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General Apathy

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Normandy Finds Today . . . . . . . . . . 

 

A long time English military friend Nigel lives about an hour from me, he has lived at this farmhouse for about twenty years, there were some severe battles around the area he lives in.

 

Early yesterday his French neighbour from across the road came knocking on his door asking for advice, turned out that the neighbour had spotted a shell whilst attempting to clean out the drainage ditch across the road from Nigel's house, and asked Nigel if he considered it dangerous.  They called the Gendarmes who arrived and staked it out after displaying it openly in readiness for an ordnance team to arrive and deal with it 

 

Well here's hoping Nigel's New Year doesn't start with a Bang . . . . . . . . . . . .

 

Norman D. Landing, Forum Normandy Correspondent, January 09  2021.

 

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3 hours ago, General Apathy said:

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Normandy Finds Today . . . . . . . . . . 

 

A long time English military friend Nigel lives about an hour from me, he has lived at this farmhouse for about twenty years, there were some severe battles around the area he lives in.

 

Early yesterday his French neighbour from across the road came knocking on his door asking for advice, turned out that the neighbour had spotted a shell whilst attempting to clean out the drainage ditch across the road from Nigel's house, and asked Nigel if he considered it dangerous.  They called the Gendarmes who arrived and staked it out after displaying it openly in readiness for an ordnance team to arrive and deal with it 

 

Well here's hoping Nigel's New Year doesn't start with a Bang . . . . . . . . . . . .

 

Norman D. Landing, Forum Normandy Correspondent, January 09  2021.

 

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Don't worry. As long as Nigel stays outside that taped off area, I'm sure he will be perfectly safe. Let us know of any developments in this explosive story. 

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Glidertrooper

They say the 'Iron Harvest' of the WWI battle fields of Northern France and Belgium will still be turning up stuff like this for the next 30 years. The farmers are so use to these finds that they leave them on the side of the road themselves and then call to let the military know to come pick them up. Trouble is many times the military EOD arrive to find no ancient ordinance in situ, because battle field tourists have helped themselves to these 'souvenirs'.

 

'Urban Legend' tells of one of these 'souvenir hunter' still being on scene when the EOD showed up, standing going into shock with large blisters appearing on his forearms, having helped himself to an old shell with black treacle like fluid coming out of it. The black treacle stuff apparently being Mustard Gas in its non-aerated form...

 

Cheers......John

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Johan Willaert

Belgian EOD picks up an average of around 200 tons of unexploded ammo dating back to the Great War in the Ypres region alone every year... still after more than a century...

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General Apathy
20 hours ago, mikie said:

Don't worry. As long as Nigel stays outside that taped off area, I'm sure he will be perfectly safe. Let us know of any developments in this explosive story. 

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Hi Mikie,  I have always said that true friends can make fun of one-another, if someone makes fun of you then consider them a friend. ^_^

 

To endorse that sentiment here's the photo I annotated and returned to Nigel . . . . . . . . . . and of course many other friends of Nigel's.  :lol:

 

Norman D. Landing, Forum Normandy Correspondent, January 10  2021.

 

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General Apathy
12 hours ago, Glidertrooper said:

They say the 'Iron Harvest' of the WWI battle fields of Northern France and Belgium will still be turning up stuff like this for the next 30 years. The farmers are so use to these finds that they leave them on the side of the road themselves and then call to let the military know to come pick them up. Trouble is many times the military EOD arrive to find no ancient ordinance in situ, because battle field tourists have helped themselves to these 'souvenirs'.

 

'Urban Legend' tells of one of these 'souvenir hunter' still being on scene when the EOD showed up, standing going into shock with large blisters appearing on his forearms, having helped himself to an old shell with black treacle like fluid coming out of it. The black treacle stuff apparently being Mustard Gas in its non-aerated form...

 

Cheers......John

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Hi John,  thanks for informing everyone of the situation in parts of France and Belgium, many British ' Collectors ' get caught at the ferry ports trying to return to the UK with their ' Trophies ' in their cars.  

 

As you state not every shell is explosive, the chemical ones can be just as deadly . . . . . . . . . 

 

Norman D. Landing, Forum Normandy Correspondent, January 10 2021.

 

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General Apathy
3 hours ago, Johan Willaert said:

Belgian EOD picks up an average of around 200 tons of unexploded ammo dating back to the Great War in the Ypres region alone every year... still after more than a century...

