Dangerous battlefield finds
We spend a lot of time on interesting and rare finds, but today I want to show you a few things that are still dangerous and unpredictable: shells and mines. These relics can still be found anywhere — on battlefields, in forests, fields, and in ancient villages. Since the war was so vast, diggers anywhere in Europe, whether they like it or not, will most likely come upon some. Here are some examples:
Example 1: Panzergranate 39
I went out this day wanting to find ancient Roman coins, but fate decided otherwise. Instead of a coin, I found this shell near an ancient settlement.
Panzergranate 39 or Pzgr. 39 was a German armor-piercing shell used during World War II. It was manufactured in various calibers and was the most common anti-tank shell used in German tank (German: Kampfwagenkanone; shorted to KwK) and anti-tank guns (German: Panzerabwehrkanone(n); shortened to PaK) of 37 to 88 mm (1.5 to 3.5 in) caliber.
Read: One more dugout
Example II: 8-cm Wgr.39
This shell was found near the beach, and we called in official sappers to dispose of it safely.
The 8 cm Granatwerfer 34 (8 cm GrW 34) was the standard German infantry mortar throughout World War II. It was noted for its accuracy and rapid rate of fire.
Example III: 45 mm anti-tank gun shell
We found a whole 45 mm shell at an undisclosed battlefield. The condition of the shell is absolutely perfect. The inscription is still intact and very readable.
The 45 mm anti-tank gun model 1937 (factory designation 53-K, GRAU index 52-P-243-PP-1), nicknamed the Sorokapyatka (from Russian сорокапятка, or “little forty-five”), was a light quick-firing anti-tank gun used in the first stage of the German-Soviet War. It was created by Soviet artillery designer M.N. Loginov of Plant No. 8 (now Kalinin Machine-Building Plant) after the arrest and execution of former designer V. von Behring. Due to insufficient armor penetration it was replaced in service by the longer-barreled M-42 in 1942. Production of the gun ceased in 1943, with a total of 37,354 units built from 1937 to 1943.
Example IV: Three-inch French grenade from the First World War
A very interesting find from the First World War at an old military training ground. There is no fuse, so it’s a good replenishment of the collection!
Russian light field artillery gun 76.2 mm caliber.
It was actively used in the Russo-Japanese War, the First World War, the civil war in Russia and in other armed conflicts involving countries from the former Russian Empire (Soviet Union, Poland, Finland, etc.). All variants of this gun were used in World War II.
These guns were in serial production for 36 years and were in service for about 50 years, made a worthy contribution to all the wars that Russia waged from 1900 to 1945.
Example V: Springmine
Thеre is one day I’ll never forget. We discovered a German minefield in the forest, complete with 8 anti-personnel mines. They were neutralized.
The German Smine (Schrapnellmine, Springmine or Splittermine in German), also known as the “Bouncing Betty” on the Western Front and “frog-mine” on the Eastern Front, is the best-known version of a class of mines known as bounding mines. When triggered, these mines are launched into the air and then detonated at about 1 meter (3 ft) from the ground. The explosion projects a lethal spray of shrapnel in all directions. The S-mine was an anti-personnel mine developed by Germany in the 1930s and used extensively by German forces during World War II. It was designed to be used in open areas against unshielded infantry. Two versions were produced, designated by the year of their first production: the SMi-35 and SMi-44. There are only minor differences between the two models.
To be continued in part II