Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Methinks that fellow just retired and is going to Disney Land! :cheeky::jumping: :jumping: :speechless1: :speechless1: :speechless1:

Dan :cheers:

I was thinking something similar, when he sells the individual helmets and gear pieces.

But another thought is...imagine if a single collector could buy the whole lot. It is a great group of gear that belonged to one unit or adjacent units. A veritable cross-section of a group of soldiers, from the same frontal area, from the same time period.

...It is interest though how the Finder started photographing the dig site right from the beginning. Like he knew right away that this would be a meaningful discovery. This way the whole thing is documented and the provenance can be established. Good thing too. If fifty helmets would just "appear" on the collecting market someone would think they were fake.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for posting such a wonderful find. Here is a translation;

That's something that will delight more than one because it is probably one of the best digs in recent years, and guess where this is happening? In Lorraine and yes! We are in the region of Metz and she was not surprised to Matthew when he gave his first shovel in this kind of "washing" of concrete.

After two days to clear all of this structure, the result is devastating as the diversity of the material released by the quality of the latter. Indeed, besides the small equipment such as bowls, water bottles and gas masks, there are over 50 German helmets most of which are hidden and complete! State of conservation of probably the wetland in which all of the equipment was discovered.

Furthermore, what makes the originality of this discovery, also found the amount of helmets is that they have in their camouflage almost all different, two of them are also unusual patterns of indentations in 1918 while others have helmets for their registration as an unknown K or a bell?

I will let you immerse yourself in the day digging through various memorable photos taken on the ground and subsequently during cleaning.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The French article uses the word "lavoir" or what used to be rural communal washing and laundry areas. If that was the case, I'd expect the "washing" to be done where something dropped could be easily recovered. Instead, the shaft is deep and was made by slip-forming concrete.

I wonder if the guy who did the digging wasn't wearing better protective clothing than he had on, and if he thought about getting a tetanus shot before/after starting playing in what looks like something other than gooey clay or muck.

If the Germans built the concrete shaft, a couple of points come to mind. First, the use of concrete was normally restricted to building fortified positions (m.g. posts, bunkers, etc.). The shaft in the photo isn't large enough for more than one or two men, although it would make a great officer's privy if roofed over, and because the walls aren't dirt there is no danger of the sides collapsing and the shaft could be cleaned out by you guessed it, enlisted men who were expected to use far less comfortable and commodious field methods.

The highly organic nature of human waste material if the shaft was used as a latrine, would be useful in preserving many of the items recovered in the pit. Once they were removed from the pit, the helmets and other items would be subject to new environmental conditions and items would begin to deteriorate quickly. Leather would start drying out and cracking, metal items subjected to being wet and in aerobic conditions and then exposed to air are going to rust.

Most of the helmet camo patterns look painted with the same pattern and colors. There are period photos of units wearing similarly patterned helmets, and even some photos showing men painting helmets in batches. The pit probably doesn't contain items from most of the war, but more likely a much briefer period of time. The similar camo patterns, the late war helmet with ear "cut outs" suggests sometime in 1918. Usually German units moved around during the war, and that tends to indicate the pit doesn't reflect what "one" unit did over the course of the war, or more than a year at the most.

In 1918, Austro-Hungarian troops serving on the western front were pulled out of the lines when Austria-Hungary capitulated to the Allies on November 4th. Austrian and Hungarian troops in the Meuse-Argonne and St.Mihiel sectors didn't bother carrying what they considered useless gear "home" with them and dropped helmets, gas masks, weapons, in the trench lines. American units opposite the Austrians reportedly found many of these dumps and engaged in easy souvenir hunting.

When the Germans capitulated a week later, many units also left items they no longer needed. The limited range of items (no weapons for instance, the lack of large chucks of scrap metal and battlefield junk indicate the stash is not the result of some farmer cleaning up his field after the war. The "large" number of steel helmets, gas mask can/carriers in light of what Austrian troops did, suggests that some of the Germans literally and figuratively dumped their stuff down a cess pit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The highly organic nature of human waste material......., would be useful in preserving many of the items recovered in the pit.

Indeed.... I will be marketing Tins of "Boonzaier Helmet Preserver" on Ebay in the near future. :-)

And also... have you ever noticed, when you ask some dealers why an article of theirs looks so new.... the answer is usually Bullsh1t.... so it must actually work ;-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...