As always Im up early in the morning, today even before Girlfriend, when she got up to get ready for work I was already in the kitchen with coffee and digger gear. Today I was going back to the dumping pit I started on Friday to complete it. The weather was shifting between sunny and heavy rain and I was soaking wet before I found back to the pit. I spent a few hours digging and sifting through the soil, bits of glass and pieces of rust. Nothing spectacular found today but still the backpack got filled up with a few relics when I closed up the dumping pit. I didn`t feel like starting another ditch this afternoon but I strolled around the woods a while marking a few more potential dumping pits on the map for another day:)
I love it when the forest floor is full of relics poking out.
Orange bakelite butter box.
"Wehrmacht Eigentum" battery for the fieldtorch.
More bottles for the collection.
Some mystery thing,it was probably rubbery once but now it cracks by the lightest touch.
Two "Hindenburg lights".
Norwegian stainless steel.
One of the ear pieces from a headphone.
Third oiler coming out from this pit.
Another "Jerrycan", also in a sad condition.
Looks like a large breakpad.
Two shockabsorbers came out from the pit.
I think I found myself a new coffee mug.
Two large "eastern front engine heaters".
A Juwel burner, sadly the metal was in very poor condition.
The good old tent peg.
The rest of the rust and glass was put back into the pit and buried.
A few of todays finds cleaned up :
Zentis produced candy and sweets, so this jar will get new life as a candy jar.
I found two bits from two different binoculars.
From some kind of optics.
Sepsotinktur, for cleaning wounds.
A melted medical bottle, perfect for my melted bottle collection:)
Yesterday I went out alone to another new site where I knew it had been a small WH camp. The camp had been for soldiers protecting a rivercrossing entering a valley of importance so I didn`t expect to find much,,Wow, was I wrong. As soon as I stepped foot into the forest I saw German stuff poking out from depressions in the ground. I left those alone as I wanted to try to get an overview of the forest first. The detector led me to dumping pit after dumping pit. One or two pits on the edge of the forest held things of the modern type but inside the forest it was full of German stuff. I dug three small burn pits where I found a ton of 7.92 casings, some coins, buttons and the usual stuff, and marked several others off on the map to dig another day. I had walked through roughly 1/4th of the area when I decided to spend the rest of the day digging out a full pit as my backpack was still light.
The pit I chose turned out to be big,,full of broken bottles and glass and unidentifiable rust but it was lots of good rust there too. I kept digging until the sky opened up a pouring which I couldn`t ignore even if I wanted too, I was soaking wet and the pit turned into mud so I decided it was time to call it a day. I had filled the bag and pockets to the brims and almost half the pit is still waiting to be completed which I hope to do tomorrow. I found a few items Im wondering what is so if any of you guys know them please inform me :)
Have a great Solstice weekend and stay dirty my friends :)
The first signal I dug was these horseshoes which provided me with good luck for the rest of the day.
Modern swedish coin.
Stuff just laying on the surface is always a good sign.
A glass jar with shoepolish.
Losantine , buttons and coins.
A nice bakelite and metal door handle.
Padlock from a crate.
A Thingamajig,,I maybe find out what it is after cleaning it.
Small brass thing with a hole for a chain or similar,marked "17 May Norge" 17th May is our National Day.
Keys are always nice to pick up.
Leather pouch for EKM, the EKM is yet to be found:)
Lids from 3.7 or 5cm ammo canisters.
A big oil can.
Some kind of seat??
Rust was pouring out from the pit.
A hole machine.
I found two of these and I really hope a bath in oxalic acid will produce results and show some tactical markings or unit insignia..
A small oiler.
Sadly the Juwel burner was in very poor condition.
Rotted boots and crates was in the pit.
Field torch battery with most of the label intact.
Mystery blue glass blinder of some kind,,too big for a karbid lamp..
Two small oven coal scoops and half a tent peg.
The lid from a grease container.
A small glass ampoule.
Found a whole hoard of padlocks.