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Hi Johan,  well Nigel's initial excitement was dented when he realised it was just an old 25 pound British shell, he had been hoping to at least see a nice German 88mm shell . . . . . . . . . his first disappointment of the New Year.  :lol: :lol:

 

Norman D. Landing, Forum Normandy Correspondent, January 10  2021.

 

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General Apathy

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Today's shots of the flooded fields . . . . . . 

 

I was pleased to see that the sun was out again this Sunday morning, sadly not so beautiful as the previous Sunday when the roads, trees and fields were frozen white over and mist swirling across the flood plains . . . . . . . 

 

The last shot shows one of the submerged roads. 

 

Norman D. Landing, Forum Normandy Correspondent, January 10  2021.

 

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American Graffiti

Wow its an eerie landscape when flooded

Thanks also for the map also showing the 'pitfalls' of parachuting into such a landscape on D-Day, and the history packed into a relatively small area, really puts it into perspective.

Enjoy your Sunday Ken

AG

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Glidertrooper
19 minutes ago, General Apathy said:

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As you state not every shell is explosive, the chemical ones can be just as deadly . . . . . . . . . 

 

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Well the other story I have heard tell of (but I can offer nothing as to its veracity) was of another collector of battlefield relics who brought home his latest find. The chap then attempted to separate the brass nose fuse from the artillery shell ...using a hammer and chisel. His vigorous activity apparently reminded the ancient ordinance of it's original purpose with fatal consequences, particularly as the subsequent explosion caused the rest of his collection of WWI shells to also wake from their slumber!!

 

Cheers......John

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General Apathy
1 hour ago, Glidertrooper said:

 

Well the other story I have heard tell of (but I can offer nothing as to its veracity) was of another collector of battlefield relics who brought home his latest find. The chap then attempted to separate the brass nose fuse from the artillery shell ...using a hammer and chisel. His vigorous activity apparently reminded the ancient ordinance of it's original purpose with fatal consequences, particularly as the subsequent explosion caused the rest of his collection of WWI shells to also wake from their slumber!!

 

Cheers......John

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Hi John,  yes there are many local stories of people loosing fingers, arms, legs, eyes, heads, and lives . . . . . . . . 

 

A trues story I can relate happened about eight to ten years ago . . . . Perhaps Johan will recall his name. 

 

A Belgian collector retrieved many pieces of ordnance from the WWI battlefields and the Ardennes forests which he deactivated over a period of many years and sold the empty repainted shells and grenades to various dealers.  He worked in a wooden shed attached to the rear of his house, the shed stood between two windows looking out from the kitchen.  One day his wife was working in the sink between the two windows and he was outdoors in the shed de-activating a WWI 75mm shell, the explosion blew both windows into the kitchen, and severaly cracked the two feet thick stone wall between the windows, the wife survived he didn't. 

 

Some fifteen years or so ago at Beltring I went early one morning to use the wash facilities, I entered an open cubicle and closed the door to find a leather jacket on the hook on the rear of the door, checking the pockets there was a wallet and a wedge of several thousand pounds in bank-notes plus credit cards.    

 

When I left I took the jacket with me and called to see Rex Cadman at the organisers stand and from a calling card found the sales stand of the coats owner, when I called at his stand he was still unaware that he had left the coat in the wash facilities.  He was a dealer from the Continent and happy to receive his jacket and contents, he rewarded me with a ' de-activated ' WWI 75mm shell and brass case, I was untrusting of the de-activation and only too happy to dispose of the shell as fast as I could.

 

Norman D. Landing, Forum Normandy Correspondent, January 10  2021.

 

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General Apathy
1 hour ago, American Graffiti said:

Wow its an eerie landscape when flooded

Thanks also for the map also showing the 'pitfalls' of parachuting into such a landscape on D-Day, and the history packed into a relatively small area, really puts it into perspective.

Enjoy your Sunday Ken

AG

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Hi AG,  thanks for the kind comments on the photos and also on your enjoyment of the map I annotated, hopefully I should have another local map done in the next few days and will be adding that.

 

About ten years ago a local Frenchman in the village told me of the farm he lived in as a young adult during the war and the spot that he and his father buried some abandoned German items.  Pleased to say that I have now found an aerial shot of the farm and the spot he mentioned can be seen on the aerial photograph, so I now have a pretty good idea where and wait for a suitable day to investigate.  :P

 

Norman D. Landing, Forum Normandy Correspondent, January 10  2021.

