All quiet on the Western Front

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All quiet on the Western Front

Postby Simon21 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:03 am

100 years on Sunday since the armistice that ended WW!.
Anyone fancying a trip to the battlefields will be startled by the archaeology that is taking place, some very necessary to remove ancient munitions.
This is a very hazardous enterprise. On one tour (at dusk) one was warned "look out there's a grenade!" "Where, where?", "Under your foot".
On the field edges are piles of shells etc usually grubbed up by the Belgian army.

But not always. In the 1980s some schoolboys who had recently had lessons in material physics decided to remove some brass fittings to a shell they had found. They elected to use a blow torch on the undeertanding that Iron and brass heat at different temperatures. All were blown to pieces to join the 360 dead killed since WW1.

On the other hand there is the chance to make a quick buck. A japanese collector in a prominent antiques shop in West London said he was after a German pickelhaub. The shop owner smelling big bucks, said he had one, but it was a very rare specimen which he kept hidden. Seeing the enthusiasm of the collector he brought it in from the safe. It was a German helmet all right, it still had the owner's head in it, being attached to the helmet by a piece of shrapnel. Plainly robbed from a German war grave.
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Re: All quiet on the Western Front

Postby kbs2244 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 3:10 pm

So finish the story...
Was it a sale?
Did it get through customs?
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Re: All quiet on the Western Front

Postby Minimalist » Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:03 am

They elected to use a blow torch on the undeertanding that Iron and brass heat at different temperatures.



But explosives do not react well to heat.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin
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Re: All quiet on the Western Front

Postby Simon21 » Tue Nov 13, 2018 2:16 am

kbs2244 wrote:So finish the story...
Was it a sale?
Did it get through customs?



No the collector was horrified and reported the find to the authorities.

Doesn't stop them though a few years ago it was announced that the British war graves at Isandlewana in Zululand had been raided for cap badges etc.
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Re: All quiet on the Western Front

Postby Simon21 » Tue Nov 13, 2018 2:20 am

Minimalist wrote:
They elected to use a blow torch on the undeertanding that Iron and brass heat at different temperatures.



But explosives do not react well to heat.


As they found.

But people are stupid. Visiting Ypres in Belgium not far from the Menin Gate, we met a British couple on the scrounge who told us they had found what they though was some kind of "digging" tool. They had put it in their car and returned to the UK by ferry.

On putting it on display in their home they were later informed it was a shell from a Stokes Mortar.
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Re: All quiet on the Western Front

Postby Minimalist » Sat Nov 17, 2018 1:49 pm

Hopefully the bomb squad safely disposed of it?
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin
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Re: All quiet on the Western Front

Postby Simon21 » Sun Nov 18, 2018 4:55 am

Minimalist wrote:Hopefully the bomb squad safely disposed of it?


One certainly hopes so, I would not have been accepting any dinner invitations from them to be sure.

During a later visit a nasty little monkey who was supposed to be acting as a "battlefield guide" asked if we wanted a "special souvenir" and pointed to the path ahead (two steps ahead) from which was looming the back of a Mills bomb (hand grenade). This was supposed to be funny - after all where are we if one cannot see two tourists blown up on occasion? Never went back.
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Re: All quiet on the Western Front

Postby Minimalist » Sun Nov 18, 2018 7:13 pm

The renowned French sense of humor?
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin
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