Two days ago me and the Girlfriend went for a scouting mission to a forest in the neighbourhood. We prepared ourselves and went out there relatively early and found a nice place to park the car. The first couple of hours we roamed around trying to find the site, but we had to confer with a couple of maps before we half eaten by mosquitoes found our way through the bushes and marshes to the correct plateau in the forest. Now finally the detector picked up something else than modern garbage, a piece of shell fragment from either the fighting in 1940 or from the dismantling of the massive ammo depot that the Germans had built here between the pines. Next we spotted the first of many earthen bunkers covering the area and went to work. The bunkers seemed to have been cleaned up pretty well, but we found traces from the occupants . We found shovels, heaps of k98 ammo, partly rotted away leather equipment and ofcourse some modern plastic training ammo. In one bunker we found Brennzunders which we wisely left alone as we like to have our fingers intact.
While I was sweating and waving mosquitoes away the Girlfriend found a sunny spot on the edge of the bunker, having lunch and enjoying the view. As the afternoon approached and there was little blood left in us for the bugs to feed on, we stumbled across two-three huge pits filled with leftovers of 7.5 cm Pak ammo containers where we will spend more time in the coming weeks... so stay tuned ;)
Fragment from a grenade of some kind.
The mossies was extra agressive today.
If I had brought home the shovels I ve been finding I d have more than Fiskars factory by now.
Modern blank firing casing the military use when they are training.
A bunch of 7.92 casings and stripper clips.
A 7.92 casing nicely turned into art by detonation.
A mystery bit turned out to be a common zipper.
Girlfriend enjoying life.
One of the bunkers filled with good old rust.
A Diggers paradise .
Pak 7.5 cm ammo container bits.
Back home after a successful expedition to Latvia and the perfect weather here North invited for a trip to the woods. I had located a forest where it supposedly had been a larger Wehrmacht camp during the war, and after the war the site had as many former German sites been used by Nato. The place has undergone some changes since the war but I hoped to find some proof of its history.
I walked the faintly visible old road which I had seen on the maps and expected to approach a couple of old Nato barracks but found a big old German barrack, probably it was a garage at some point. It was locked off so I didn`t make any effort to go inside, I prefer having the owners permission for that as it had a new tractor road leading up to it so it is clearly in use. Around it I found a few German Kraftstoff barrells and a WH axe. Much of the signals I had from the detector was old Nato training ammo and foil from rations and almost no signs of German activity. I crossed the road and found another barrack and behind it was a little slope where the place Im searching might be. Seems the forest floor hid a big dumpingsite. Relics poking out from under the grass and I made a little test dig to make sure its worth going back here for some more intensive digging :)
One can never have too many WH axes.
I think it is from a practise mine.
7.5 cm PaK shell container lid.
Shovel, karbid lamp and a barrell band.
A large 5 l pitcher.
Food tin and Marschgetrink.
Great finds while metal detecting sure is a bonus, but the real treasure for me is the hunt, being out in the nature alone, with GF or friends, the thrill of digging out something wondering what the soil hides this time...
This weekend it was lovely weather so me and the GirlFriend went for a stroll. We found mostly old Norwegian Krag casings, but we might have stumbled across a dumping pit left behind by the Germans which I went back to dig out yesterday. This time it was only the regular stuff to find, nothing spectacular at all. I spent half the day in the forest and located yet another couple of ditches to dig another day :)
One of Santas helpers.
First find of the day, old Krag casing.
The amount of old Krag casings makes me wonder if there was a military excersise here at some point since many of them had the wooden tip.
Belt support hook and a bit of pioneer wire.
Medical bottles is always a nice find since I collect them.
"Formamint" old flu medecin.
One of the first signals I dug was this big battery.
Battery which would fit the field torches.
A large battery.
Electrode from a battery.
An ashtray, maybe a hint that I should pick up smoking again :D
A piece of cloth not rotted away.
These things gives off such a great signal so I dug a whole bunch of them .
Wooden tipped training rounds for the Krag.
Oiler for the Krag rifle and a 6.5 casing.
Casings, stripper clip, handle from a box and a padlock.
Top of a Anz.39 zunder, used to set of mines.
Coins and button.
1 pfennig coins and a piece of embossed bottle.
Numbered mystery piece.
The soldiers kept their hair tidy apparently.