 

.fullsizeoutput_859d.jpeg.a34518b9166e5ea4db75c88715571189.jpeg

 

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American Graffiti

By 'suitable day to investigate' I do hope you mean under cover of darkness with a spade!

Show and tell if you find anything will much appreciated by all who follow this thread.

AG

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Johan Willaert
3 hours ago, General Apathy said:

A trues story I can relate happened about eight to ten years ago . . . . Perhaps Johan will recall his name. 

 

A Belgian collector retrieved many pieces of ordnance from the WWI battlefields and the Ardennes forests which he deactivated over a period of many years and sold the empty repainted shells and grenades to various dealers.  He worked in a wooden shed attached to the rear of his house, the shed stood between two windows looking out from the kitchen.  One day his wife was working in the sink between the two windows and he was outdoors in the shed de-activating a WWI 75mm shell, the explosion blew both windows into the kitchen, and severaly cracked the two feet thick stone wall between the windows, the wife survived he didn't. 

 

 

Guy's name was Jean-Michel Roth, happened October 2006... and it was a WW2 75mm shell I believe...

For those of you who read French

https://www.dhnet.be/actu/faits/une-manipulation-fatale-51b7c240e4b0de6db98c44a0

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General Apathy
45 minutes ago, Johan Willaert said:

 

Guy's name was Jean-Michel Roth, happened October 2006... and it was a WW2 75mm shell I believe...

For those of you who read French

https://www.dhnet.be/actu/faits/une-manipulation-fatale-51b7c240e4b0de6db98c44a0

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Hi Johan,  thanks for adding the name and the link, gosh fourteen years passed by already, I recall his wife and her new partner visiting me here sometime after it had happened. 

 

Norman D. Landing, Forum Normandy Correspondent, January 10  2021.

 

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General Apathy

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Worth watching just four minutes or so . . . . . . 

 

A short introduction to a documentary entitled ' Return to Hardwick ', Hardwick was the home base of the USAAF 93rd Bomb Group.

 

 

 

 

Norman D. Landing, Forum Normandy Correspondent, January 10  2021.

 

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Johan Willaert
5 minutes ago, General Apathy said:

 

Hi Johan,  thanks for adding the name and the link, gosh fourteen years passed by already, I recall his wife and her new partner visiting me here sometime after it had happened. 


They separated several years ago...

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General Apathy
22 hours ago, Johan Willaert said:


They separated several years ago...

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Hi Johan,

 

yes and thanks you had mentioned this some time ago, does he still collect, does he still have those minty airborne pants I sold him.

 

 

Norman D. Landing, Forum Normandy Correspondent, January 11  2021.

 

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On 1/10/2021 at 4:31 PM, American Graffiti said:

By 'suitable day to investigate' I do hope you mean under cover of darkness with a spade!

Show and tell if you find anything will much appreciated by all who follow this thread.

AG

hahaha, agreed, maybe there's also room for some cloaks and daggers ☺️

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On 1/10/2021 at 7:18 PM, General Apathy said:

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Worth watching just four minutes or so . . . . . . 

 

A short introduction to a documentary entitled ' Return to Hardwick ', Hardwick was the home base of the USAAF 93rd Bomb Group.

 

 

 

 

Norman D. Landing, Forum Normandy Correspondent, January 10  2021.

 

 

 


 

Nice!!

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Johan Willaert
4 hours ago, General Apathy said:

yes and thanks you had mentioned this some time ago, does he still collect, does he still have those minty airborne pants I sold him.

 

Hi Ken,
I haven't seen P for quite some time now... But I think he is still collecting and most likely still has the holy grail pants...
He's working on new displays for our local museum too, so I guess/hope to run into him this year...

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6 hours ago, Dogsbody said:

This can't be serious, can it?

 

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I don't know how things are done in your country, but this is pretty much the standard way we carry our goats around here in the States.

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On 1/10/2021 at 4:39 AM, General Apathy said:

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Today's shots of the flooded fields . . . . . . 

 

I was pleased to see that the sun was out again this Sunday morning, sadly not so beautiful as the previous Sunday when the roads, trees and fields were frozen white over and mist swirling across the flood plains . . . . . . . 

 

The last shot shows one of the submerged roads. 

 

Norman D. Landing, Forum Normandy Correspondent, January 10  2021.

 

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Great photos. Thank goodness your battery lasted this time. I especially like that last one looking down the sunken road.

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