

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