The weekend began on Saturday, with a message from the owner of a field I had been waiting to get on for over a year, sending a message telling me it will be cut this week, but another field next to it is open.
Wow, I sprang out of my seat and grabbed my Tesoro, and my MFH pouch, and drove out to the field. There I met up with a friend from a nearby town, who was around while his wife and son attended a Sunrise Ave. Concert in Schweinfurt, where I live.
I only, sadly, had about 1.5 hours to metal detect. I hit the field at 5 pm, got all my gear on, and then here came Benschi (Pronounced Bench-ee) with his gear. We talked a few minutes and headed out to the field.
A local farmer saw us out there, and came over to see what we were finding. Benschi had a great signal on his minelab, Bent down to dig it up, and so too did the farmer. The three of us gathered around as Benschi dug the hole, and produced an American 30-.06 Springfield bullet casing.
This field lies directly in the path of one of the battalions of the U.S. Army in WW2, as they approached Schweinfurt from the city 30 minutes drive south, Würzburg. They took multiple roads north to take Schweinfurt, which was an important target for the Allies. Once they got close on the 10th of April 1945, they made camps, and then early on the morning of 11 April they all sprang into action attacking the Germans around the town, and took over the town.
Schweinfurt was really a huge target. It produced over 75% of the ballbearings needed in the aircraft, vehicles and tanks of the German war machine. With these factories out of commission, the vehicles dependant on the bearings would slowly become inoperable. So it was imperative that the Americans pushed right into the heart of the town, and took over the 3 factories.
I pulled out my soft brass brush, and cleaned off the back of the bullet casing, and there sat the production date, 1937. Right on the money. We had our first world war 2 artefact, right in front of one of the farmers from the town we were detecting in.
The farmer was amazed. He didn’t realise that the americans had cut through these fields, let alone had some resistance on the outskirts of it. No one talks about it in the town, but there in his hand was the proof. A sniper had been set up somewhere in this vicinity and taken shots at targets in the buildings within the town.
The rest of the evening for me ended up being mostly plough and tractor parts. One of which was really old. I am guessing the dates of the item, a square nail, used on a wagon, with a very large square head, that still held the smithing marks of the maker, trying to round the head out on the top.
The next day, I went back out. Benschi sent me a text showing me he had found 6 coins of various dates, none further than the late 1800’s after I had left to pick up the wife from work.
So I went out to the field, this time my wife accompanied me with her detector.
But instead of going back onto the field I was on the night before, we braved the chilly winds and went to the field of the farmer from the night before, who gave me permission to detect on them.
We spent a little over an hour on the field before the wind finally made the wife want to change locations.
She had found another wagon nail, which she was and still is really proud of. She is a learned Black Smith, so to her seeing the craftsmanship in the item and the work the person hundreds of years ago poured into this one small item means more than a coin.
I ended up with a coin, where the date was not viewable, however it was clear it was a 10 pfenning (The old German version of cents). It became a task looking it up online, however the clue was in the “0” of the 10. There was only a 6 year time frame the style of “0” was used, and I was then able to lock the years between 1916 and 1922. right after that in 1923, the new Reichs Marks were released and shortly after that the Nazi ReichsMark.
we went over to the field from the night before, and scanned, and scanned. I was sure Benschi had, with his Minelab pretty much taken all the coinage from the field. But I was, and am a persistent guy.
After another hour of almost no signals, I finally had a great one. I called the wife over, who was really struggling to keep sane from the chilly wind. She wanted to see me dig anything that may be a coin. I put my hand shovel into the ground, flipped the dirt over, and there sat the edge of a coin, white with age, poking out the side of the loose soil.
She picked it up, gave it a rub, then asked, “Are you sure it is a coin? there are no markings on it.”
I looked at the coin, grabbed the brass brush and removed any dirt from it. It had been toasted really badly from the years in the field. There was not a single mark left on it at all. I compared it with the other coin I had, and they were the same diameter, exactly. The color of the zinc used in it had the white pockmarks, same as the other, and we were sure it would be from the same time frame.
We continued a little while longer, Antje (Pronounced Auntie-A) found a complete lock with the key still in it, and it functioned still. I found a 9mm bullet casing. The day wound down, and the wife really wanted to get moving as she was feeling the chill creep through her.
I was not willing to give up though. On Tuesday I grabbed my Tesoro and MFH pouch and went back to the field. I continued my zig-zag pattern across it until I had covered every inch of it. Nothing more came out. A bunch of iron, mostly new plough parts mixed with a couple hand plough blades broken off many many years ago.
I was not ready to quit yet. Thursday I got the antsy feeling again, and drove back to the field.
Low and behold the field I had been waiting a year to get on had been cut. I excitedly began filming a video, expecting great things from this field as it lay directly next to the old road to the town, which has not been in use for over 300 years after they re-routed it out a different part of the town.
I started swinging, BAM! The signal was great! I dug into the ground and found a large piece of iron.
Dismayed I continued. BAM! BAM! BAM! signal after signal turned out to be iron. Three hours on the field, and not a single relic to show. Nothing really noticeable as anything in particular. I had to quit and get home to drive the wife to work.
The week turned into a bust. 4 days detecting, and only 2 coins to show.
Tomorrow, 5 August, I plan on hitting the new permission from the farmer who was with us on Saturday. In the short time there I had a coin, maybe a sign of whats to come.
But that is for another blog entry.