Happy and hungry digger heading home:)
About a week ago I got an invitation to join a group of local diggers, "Norsk Rustjegerforbund", for a dig. Yesterday I drove to meet them on a very interesting site where they have found all sorts of goodies. A few miles outside Narvik is the village of Bjerkvik. Here was a small and quiet coastal farmer society and a big military camp in April 1940 when Alois Windisch with two of his battalions from 139th Gebirgsjäger Regiment took the place meeting no resistance. Much of the local population fled to summer barns, cottages and neighbouring valleys as the invaders filled the village and moved into their houses. After a few days the soldiers moved out of the houses and made positions a bit above the village and the locals moved back home. In the fjord they could see British warships patrol and it was sometimes fired from them on the German positions.
An evening some days later the ships came closer. The battleship "Resolution", five destroyers and the cruisers "Aurora" and "Effingham" filled the fjord. Suddenly they all opened fire on the village. House after house went up in flames or was totally wiped out from direct hits. The fire on the civillians didnt stop before three small boats reached the ships explaining that there was no soldiers in the houses. 14 civillians have been killed and many more wounded.
The Allied fire concentrated now on German positions mostly manned by Kriegsmarine troops while the landing of French Foreign Legioneers supported by three tanks began. They soon fought down the Germans who was pressed also from the North and took control over the village and the Army camp with its large supplies of weapons and ammo.
Ruin of one of the houses destroyed in 1940.
Base plugs from British grenades and shrapnels blankets the area.
Piece from a grenades driveband.
Video of the Allied shelling.
The guys from "Norsk Rustjegerforbund" has a good relation with the landowners and have been digging here a few seasons and have found many interesting things. In 1945 huge numbers of soldiers retreated through the area and many were interned in makeshift camps on the military area and surrounding fields. From this the diggers have found several german awards and medals, rings, coins, Narvik shields and all sorts of bling the soldiers discarded.
We began the day with a coffee and a chat before we turned on the detectors and began searching. Sure enough, proof of the British shelling was found all over. Lots of shrapnel came out of the soil and also bits from the blown up houses was dug up. The Army camp is still in use so we also find leftovers from exercises held in the area, from old wooden plug rifle casings to the modern plastic ones.
Its a large area we are spread out on but we meet up by the "base" now and again for a coffee or something to eat and to show what we have found so far.
The guys:) Jörgen, Knut and Torgeir.
Fuse box from one of the exploded houses.
Wooden projectile rifle casing.
Nato ammo case.
Ofcourse I had to find a German horseshoe:D
Hours of searching and digging into the day I had gotten used to great signals turning out to be a bit of copper wire, rifle casings and shrapnel so I didnt have any expectations when I yet again opened up a small piece of the land with my trusted Fiskars shovel. I turned the lump of soil over and I just had to shout one of the guys over to share the moment. It was no shrapnel but it was a nice piece of Norwegian Army bling. A Sharshooter badge! That really made my day. The Norwegian riflemen was feared by the Germans and they often created panic by shooting soldier after soldier right in the head often from large distances. Many of the Norwegian soldiers was hunters and sportshooters and used to the mountains so probably not the best enemy.
Other than that I found a few coins,two German wartime ones and one Norwegian from 1960. The other guys also picked a ton of shrapnel mixed with a few nicer bits, like coins,ring fragments and a small piece of a silver pendant. As evening approached our energy seemed to have died out so we called it quits, gathered our things and made plans for new meetings, which will be great:)
A big thanks to you guys for bringing me along, looking forward to dig again soon:)
Im so happy with this find:)
Norwegian Sharpshooter badge .
Marked "J.Tostrup Oslo"
A very happy digger.
Shrapnel, coins , buttons and silver.
Norwegian coin 1960.
Mystery bullet,casted lead.
K98 stripper clip,rifle training round and shrapnel.
Smashed up German 7.92 casing and some brass disc.
Sunset in Northern Norway in spring is amazing:)
Spring came at last. Its been a long wait but today I got myself a small trip outside to swing the detector a little bit. I went to have a look at a patch of forest I ve been driving past this winter and when snow finally began to thaw I had spotted some rusty looking stuff between some big rocks. I walked around in the little forest for a good while and found several trenches and a couple of collapsed bunkers. I also found two positions with some bigger rust still in place, not sure if it is for cannons or optics/searchlights but for sure it belongs to a nearby coastal fortification. I picked up some signals with the detector as well and found a few small bits that proves german activity, but the ground is still frozen deeper than the top 5 -10 cm. A slow start but hopefully things will pick up as the temperatures improves and I find the right spots to search, but the season is finally on so good luck to all searchers out there, and all you other I hope you ll enjoy the posts I ll keep sharing throughout the summer and autumn:)
Piece of a graphite rod marked "Lorraine".
