Here is a few photos I took last autumn from the Tirpitz memorial on Håkøya where it sunk.
75 years ago today, 12.11.1944 , the German battleship Tirpitz was sunk outside Tromsø in Northern Norway. 916 of its crew went down with her. R.I.P.
Here is a few photos I took last autumn from the Tirpitz memorial on Håkøya where it sunk.
A few items from Tirpitz in my collection. The badges and the uniform breast eagle was found on the wrecksite by workers cutting up the ship late after the war.
Yesterday it was too rainy to go digging but this morning I had to get out to the forest no matter what. It was foggy and a little bit frosty but I filled up on coffee and headed towards the old Wehrmacht camp. The fog was thick most of the way so it was like driving inside a cloud and I had to be extra carefull looking out for big elgs crossing the road. I made it safely to the parking place and went into the forest. Got my detector out, put it together and turned it on. I tried to ground balance it but it already signalled metal so I had to check what the fuzz was about. I dug a hole maybe 40-50 cm deep when I felt the shovel hit metal. I scooped away some sand and felt a round shape,, it had to be a bucket I thought, didn`t dare believe it was what I wanted it to be but as I got my hand under the rim and flipped it over I saw it was a German helmet!! It looked to be in quite decent condition, it even had full liner and chin strap. I pulled out some barrell bands and felt another rounded shape and went on to drag up a gasmask cannister, full by the feel of it. I checked and double checked the hole and the surrounding area but no more hits there. The relic gods wouldn`t let me get anymore treasures today though. I spent the next five hours digging rubbish, bottles and rusted tins. I even found two small dumping pits but the only thing I found worth bringing home was the lid of a messkit. When I had had enough I found a nice tree, leaned back, ate my food and looked at the birds messing around in the tree tops above me before I found my way back to the car.
Next week there will be no digging in this forest as Im leaving for Latvia to meet my Legenda family and help recover fallen soldiers from WW1 and WW2, so until next time, stay dirty and keep smiling :)
Such an amazing start of the day.
Liner all intact.
Lots of spiderwebs everywhere in the forest today.
A rotted away Pukko knife with scabbard.
A tent peg and some bottles.
Food tins and a soap dish.
A horseshoe,its been a while since last time I found one.
Spoon and a can opener.
Karbid lamp,benzin burner and junk.
Even if the backpack was unusual light today I could go home with a big smile.
The last few days it has been temperatures below zero, so now it has become a race against time. Winter will be here very soon so I had to get out to the Wehrmacht camp today. I put on an extra layer of clothes and jumped in the car and found the forest. I turned on the Fisher F5 and immediately found three coins laying buried. Two German 1 pfennig and one I haven`t figured out yet what is. I picked up some more signals but it was the usual modern rubbish as I strolled towards the sandy rise where I found the helmet last time, with big hopes for another one. Well, it didn`t exactly turn out that way. I found a small dumping pit which I spent an hour or so on digging out. Lots of bottles came out from the sand, a pocket knife, a few bakelite light switches, some medical ampoules and an enema :D The next find in the pit was jaw dropping. I saw blue and white enamel and when I brushed off some sand I saw the German/Finnish Nordfront badge shining in my eyes. I carefully picked it up and it was in very nice condition. I always wanted to find one so it was hard to believe I held it in my hand.
I filled back the pit, stretched my back and went on for an uneventful half hour. I sat down and had lunch while I watched the ravens fly between the tree tops before I continued the search. Now I had another good signal and dug up a broken harmonica, but the signals kept coming so I threw of my backpack and opened up the forest floor. I dragged out a big hot food thermos, sadly broken, and more metal and bottles kept coming. I dug wider and deeper and now small gaming pieces peeked out. Lots of them in different colors. I found a 50 pfennig coin, cutlery, a tent peg and some losantine boxes. I lifted out some more of the sand and saw a pointy end of an item and knew it was a War Merit award. It was in great condition! I spent a few hours completing this pit and in the end I had a nice pile of relics. Several clay alco bottles, two bakelite boxes for cannons and several razors. I also found a silver lighter, and part of a trench-art ashtray with a matchbox holder. In the edge of the pit I found hundreds of German 9mm rounds inside the rest of a rotted zink box.
