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Offline ChristianTopic starter
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« on: January 27, 2009, 10:35:52 am »
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Military Explorations in Europe - An 1813 Napoleonic Site

By Dave J. Peterson

The battlefields of Europe offer almost limitless opportunities for military explorations. An enormous array of military actions have occurred firm ancient times through the present. The European landscape is covered with sites of former battlefields, campsites, training areas, forts redoubts and other action areas.
My interest in exploring the military past of Eurpe began after a visit to the huge military museum in Paris, France. Housed in several large buildings is a large amount of military, displayed in authentic surroundings. The exthibits are organized from warfare from the earliest times, proceeding chronologically to the present. After my visit to this amazing museum, I was motivated to study the military past of Europe.

My experience in metal detector use and my visit to the Paris museum led to my conclusion that virtually millions of interesting artifacts remain in European soil.
      
Fortunately, I live near an excellent library to read and study the military past of the U. S. and overseas countries. I also have access to a complete university map room that contains modern topographic maps of most European countries. When I find an old military map or description of a military action, I can often compare the old map against the topography shown on the modern one. By careful comparison you can tell if some of the old sites have been swallowed up by the growth of a small village into a large city. A battle that took place on flat crop land is hardly worth exploring for artifacts because many years of farming have turned up most of the better finds. However, there remain many sites on hills, in forests, or in small farming areas that are much the same today as in the time of earlier military activity. These sites have many relics that can still be found.

The Napoleonic era of the early 1800's is a good military period to study for the collector because of the large variety of brass artfacts that can be found. Therefore, I was happy to find an early military map of the Napoeonic Battle of Hanau of 1813. I was even more delighted when I compared the early map to a modern topo map of Hanau, Germany, and noticed that a portion of the battle was untouched by the city. In fact, this Portion was in a wooded area. Perhaps this spot would be rewarding for exploration with a detector.

My son, nephew and I parked our vehicle near the 1813 battle zone, loaded our equipment into backpacks and headed into the woods.

We searched a portion of the suspected site for several hours, but found no 1813 artifacts, However, we did find remnants from World War II, such as shrapnel. These hunks of iron were sharp, jagged, nasty-looking projectiles that must have caused horrible damage as they whizzed through the forest.

We went to another part of the woods near a major road sti11 trying to find artifacts from the 1813 fight. In this new area we found more shrapnel, some lightweight 1942 coins that had a swastika on one side of each coin. I found a gold-plated ring which we were unable to date from any markings on it. A childrens' playground was nearby and we immediately began finding musket balls under the soil, and some even on top of the ground. Perhaps we had finally found the site of the 1813 struggle. Within the first half-tour at this location, Jon had uncovered a cannonball at about one foot in depth. This site must have been part of the battle area we were seeking. Soon Dan announced the recovery of another cannonball within fifty yards of the first.
      
I was working especially hard because the two younger fellows each had a cannonball, while the "old pro" had none. I had loaned Dan my powerful detector and was working with my back-up machine. Maybe the TR dectector I was using wouldn't go deep enough for a cannonball. Still, I was uncovering same large iron pieces of WWII. Once, I even uncovered the tail section from a bomb!
I was overjoyed several hours later when a faint signal from my detector gave the clue to yet another Napoleonic cannonball. At over one foot depth, I uncovered my first cannonball ever. Perhaps life is fair after all!

The only brass object found was a cover for someone's tobacco pipe. We were convinced the cover was of the 1813 period. It probably fell off some soldier's pipe in the excitement of the battle.

The Hanau Battlefield will probably yield many more artifacts than the ones we found. Yet, this site is but one of a multitude of possible places you might wish to explore in Europe.

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Offline tfr__k
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« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2010, 05:20:40 am »
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relicts from 1813 are interesting. i think the most interesting Battlefield would be

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Leipzig



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« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2017, 12:43:52 pm »
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I know that it is some time ago this topic, but I have some questions.
I was in Hanau several times for shopping, as a Belgian miltary in Germany (retired now)  Great
Did you go back to that site and discovered more?
I'm interesting in how to obtain the old maps in Europe, because I'm having difficulties here in Belgium  Sad
Any interesting info on internet (URL's) are also welcome  Wink
Thanks  Cool



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