World War 2 Metal Detecting Finds (3/7)
The next search day. The first thing found was the pictured bolt. Also, several ammunition belt pieces (picture) were found besides several fired US BMG 50 cartridges. Some weeks prior to the search a local told me that at the end of WW II there was ‘some noise’ heard in this area.
The bolt, also pictured in cleaned state, was later identified as a system 98 bolt.
Bolts of that kind were (and still are) used in many rifles. In this context it was probably a K98 bolt. The K98 (“Karabiner 98”)was the standard rifle of the German soldier in WW II. Maybe readers of one of my previous posts recall a found Mauser “Gewehr 98” (rifle 98). This weapon was the standard rifle in WW I, also used in WW II, and the predecessor of the K98. Both weapons are very similar. The K98 was a bit shorter since the length of the Gewehr 98 turned out to be a disadvantage in the trench warfare of WW I.
It is not uncommon to find discarded weapon parts in our part of the world. Usually, bolt and rifle were trashed at different places for security reasons. Would the forest provide the rifle as well?
A sizeable area did not provide any finds. Then, 100 meters/110 yards distant from the bolt’s finding place came a very strong signal. Just 20-30 meter / 22-33 yards away from the road I found a WW II rifle with a bent barrel. Actually, the front part of the barrel was visible. The next picture was taken before the weapon was touched.
It just looks like any rusted tube but if you look closely you can see the front sight at the right end.
Here comes the entire weapon
Obviously somebody at the end of WWII wanted to make sure that nobody would use the weapon ever again.
Did that rifle belong to found bolt? I liked the idea to have outwitted the unknown hider of these items with the help of modern detecting technology. However, weeks later I learned that rifle and bolt did not match. Maybe somewhere in the vicinity there are still another bolt and another rifle waiting to be found.
50 meter/ 55 yards away from the rifle finding spot the rotten remains of a German WW II gas mask were found.
Nearby laid a totally flattened musket ball which was the first item that definitely originated from the battle. It is nice to see traces of different periods in such proximity.
(C) Thorsten Straub www.metal-detecting.de 2006-2011.