I had finished the pit and had planned to stroll around some more but a cold wind brought in lots of rain so I called it quits and started on my trip home. I really hope I can make it out there again tomorrow, maybe there is more medals, helmets and awards to be found.
Three coins was the first finds today, a good beginning.
Not sure what this one is, the backside is unreadable.
A small bottle hoard.
Bottle for 100ml Datura.
Part of an enema.
Tablets and cream.
Finding a sock was great coz mine were wet.
The Nordfront badge.
The broken harmonica led to a whole bunch of finds.
Hot food thermos and bottles.
War Merit Cross.
Fork, Göffel and knife.
Two of the razors.
Small silver lighter.
Oilers for Krag Joergensen.
Mystery brass box.
Tag for keys maybe.
The weather is still nice so I spent the day in the patch of forest I ve become very familiar with this season. I had no more localized dumping pits so I brough the metal detector. First time in more than a month I am using it. The first signal I dug was a Wehrmacht axe head. I searched my way into the forest but found only garbage, mostly modern foil and small food tins thrown out from cars and dragged here by wind or birds. I started to give up hope for any findings today when I walked past a small hole in the ground wasps flew in and out from. That had to be studied closer. Smart move. As I kneeled down, camera ready the fuckers swarmed out and attacked me. One of them managed to sting one of my fingers just by the nail. Oh,man it hurt. I took my legs and ran away from the angry yellow and black army. When I had lost them I resumed the search. I could feel the heartbeat in my finger and the pain rose up through my arm. Since I am allergic and can have reactions to such poisons I began contemplating if I should evacuate and get some antihistamines but I overruled it deciding it is better to die from anaphylactic shock doing something one love rather than go see the doctor as some hysteric lunatic. The next signal I dug would prove that to be the best deciscion ever. On a small rise in the forest the detector gave off a nice clear signal and I opened up the moss. The soil was sandy and easy to dig and I found the rim of what I believed to be yet another food bowl or maybe a thick barrell band. As I removed a little more of the sand I saw that it was a German helmet, and in very good condition, even with the leather liner intact. Happy.
I went on and the next one I dug was a big heavy piece. A trailer hitch part from a German vehicle, always great to find usable vehicle parts. For the next two hours I had again no finds but rubbish, and I turned and began strolling back to the car. On my way I saw a small dimple between some trees and thats always wise to check such places. The Fisher F5 screamed of excitement so I started digging. Here was a dumping pit! It took me a couple of hours to clear it and pulled out lots of bottles, some porcelain, a trench-art shotglass made from a Norwegian casing, a tablet box and a small bakelite container. The last items on the very bottom of the pit was a big surprise. Several silver items, two napkin holders and two jar/cup like things. One of the napkin rings was engraved with a Norwegian name "Einar" and "1906", the other "Solveig" and on the bottom of the jar thing it was engraved "Solveig Berge. Asker Apotek and dates from the 1920`s. Could it be something a soldier had stolen I wonder?? I guess we won`t know but I ll try find out about these names and see if I can find the family it belongs to.
It had been a great day, but it was time to get back home to eat and clean some of the finds.
Until next time, Keep Smiling :)
Video of angry wasps :D
Helmet!! The second in two days :)
Trailer hitch part.
A big torch.
Second one of these I ve found, not sure what they were for, could be a fancy toothbrush holder maybe..
Metal cup from a shaving kit. Seems it has engravings on it.
A german boot.
Bottles and jars.
A wooden box with a tube of rubber sealer inside.
Cup from a thermos.
Finnish porcelain. If anyone knows what "KOL" stands for please let me know.
Shot glass from a Norwegian casing.
Bakelite box for Gebirgs Geschutz.
Wall hung lamp fixture.
The silver treasure.