Trenchlines zig-zagging through the forest.
Canned fish which the Germans consumed a lot of.
From a german signal flare.
Finally I managed to get out there with my metal detector! It has been a loong time , almost got no expeditions done all season,,but now , with King Winter knocking on the door here in Ultima Thule I had no time to waste. Even Girlfriend had become worried she would have listen to me whine all winter if I didn`t get some digging done. I have , as you might know , spent most of the summer finding a new house and moving to a new place. Having then lost access to the forests I know , it was only one place to start over again ; in the books , articles , maps and ofcourse the internet. The last weeks I ve spent doing research and have come up with a list that will keep me busy the next couple of years. I ve already visited a few atlantikwall fortifications,cemeteries and memorials but yesterday the trip went to a forest where it should be some positions and some foundations of barracks according to my information.
Weather was good and the forest floor full of blueberries so I strolled happily away. Almost right away the Fisher started beeping , and familiar things was uncovered from under the moss and soil. Food tins , cans , nails and a few war time batteries. I went down a little slope to a flatter part of the hillside and the detector gave signals everywhere , and I didn`t need to dig to know what it was. Almost every step I took I could feel and hear it , and see it poke through the forest floor , barbed wires , masses of it. It was a whole belt of it several meters wide and 100-150 meter long , maybe a `Flanderzaun`- "Flandrian fence", and on the end I found a position. I made a loop and searched my way back to the car but didn`t find much more than a few coils more of barbed wire and a few of the metal bars it had been attached to. Almost by the car , in a thicket of young trees and sapplings I encountered a gun emplacement , overgrown and destroyed , but with a large bunker dug down next to it. I couldn`t find the entrance at first but then I found it , almost closed by the soil and vegetation , and it looks like its been like that for a long time... Maybe there will be a trip back there one of the next days I think :D
I think it is a small battery or at least battery related.
A rotten battery.
A small zink tag.
A German 7.92
Half a barell.
Bars for holding the barbed wire.
Now I can build my own barbed wire fence.
Entrance to a bunker, at the moment big enough for a fox prehaps,,I wonder whats down there..
Yesterday I had planned to visit the Tromsø War Museum (Tromsø Forsvarsmuseum) so I checked their website and opening hours. According to their information they should open at 12.00 but at 12.30 nobody had arrived. I tried to call them but noone picked up, so if you want to visit this exhibition you best make appointment in advance. I never got to see the exhibition but I wandered around the area looking at the bunkers and the cannons. The whole place was overgrown , it was littered with rubbish and no information except a small sign on the gates , a sad sight really , and I am disappointed that the people behind this place seems to don`t care as there is so much that could be improved with very little resources.
Here is link to their website:
Marine Kusten Batterie 1/512 Tromsö Süd was establishd short after the German occupation of the area in 1940. The batterie sorted under Artilleriegruppe IV/971 Balsfjord. It was armed with three 10,5 cm SKL/45 C/06 guns with a range of 14000 meter.
Below is a few pics and a video of the place, and I hope to get an appointment and another visit here very soon, and will then add more pics and info.
Old map of the site.
The barrack where the museum apparently is.
Entrance to the Kommandobunker.
Carriage for the Flakscheinwerfer covered with fueldrums and vegetation.
38 cm Minenwerfer.
15 cm Flakscheinwerfer.
Generator for the searchlight.
10,5 cm SK C/32.
A bunker door rusting away in the grass.
Tunnells leading to the different gun emplacements.
This fortification/museum could have been really great with some effort to take care of it had been put in.
Last Sunday I made a small visit to the German War Cemetery in Narvik. In 1959/60 the orignal German war cemetery was moved and re-established as part of a bigger move of most war graves in Norway. Here in Narvik rests ca 1474 German soldiers who lost their lives during the war years. R.I.P.