It was so great smelling the forest and the freshly dug soil again, and to sit down for a rest just to have to flee in panic the next moment when you realize you have sat down in the middle of the great ant trek.. But despite several days with around +15 Celsius the ground was still pretty solid. Most spots where I tried checking a signal it was possible to dig only the top 3-4 centimeters of the soil, but I found a few places where the ground was quite sandy and not so concrete-like as the rest of the slope. In one such place was a small dumping pit. I pulled out a couple of bottles, two large chains to put on tyres in slippery weather, a pocket knife and a heavy booksupport made from rock, prehaps one of the strangest dumping pit find I have made. It is simple yet elegantly made so I think it is some kind of soldier "trench-art" as it has that handmade look to it. Another nice non-metal find from that pit was a big wooden bowl, it is crazy that the thin wood hasn`t rotted away long ago. I have cleaned it and am preserving it with oils so it ll look quite nice and have new life, it is nicely produced and has a makers mark on the bottom.
A few days later I went back to have another go. I spent half the day walking up and down the slope collecting rifle casings, signal flares, toothpaste tubes and food tins, but I had to leave so many signals for another day because they were impossible to dig down to through the ice.
Yesterday I went out for a third trip and was out there around seven hours. I had quite a bit more luck on this trip. After a few signals that I couldn`t dig, and a few with the usual rubbish metal in a sandy section of the slope, I took off the surface and thought I could make out a swastika on a round-ish object. I was very careful in case it was partly frozen but it came loose with no problems. I had found my first Allgemeines Sturmabzeichen (General Assault Badge). It had a part of it rotted or broken away and missing the needle but otherwise in pretty good condition. This award was issued to those who had taken part in three separate assaults. I think that in the early years of the war, before the Tank Destruction arm stripe was introduced, the Allgemeines Sturmabzeichen was also awarded to those who single handedly took out an enemy panzer.
Such a great find really fills one with new energy and goes to show that the signal you are getting from the detector can be anything.
After this I moved across the slope and discovered a place where lots of bottles and hopefully intact porcelain is dumped, but it was too frozen to dig so it will be for another day. I kept on checking nearly every signal the detector gave and suddenly I had found a pistol magazine, not sure yet from what pistol though. A few other nice items I found was for example a large scoop for the field kitchen, a few parts for the GrW34 mortar, a big ashtray and something I have wanted to find for a long time, a Mg34 barrel which Im gonna use to make a lamp. I had been working the slope for 5-6 hours and turned around for a slow return to the car and I moved past the dumping pit where last season ended to check the ground frost situation there when time froze and the item in front of me was like glowing. On the edge of the filled-in dumping pit my bayonet was sticking out of the ground, sad and rusty looking!! I was overjoyed! My favorite digging tool and I was rejunited!!
I reached back to the car without finding anything interesting except a part I think might belong to a motorcycle.
The first few digs of the season done, but it ll be a bit slow still as the ground is quite frozen. The weather forecast reports warmer night temperatures from tonight so in a week it ll be better conditions for digging and I can start getting around a bit :)