When I went outside to enjoy my coffee and watch the cats hunt mice I was welcomed by a fresh and crisp autumn morning. I could see the snow on the tops had crept a bit closer during the night and the temperature showed a decent +4 Celsius. One hour later I stepped out of the car near the German camp in the forest and went searching, only armed with my shovel. I spotted a little ditch next to the path and decided to check it. As I plunged the shovel into the ground I heard the crunchy sound of metal hitting rust...Food tins, and lots of them. I got them out of the way and continued digging deeper. I scraped away some sand from the wall and there it was. The seasons first helmet! I got it free from the moist grip of the soil and wanted to go straight home to chuck it into a bath with oxalic acid, but I had to steer myself deeper into the forest.
I didn`t have much luck the rest of the day. Three dumping pits and 4 hours later I had uncovered a mountain of rubbish with a few relics for bringing home inbetween. I found ofcourse a good few bottles of different types, a nice medical bottle, some alco bottles and two clay bottles similar to the six I dug yesterday only that these two was of the 0.5l type which I never seen before, well pleased with them. I dug out a karbid box of bakelite and I also found a bakelite box marked " Kart.Vorl.l.F.H. 16/18", for the Leichte Feldhaubitze 16/18. Other than that I found a bunch of k98 casings and stripper clips all stuck together from a fire and a leather ammo pouch for the K98, and a gasmask cannister with mask still inside.
There is still more dumping pits and ditches waiting for me but next time I think I ll bring the detector to pick up those single signals between the pits:)
The shapes you want to see when digging.
I used it as a bucket for collecting k98 casings and it soon filled up.
Casings and stripper clips.
Yummy berries is good luch for forest dwellers.
Thingamajigs, a whole bunch of them.
Karbid lamps and leather gloves.
Small shaving mirror and bakelite soap dish lid.
Signal flare and ampoules.
The last of todays clay bottle had some of its label intact.
Around midnight when I was supposed to go to bed I heard some strange animal sounds from outside and one of my cats was freaking out a bit. The weird barking came from a lynx and it went around the house, but when I opened the window to try get a look it was gone, it was a interesting "near-nature-experience", but I was a bit jaded this morning when the alarm went off ungodly early, waking me up to a day in the forest. I had to shake the Girlfriend out of dreamland and when we both had gotten coffee and food we headed to the Wehrmacht camp where I ve spent this summer and autumn searching. On the mountain tops we could see a cover of fresh snow so I bet it is not long left of this years digging season.
In the forest I found the trenchline with oven bits sticking out while Girlfriend strolled around filling a bag with blueberries. The hours went by and I dug three small dumping pits after the trenchline but today there was not much interesting to find. It was much the usual bits, some bottles and tins, alittle bakelite and a few pieces of rust. In one of the pits I found a 5 cm mortar grenade, it had a transport plug in it but I left it buried and marked the place on the gps. On our way back to the car I found a pit and checked it and there I found a Krag bayonet, the long version, and a German fire extinguisher. We continued walking and by a treestump I spotted some rusty bits, walked over and between some barrack oven pipe parts lay a nice trench art ashtray on the surface. A very nice ending to todays search.
That piece probably makes it to a hundred thousand kilometer of wire I ve dug out now.
In the trenchline it was 99% food tins.
Some bottles and jars worth rescuing.
A very nice shoepolish tin.
Nivea cream jar.
Oven door made in Darmstadt.
I think this is some kind of bakelite made torch.
A small grease container.
Checking a ditch for potential treasures.
Index list over a lantern spare part box.
Bakelite zunder box.
1l clay alcohol bottle. I found six of these in the end:)
5 cm mortar grenade w transport plug.
Long Krag bayonet.
Trench art ashtray found on surface.
No rain today so I collected my equipment, filled up with breakfast and coffee and spun off towards the Wehrmacht camp and the autumn colored forest. Again when I got there I didn`t bother unpacking the metal detector, I just went blind-checking ditches and trenchlines. The first two hours I didn`t have any luck digging. I only found empty places and the two-three dumping pits I found held nothing interesting except a nice fire extinguisher. I wasn`t giving up though and the next two places I found was full of stuff. Mixed together with an enormous amount of broken bottles was a few nice bits worth rescuing. Now and then I took a break, got up and stretched my back and ate a few handfulls of blueberries and looking at the ravens flying between the treetops, I even saw the tail of a squirrel but it seemed Mr.Squirrel was too busy today to give a show.
