I twisted my brain a little and decided to go visit a forest that had come up in research a few times but I hadn`t been to yet. Mostly because the patch of trees are quite small and squeezed in between neighbourhoods, but now it seemed like the best place to search as surely no hunters would go in there. The rest of the Gebirgsjäger camp lays on the oposite side of the neighbourhoods and the highway and has been searched a lot so I expected to find that the tiny forest also had been visited by other diggers.
It was warm to be late september, around 15 degree celsius, and the forest was wet after the nights downpour. I quickly got some signals from the detector, but it was modern junk and a spoon. The next signal showed me that I was in the right place though. From quite deep came the top of a kraftstoff barrell and a crushed crate. A few meters away the Fisher picked up another signal and I opened up a plug in the sandy soil. Up with the shovel and sand came small bits of red paper. I worked carefully with the tip of the bayonet and had soon uncovered several packets of razorblades, a metal sign with "Wasser ablassen" written on it, bits of a cardboard cigarette box, a shoulderboard with one rank pip and the Gebirgsjäger green color showing, a pair of combs and some cream tubes. The sand had preserved the items surprisingly well, and this find raised my hopes for the forest.
I walked around a bit and found a couple of obvious dumping pits with lots of metal sticking out from the grass. I searched along the edge of a barrack foundation and found in one spot several door lock plates,hinges, keys and key hole covers, a tent peg and a pouch made of some syntethic material . I moved to inside the barrack and picked up a signal circa in the middle of it. It was a round piece of metal and I suspected it could be a medal, probably the "Order of the Frozen Flesh". I cleaned it up a little and realized it was a very interesting variant of a Ullr badge. Ullr is the Norse god for skiing and a Patron of skiers. On the badge is the God on skis, holding a bow and on the backside is a enamelled heraldic shield for the town Kärnten. Along the edge is written "Geschutzpatron der Wintersportsler" (Guardian of the winter athlete). I was super happy with this find and continued searching the barrack, but could only find bits of wire, scrap from the building and some food tins.
I continued with picking up a pocket knife, some empty mine detonators, a pioneer axe, parts of a wagon and one half of a blank EKM.
In the slope going through the forest I saw a small mound and decided to put my backpack there, but when I got to it I saw that it was a intact bomb shelter! How amazing. Still dry and well drained. It was getting close to dinner time, and the daylight would begin to wane pretty soon but I wanted to just have a quick look in the large dumping pit. Just sample it, kinda :D
I lifted away a rusted sheet of metal and saw bones from moose or a horse, and lots of food cans. A kitchen dump by the looks of it I thought. I lifted up another metal plate and instantly had eye contact with a German helmet! And it looked to be in a wonderful condition! The liner was intact and not a rustbubble in the metal! Oh, how I am looking forward to bathe this one in oxalic acid :D
The plan for the next day had been decided there and then and I started my walk back to the car. Excited about the helmet in my backpack and the prospect of what else could be in the dump, I realized I am probably the first digger to visit this spot. On the way I found the outer case of a S-Mine and the frame of a motorcycle side bag. Back at home I cleaned up the Ullr badge and even though a bit of the edge looks like it has been nibbled on by the langoliers its in rather good condition. The enamel is more or less totally intact and has very nice and clear colors.
Couldn`t have asked for a more exciting day :)
Thanks for reading, and stay happy :)