I dug up two barrel bands and then found the bottom part of the barrel was still intact, although the wood was rotted and soft. I got it out of the way , checked the bottom of the ditch and like a mole continued forward. Now I struck another barrel. But this one looked like it was intact. It took close to two hours to free it from the ground. It was laying upside down and there was a chance something was inside it. Wrapped around it was a rubber tube I really wondered what could be. I had to dig all around the barrel to get it loose. A complete fuel hose with nozzle and hand pump. The type that was stuck into the Kraftstoff barrels. I could still smell fuel from it. In the process of getting it out of the ground I also found a very interesting lamp made in USA. A "Lorraine Controllable Driving light", in pretty nice condition too. The only thing inside the barrel was a zink bucket.
Not even 45 cm further I struck another barrel. This too took a few hours to get around. It was also empty. But next to it there was a "Verbandkasten", a Red Cross medic kit box (it was empty) and a massive piece of metal that I think might be the trailer hitch part from a field kitchen. In the side of the ditch was a small piece of thin wood that made me wish I had a time machine. It had been a wooden sign, probably for a lazarett, and only the red cross symbol had survived. It was so thin and delicate that I`m not sure I ll be able to save it.
I was tired by now and when I found a metal barrel blocking the ditch ahead I packed up my toys and took the rest of the day off.
I spent the next sunny day, and then the following rainy one at home, before Monday appeared with perfect weather and me continuing in the ditch.
I took the detector and checked the ditch a couple of meters in front of the metal barrel. I got a signal, not a great one and of course the signal from the big barrel interfered, but I had to check all of the ditch anyway. Under the top layers was wire. Lots of it. A sane person would probably just leave it and look for another signal to dig on, but I spent a lot of time and energy trying to get the stuff away. It was stuck everywhere, and pulling on it only resulted in that the thin steel wires found flesh. Luckily the Girlfriend had gifted me a great multitool to have in my kit and the wirecutter on that one saved the day. `Snip-snip-snip` and the large bundle of electrical wire was out of the way, and it had drawn blood only from five fingers.
Now things began to pour out of the ditch. Some brackets probably for vehicles, a Solex carburetor, a little cloth, an inkpot and then a Notek lamp! And another Notek! What?? I was so surprised. Both in quite good condition. Work got slowed down again by two large tire chains and I needed a bit of a rest after fighting those to the surface.
Under the chains was a large coal bucket and a Notek for the rear of the vehicle!! Wow, a real Notek-day today apparently! As I am getting closer to the metal barrel I am slowed down yet again by another bundle of wires. These are 1 cm thick so there is no cutting through them. In the end I somehow got the wires out of the way and found several more Noteks along the way! Also a complete bunker stove in great shape! I had built a pile of smaller items as well, here was an ashtray, some bakelite connectors, an enamelled soup bowl, foldable steps for the field kitchen, two coal scoops, several small bottles, the bakelite cup from a thermos, frying pan, porcelain plate, a pair of goggles and 1/4th of a car tire plus some tools and other parts.
I was only 5 hours into the digging but I had no more room for even the tiniest of relics in my backpack, and I would need some energy getting this haul back to the car, so when I reached the metal barrel I called it quits. I was super happy finding no less than seven Noteks; three front lights and four rear ones, plus two smaller oval rear lights. A real lamp day. It ll be a few days until my next digging, but I hope to have this whole ditch done by weekend :)