The first of the dumping pits had the most stuff in it, it was quite deep and I pulled out several zink buckets , a few frying pans and a large cheesegrinder from a fieldkitchen . I found a orange bakelite butter box, a lighter and a finger scale. Almost on the bottom I saw a large silvery item. It was a Soviet 1 Rouble coin from 1924, a real nice find! On the very bottom I pryed loose a large copper kettle and two pioneer axes. I filled back the pit and went hunting for more. On a tiny plateau I found a trench line with several barrack ovens poking out and next to the line a small pit with bottles sticking out. It started to get late so I dug the pit, letting the trenchline wait for another day. Here I found a few Finnish coins, some perfume bottles, a Göffel, a shaving mirror and three razors, one steel, one bakelite and one in silver. I also found a sppon which I first thought was copper, but it had laid next to some copper wire and got the color from that, coz when I brushed it a bit I saw the nice silver color underneath.
I was tempted to start digging the trenchline but there was no more room in my backpack and probably not much energy left in me.
Some kind of rack attached to a box.I suspect it might be from a fieldkitchen.
A speedometer, and next to it the glass from a lightbulb.
Butter box, with a grease marker on top.
Glass jar, or ashtray.
Mystery items, I found three of them.
RG34 cleaning kit.
Nice places to dig another day:)
Notek and licenseplate, the plate fell apart sadly.
A Finnish coin.
Found two Finnish coins and a vallet.
The fourth or fifth EKM pouch I ve found here, but no EKM.
Whats left of a pocketwatch.
Since I left the forest on Saturday after finding the "Eismeer" box lid, I had a nagging feeling I should have searched a bit more. I knew there was about half meter of one of the edges of the pit I hadn`t checked too well so I just had to get back there. After morning coffee I found my gear and the car keys and headed back out there. I found the spot and removed the branches from the small unchecked section. I dug underneath a birch root and tadaaam, a small item fell out and it was exactly what I had hoped for, it felt unreal but I saw it had engravings and that it probably was the part I needed and when I got some water on it and rubbed of some of the dirt I was all smiles and laughs. Before I was done I also found a coulpe of bottles, a Göffel and a small bakelite box. Now I was sure I had got all treasures from this dumping pit so I covered it back up and step over into the next pit I had waiting. This one was about the same size but it was far easier to dig as it was no roots going under the moss, but full of broken bottles. I kept at it for some hours, making sure to check everything this time and I made a little pile of relics to bring home. I found two coins, one Finnish and strangely enough a Greek coin from 1926! I really wonder how that ended up in a Northern Norwegian forest. I picked up another leather pouch for the Erkennungsmarken, but ofcourse no EKM was to be found in this dumping pit either. A few nice bottles, a Luftwaffe spoon, some ampoules and a silver shotglass with a cross engraved was saved from the soil before I could stretch my back and refill the pit. I spent another hour walking around in the forest eating berries and locating a few more dumping pits which I ll dig another day.
Second part of the trench art box!!
A melted perfume bottle.
Bakelite box for Gebirgsgeschütz 36.
A small knife.
The Finnish coin.
The Greek coin from 1926.
Medical cream tubes.
A small brass box, marked 4711. I managed to open it but it was nothing inside.
Silver cup with a cross.
A large cable spool.
This ditch I ll dig next time:)
Blueberry fields forever.
