Hey Everybody. Welcome! To Episode 86 of the metal detecting show podcast. My Name is Ciaran and I have been Metal Detecting for nearly 30 Years. So this week we talk about something I would love to have an opportunity explore further at home but would require me to travel to continental Europe to do it and that’s WWII relic hunting. So Lets get on with the show but before we start I want to thank you for listening to the podcast and I hope you enjoy the episode this week If you want to support the show there are many options available from the links in the episode notes below and if you want to interact with me and the show that information is there too but most importantly If you like this content please don’t hesitate to tell your friends and don’t forget to hit that subscribe button.
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Hey Everybody. Welcome! To Episode 86 of the metal detecting show podcast. My Name is Ciaran and I have been Metal Detecting for nearly 30 Years.
So this week we talk about something I would love to have an opportunity explore further at home but would require me to travel to continental Europe to do it and that’s WWII relic hunting. So Lets get on with the show.
Hey everyone before we start I want to thank you for listening to the podcast and I hope you enjoy the episode this week If you want to support the show there are many options available from the links in the episode notes below and if you want to interact with me and the show that information is there too.
but most importantly If you like this content please don’t hesitate to tell your friends and don’t forget to hit that subscribe button.
Hey everyone Welcome to this week’s episode I hope you have all been awesome to those you love and tolerant of those you don’t.
so this week I want to talk about WWII relic hunting and we will get to that in a minute but let discuss the latest news from Nokta Makro.
so last week as you know well the 19th of November they announced the eagerly awaited Legend their Simultaneous Multifrequency Machine to huge excitement.
I have to say it was great however they was some backlash online saying that Nokta Makro were unprofessional comparing themselves to their competitors and calling out how the Legend is better is certain regards.
There was also backlash saying that Nokta Makro didn’t invent Multi frequency and that they are stealing from a certain brand and producing a knock off, loads of negativity from a certain quarter of brand Fan boys.
now every brand has fan boys and before I started this podcast I was a minelab total fanboy and wore the hat and all
but in educating myself about the hobby through the podcast I have come to realise that the detector doesn’t makith the man and if your committed enough you can find treasure with just a shovel and knowledge of where to dig.
Now all brands have a certain level militant fanboys I had myself to tell a Nokta Makro fanboy to calm down as they angrily ranted at nokta makro themselves for not releasing a statement of when they were coming out with their smf this was just a week before nokta announced the legend event on the 19th which this same fanboy then proceeded to give out about the price and the fact there was no manual.
So no matter the brand you will always have these individuals and always have the emotion that comes with it.
However back to the launch as all things tend to be online this feedback got out of control and descended into getting personnel, insulting Dilek from Nokta and how the Launch was delivered etc.
So at this stage in response to the backlash Dilek from Nokta released a statement via video across all social media.
This Was a Emotional and passionate rebuttal of the as Dilek put it Bashing, insults and slander.
it was great Dilek addressed a few questions but then laid into the nah sayers and she must be a listener of the pod as she called out that multifreq has been around for years with whites back in the 80’s
she finished with Competition helps all of you all and If you enjoy what your swinging keep swinging it.
I will include the audio from the statement at the end of this week’s pod but be warned I may need to remove it due to copyright I’m not sure of the legal stance of doing something like this but better to ask for forgivness than permission WINK! It was great if its not here make sure to search Youtube for it.
Anyways back to the regular broadcast.
So this week I want to talk about WWII relic hunting something that I have dabbled in in the past but not in the way you might think.
So when I was boy I grew up in a place call the Curragh camp,
its Irelands largest army base but also one of the oldest and what was special about the Curragh Camp was that during World War II it was home to Irelands internment camps of Irelands Prisoners of War.
so you may or may not know Ireland was “neutral” Inverted commas during WWII which meant that any pilots or sailors from either the Allies or the Axis Powers that happened to find themselves in Ireland were sent to the Internment camp in the Curragh.
Now just to be factual and why I put neutral in inverted commas, Allies Solder was sent home via the UK while any Axis personnel were sent to the internment camp.
Now don’t get me wrong this was not a prisoner of war camp like you would see in the movies these prisoners were allowed to go into the local town for a drink and buy groceries and so many liked it so much that a fair few of them stayed in Ireland after the war marrying our women white Some of them fairly high up in the military staying which resulted In a later controversary but that’s a later story.
So in 1980 I moved to the Curragh camp and at that stage the internment camp was empty, 35 years old and falling apart but an absolute dream playground for a young boy and it was there routing through the derelict black huts as they were to be come to have been known. That I found buttons gas masks helmets and a tetnus shot from standing on rusty nails but being young none of these survived me and my friend playing war on old Sherman tanks I’m afraid. now that I know what potential these had from a historic and even monetary point of view it makes me cringe at the thought of the lost relics from WWII.
Ok so World War II relic hunting is a type of metal detecting primarily as you can imagine a European pass time. Not so much an Irish one but definitely a continental Europe eastern Europe and most definitely a Russian pass time.
