The day before Winter
HKB 47/973 Kjeöen
In the harbour of Svolvär,Norway, Heeres Küsten Batterie 47/973 is located. This bunker complex was built on a small island a few hundred meters from Svolvär town and was operative in 1941. The main armament was six French K425 15,5 cm guns with a range of 12000 meters. There was also Flak, close defence systems and mine fields around on the little island. Today there is only a few bunkers, positions and tunnels left and it is only a few years ago the last german barrack here was torn down. One of the bunker still standing is the command bunker a R636.
Pit o` Porcelain
Just before King Winter closed the digging season up here I made a trip to the mountain. I wanted to check out an area which had been used by the german forces as a storage for different equipment and there had been a couple of POW camps in the area as well. Today there is some construction going on so next autumn the area I searched might be destroyed, I must be there again early after snow melts come spring!
As I arrived there workers was driving around on their big earthmovers messing up the forest and I asked them where it was safe for me to go with my metaldetector and they pointed to a section I could be. I don`t know if they knew where to send me, but I instantly had a good signal by a rock filling next to the road. I just had to strip away some moss and start removing rocks. The signal I had was a spoon, several food tins and a tiny plate,prehaps a ashtray. Then broken bottles and bits of porcelain came out from under the rocks. I love porcelain so I searched for any stamps or markings and when I saw it was marked I collected all the bits I could find and threw them in my bag.
When the workers began to pack up for the day, trekkers started to walk past me, it is a popular trekking area, so I decided to close the dig and wait for another day to come back and just as I did that I spotted a pointy metal thingie under a rock, there was a very nice little visor cap eagle and next to it was a tiny red amber dice! Some very good finds at the end of the dig. Driving home I made a stop at a place I knew there had been a camp for german troops so I could make a small recce sweep with the Fisher F5. Didn`t find anything special here but it is also a place to return to next spring.
I had been roaming around the forest for a couple of hours without finding anything, which I thought was strange coz this area had seen fighting in may 1940 and was later used as a military storage area. Today there isn`t much visible trace of this storage, but a few barracks is still standing, some kilometer of broken fence and overgrown little roads zig zag the forest here. I was heading towards the rests of a fallen barrack when the metaldetector screamed. I checked the signal and it was something large under the forest floor. I started to dig and cursed myself for only brining the bayonet and a small garden spade. After tearing through moss and roots the bayonet hit metal, clearing away soil a rusted old shovel was there, and another one next to it. I removed them and used the detector again, this time I had a strong signal for brass and zink,,how strange I thought. Scraping away more soil I could see there was a large crate down there, it took half an hour to clear it with the tiny spade I had brought, and in the process I found the corners of at least two more crates!
Golden Garbage Pit
The dumping area I had located this autumn was really interesting to search even though 75% of my finds there had been horseshoes so far and the rest being mostly junk. I am sure there is some good stuff waiting to be found here and in one of the pits I opened I got proof there must be more to find. I had dug a classic garbage pit full of bottles,food tins and whatnot, it started to get rather wide and deep as it was a lot of objects here. Some pieces of leather and wool showed up between the rust, and studying the leather I saw it had been ammo pouches for k98 Mauser rounds. I continued to dig in the section I found these and suddenly I had a square piece of alloy in my hand. My first belt buckle dug in Norway, man that was fun! It had been denazified before discarded and it still had the support leather tab intact. Already on the next poke in the dirt with my bayonet I had another jawdrop. It had to be brass I thought when I saw it, but no, infront of me was a large ring, old and worn and it was very much looking like gold! I placed the finds where I wouldnt loose them and finished up the dig without anymore finds other than the all so familiar rusted bits. Later I went to a goldsmith to have them look at the ring, and it really was 4.9 gram gold, not stamped and it was for a large finger. I wonder how it ended up in this garbage pit but thats one thing we`ll never know.