Despite heavy rain I got up early and headed back out to the forest. I have to use the time wisely now before winter hits so I went straight up to one of the ditches I ve located earlier. Before I got there I was soaking wet and the top layer in the dumping pit was muddy. Today I wasn`t as lucky as yesterday coz this one was full of broken bottles, and it looked like the guys had done a better job with setting it on fire back in 1945 than the last pit I dug. Still, between all the broken and destroyed rubbish a few gems was hiding. The relic pile on the edge of the ditch grew steadily. One of the first bits I stacked up there was a empty M24 head. I dug for about 5 and half hour before I could call it done and luckily the rain had stopped after the first hour of digging. I had found a whole bunch of nice intact bottles, a couple of melted ones as well. Also several spoons, a swedish razor, a Heer belt buckle, Odol bottle, a filed torch and some trench made ashtrays. Of the more interesting finds was a spare ski tip made from metal, a messkit with a name engraved and a trench-art box lid, I really searched around for the rest of it, but had no luck so Im hoping it is in the un-dug pit next to this one, which I ll try dig next week sometime.
Now Im back home and the kitchentable is filled with relics waiting for cleaning so I better get to it :)
My view most of the day.
Empty M24 head.
A big knife with leather scabbard,could be field made.
Spare ski tip.
Trench-art box lid and a Esbit burner.
The lid cleaned lightly. "Zur Erinnerung an die Eismeer front."
German canteen and messkit, the engraved messkit lid Im not sure waht origin it is,engraved name sounds Italian,"Bittolo"
Trench art shotglass made from a 2cm casing.
Im always happy to find these old toothbrushes, my Girlfriend absolutely loves them:)
Swedish made razor.
Leather pouch for EKM,but still no EKM found.
A dice and gaming pieces.
German coin,that makes it 70 found in two days.
Boot heel irons, bakelite bits and field torch.
Odol bottle, even some of the label intact, always wanted to find one :)
Clasp for canteen, marked " Ritter. D.R.G.M"
RG34 cleaning kit and 3 pocket knifes.
Bakelite box with a metal lable.
The backpack got filled up.
I had blue lunch again today.
This morning one of my kitties woke me up around 06 by collapsing a pile of stuff creating a livingroom avalanche, so there was little to do but get out of bed and brew some coffee. While drinking the black liquid from the gods I realized it was thursday, which in any normal world means weekend and digging. I packed my stuff and drove to a Heer camp I ve been searching a few times this summer. I had two-three dumping pits located there already so there was no need for the detector today.
I started in one end of a two meter long ditch, digging carefully and searching through the soil I dug out. For once there was almost no broken glass but as I got down towards the bottom I saw it had been set on fire at some point. I found a few nice medical bottles, a handfull of cream- and toothpaste tubes and lots of food tins. In the bottom of the end I started I pulled out a good looking Norwegian Krag bayonet, thats a first for me. I ve found a couple in barns up through the years but none while digging, so the day was already saved. When I had dug out the one side I turned around and worked my way through the rest of the ditch. In the middle of it I found a German coin, and then another and another and it kept pouring out, in the end I had 69 coins filled into a trench art metal cup. Most was German but there was a few Finnish coins there as well. Sadly they was in the middle of the burned layer so many of them was in a sad state. I proceeded with digging out a crusted SA Sportsbadge and a canteen in good condition, which I think is from the Finnish Army.
In the last corner of the ditch I dug out a metal box which might have held the coins as it looked like a cash box, also a Luftwaffe porcelain plate, some scissors and a enamel medical tray.
I had dug for 5 hours and my bag was filled up so I put the dug out soil back in its place and headed home to clean up my finds and chill with a cold beer in the sun.
A huge leather boot sole and a smaller wooden sole.
EKM pouch, no EKM in it though.
A small shaving mirror.
The canteen which I believe is Finnish.
Leather carrier for the pioneer axe.
Spoons and two Märschgetrank bottles.
Clasps and buckles and a field torch battery.
Mouthpieces for pipes.
Part from a lighter, marked "1000 Zunder. D.R.P"
The lighter part cleaned up.
A cup full of coins.
69 coins in total.
Frying pan, messkit lid (Polish?) and a metal plate.
Another one of those lovely vinegar bottles.
A broken plate.
A nice brass chain.
Knives, a fork, padlock, bottle openers, a can opener and gaming pieces.
The forest is full of blue gold so I had berries for lunch:)