Yesterday I spent 6-7 hours searching and digging. The digging here is mostly done with the bayonet and fingers. Since the soil are so full of roots, rocks and relics using the shovel is pointless. There is lots of barbed wire around as well. I still haven`t got an efficient cutter which would make the search so much easier. I began where I had left off on Sunday and the first find was a single unissued dog-tag. The next hours I made a pile of cream tubes, radio tubes, radio parts, small bottles, tools, a vehicle pennant, boots, gaming pieces and three fire extinguishers. After a little break, some food and a stretching of legs and back I dove in for a couple more hours. It was much the same stuff that came out from the ground between what must be hundred or more batteries. I dug up half of a porcelain deep plate with Luftwaffe markings. I kept finding bits of porcelain throughout the day which I collected with the hopes of getting all the parts for the plate. After having been snagged by barbed wire for the fiftieth time I ironically I found a rusted pioneers barbed wire scissors. Maybe it could work after restoring, it is allowed to hope. When I had uncovered more parts of communication equipment, two Druckzunder 35 boxes and a pencil sharpener of blue plastic, some keys and a cup filled with melted lead, I found a Heer marked porcelain tea plate broken in half. At least it was a clean break so it ll glue nicely back together. It was a full back pack I waddled out of the forest with around dinner time.
Today I was back on place early, armed with lunch and a pair of new gloves. I need to buy some high quality kevlar gloves I think, coz this pair had holes in them just a few hours into the digging. Not counting the hole a piece of glass made before it cutted its way into my nail and finger, making todays digging a bit painful. The first hour I dug lots of the usual stuff and then I found ca half of a porcelain plate which would fit perfectly to the Luftwaffe plate from yesterday.
I was working my way in under a tree root, pulling out bits of rust and metal when I noticed some details on a aluminum fragment. My mind blanked out and rebooted itself once or twice. Could it really be? The item I always dreamed about having in my collection. My "Holy Grail". I got on my feet to find water and clean the metal piece, but first a swig for myself just to make sure I was not dreaming, man, that would have pissed me off. A branch from a pine bush did a good job as a scrub and my system was pumped full of adrenalin and endorphines. Now, hours later when writing this I keep looking at the item in partly disbelief. Still uncut from the sheet of metal it was stamped on was a Lappland Schild!! The Lappland arm shield was the last officially instituted campaign shield of the war. It was authorized in February 1945. The Lappland Shield was often produced in the field by different units. There is still lots left to dig in the pit and I am now fantasizing that there might be more of the shields there, or prehaps the stamp itself. How crazy would that be? I said just a week ago to a friend who showed me his two Lappland shields (different variant than mine) that if I ever found one I could quit metal detecting and go for Lego instead :D So now when I have found what I believed for the longest time would never be found, I need to find something else to dream about finding :D
I dug on for a few hours more finding some empty rifle grenades, a few small wire spools, and a small chess piece made from thin sheet metal.
Tomorrow is supposed to be nicer weather, the Girlfriend will be home so I think there will be a little expedition to the fields of berries and relics then. But first some rest and sleep :)