Now this is not to say that there isn’t a US interest in this because god knows we had American soldiers fighting on every front in the War its just that for you guys you will have to get on a plane over the pond to partake which makes it prohibitive.
Now Europe is a big place ciaran how do you know where to hunt well I wouldn’t expect to be rocking up to Normandy beach with your detector in toe as you can imagine there are loads of battle sites that are very strictly controlled especially when it comes to metal detectors simply due to the enormous loss of life at these sites so it is best that you consult the national archives of whatever country your hunting this will give you all the WWII battle sites some are even broken down from a week on week perspective so you can see and calculate the movement of the front and thus pinpoint sites that may be great starting points.
Now its just over 80 years since the war so the 50 year moratorium on information control should be well past in whatever country you are in but if there is not much information and I would be surprised if there wasn’t for such a big thing check out Local libraries local historic groups/ websites you know the drill. TBH there is such a large body of documentation re WWII that it would be impossible to not find what you were looking for. Remember this is still very recent history still in living memory.
So you have identified a potential location you have checked the law you have got permission or any permits you may need but how do you hunt these spots.
So WWII relic hunting is probably the only part of our hoppy that pulls in all aspects and types of metal detecting. For example waterways bridges and rivers sems to be hotspots near or between battle sites as many bridge were contested for transport purposes and were essentially bottlenecks where weapons were dumped to keep them from falling into enemy hands or simply fell off trucks in the bumpy ride over the bridge or river Because of this Magnet fishing is very popular at these sites but coupled with under water detecting in all metal mode can be the difference between a good day and a great day.
Reading the terrain a lot of people think that trench warfare was soley in use in WWI this is due to the mobile nature of the front in WWII however In places where the front didn’t move so fast trenchs were used to great success. Essentially the Maginot line is one great big trench. Trenchs from WWI are still visable today and thee ones created in WWII are no different be it in fields viewed from Google Earth or simply walking through the forests of eastern Europe these a easy to spot snaking across the terrain indicating a potential spot to hunt. Fox holes exist in similar condition today as they would have 80 years ago only more shallow you just need to look out for them.
I have to take a minute to say every trench every fox hole and pill box is the site where someone has most definitely died so make sure you are allowed to hunt there but also make sure you are not desecrating the grave of a fallen soldier with the potential to be called a grave robber.
Just look at what happened to Kris Rodgers we all know Kris super enthusiastic detectorist did a lot for the hobby over the years gained some success online with his addictedtobleeps channel got involved in a mainstream media company who wanted to produce a show called WWII history detectives which was on netflicks there for a while but resulted in some very serious backlash from the public calling the guys grave robbers and everything that goes with that but turns out the Media company were pushing the guys to find stuff because as you know its not a show unless there is finds and when they find stuff they edited the show to make them all look like spanners we have seen this happening so much in the media anyways it took Kris years to get over that one emotionally but that’s what you could be dealing with here there is a very fine line between grave robbing and relic hunting so for me I would stick to the rivers.
As you can imagine this type or relic hunting is huge in Europe with people making significant investment in magnetometers sonars and ground penetration radar the lot. As you can imagine if your investing in that level of equipment that you are looking for large target that can be buried up to 6 feet deep requiring a lot of physical work to get them out hand digging these craters.
Even if you don’t have all the expensive equipment you need to set yourself up for a long hunts some people spend days camping overnight while they detect during the day for days on days. If you talk to these guys they all say that keeping dry and comfort is the most important thing much like the marching soldiers of WWII I suppose. They all nearly hip mount their detectors allowing them to hunt for a few hours longer due to the swing weight reduction.
So what are you looking for well Weapons are pretty top of the list with guns knifes bullets being popular finds however there is a potential for unexploded ordinance which you have to be carefull when disposing. However imagine that every shovel you take out of the ground could potentially be your last due to hitting a mine or a shell this is why it is important to be surgical digging a hole WWII relic hunting you cant just grab a pick and go.
Other popular targets are uniform related gas mask helmets buttons insignia you can only imagine but the big boys use their expensive equipment to look for vehicles like tanks jeeps motorbikes and even planes. All worth a fortune if recovered.
This is not much different than normal metal detecting running your detector In all metal mode except you need to set yourself up for long term hunts both physically and organisationally with batteries and a way to charge them, you need to be prepared for a lot of physical work digging targets that are deep while digging very surgically taking the Russian roulette factor out of the dig. It is expensive to get to the hunting grounds and equip yourself for success. While ensuring that you are respectful of what you are actually digging and aware of any laws that may apply to what or where your hunting that is why I would call WWII relics hunting one of the most extreme and dangerous activities of out hobby.
That’s it for this week’s I hope you liked this episode of the metal detecting show podcast.
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Once again, I hope you have enjoyed this episode and we will chat to you all again next week.
Get out there eyes down and Happy Hunting.