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Battlefield Clearing

Who's job is it to go around after the fighting and clear up all the mess left behind?
 
Pikeys. Lots of money in scrap metal, and if the occasional bit goes bang; oh well.
 

jmb3296

War Hero
I’m sure i saw in a previous thread that the IDF had challanges posed by Arab scrap merchants frequenting their ranges and recovering the fired rounds from diwnrange, sometimes whilst live firing was still going on.
Causing no end of issues for the range officers as there were quads, bikes and vehicles hurtling around the targets and backstops recovering the rounds as new ones were still to be, or in the process of being delivered.
 

jmb3296

War Hero
Continuing in the theme, after world war 2, Sam Cummings got his big business start up with inter arms recovering previously used weaponry from the field and surrender stockpiles.
If some thing has a value and is left lying about, someone will invariably be along shortly to repurpose or recycle it. Be it a piece of metallic wreckage, broken vehicle or something you had foolishly taken your eye off for a bit.
 
My dads elder brother Russel had a readymix concrete business.
in the 1980’s alongside the trucks they had a pair of Italian built 4wd self loading all terrain mixers, bought new.
At about 6 years old one of the hubs failed catastrophically and was out of action for some weeks whilst they waited for the Eyties to come back from a purchasing/ scavenging trip to the deserts and scrapyards of Libya
aquireing old WW2 Italian army truck axles
 
In the last days of WW2 when Europe was littered with scrap metal, abandoned trucks, tanks, soldiers personal kit and artillery, especially in northern France, the locals took it on themselves to gather up all the abandoned kit. Now some 80 years later, blokes like Bruce Crompton " Combat Dealers" and other dealers, regularly trawl through the barns and outhouses for very collectible items, which now command silly money.
 
I've wondered how much copper ( and lead ) would be in an old WW2 rifle range backstop , enough to make it worth processing out ?

Memory Jog:-
I don't know about WW2, but back in the early 70's i had to drive a line tech Sgt to ranges on the east coast, and i cannot for the life of me remember which ones, but while there, the range blokes were sieving the sand for metal, and they told me that every few years, they get a ton or two, which is sent away for recycling.
 
Do you mean clearing up unexploded ordnance? Or scrap?

In a lot of places, especially SE Asia, there are a lot of people who go scrap metal collecting. In Vietnam a few years ago you could buy a shonky locally-made metal detector for $11.

Locals were earning just under $0.1 per kg of scrap. A lot of it was going north into China as rebar for the big construction boom in 2007/2008.

Unfortunately not a few of them encountered UXO as they were digging stuff up. Considering there’s about 150kg ish in a MK82 bomb...

In Laos some of them were so good they wouldn’t blink at dealing with an American bomb with simple fuzes - they would only leave us the more complicated bombs!

Edited for missing decimal point...
 
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The Pioneers used to deal with the dead. A shitty, unforgiving task that they carried out very professionally in GW1.

You’d like to think that the MoD had a plan, especially since they‘ve binned the Pioneers, but it would be no surprise if they just dicked whichever infantry Regiment is to hand to do it in future.
 

Arte_et_Marte

ADC
Moderator
Just follow the hats around the training area and collect all the kit they lose every night in the forestry blocks.

You should be able to equip a small army within a week or two.
Years ago I was seeing a lass from Hampshire, on my first visit to her place, she showed me a dirty yellow BFA. She found it whilst walking the dogs, she had no idea what it was. I dropped it off at my nick (I was a copper at the time) and the Property Officer didnt know what it was either.
 
Use the Russian method: Right, fascist bastards! You fired it/drove it here/laid it, you clean it up. PoWs and/or the residents of the Gulags were used to clear the dead out of vehicles and bury them, collect firearms (on pain of instant death if they tried to squirrel away any), clear rubble from the streets and drag scrap to railheads for onward transport to furnaces. The SS were sent to the uranium mines and the death rate was 100%. Denmark famously used PoWs (whose legal staus was very uncertain) to clear mines, either by hand or with repurposed Panzer IIIs and halftracks.
 

OneTenner

LE
Book Reviewer
The 'Red Zone' around the Verdun was supposed to have been cleared by French scrap metal contractors after the First World War, in reality, the villages and easy to access areas were mostly cleared - some more difficult stuff was hidden from view (buried) and areas such as valleys and forests - such as near the L'ossuaire de Douaumont are still littered with the debris of war. Some of the larger blinds have had their driving bands cut away by the contractors, leaving the shells in situ. This practice still goes on today.
ETA
Driving band removed
IMG_1436.JPG


Driving band intact but spray painted in the recent-ish past.
IMG_1306.JPG


A collection of debris that was never removed - that is how we found it.
IMG_1256.JPG
 
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ches

LE
Do you mean clearing up unexploded ordnance? Or scrap?

In a lot of places, especially SE Asia, there are a lot of people who go scrap metal collecting. In Vietnam a few years ago you could buy a shonky locally-made metal detector for $11.

Locals were earning just under $1 per kg of scrap. A lot of it was going north into China as rebar for the big construction boom in 2007/2008.

Unfortunately not a few of them encountered UXO as they were digging stuff up. Considering there’s about 150kg ish in a MK82 bomb...

In Laos some of them were so good they wouldn’t blink at dealing with an American bomb with simple fuzes - they would only leave us the more complicated bombs!

Out in FE Asia the wrecks of ships sunk during WW2 are being plundered for the steel plating as pre-atom bomb steel is now as rare as rocking horse shit & worth a fortune. I read about an Aussie HMAS war grave being stripped to its bare bones (pardon the pun) over a period of about 8 years.
 

QRK2

LE
I’m sure i saw in a previous thread that the IDF had challanges posed by Arab scrap merchants frequenting their ranges and recovering the fired rounds from diwnrange, sometimes whilst live firing was still going on.
Causing no end of issues for the range officers as there were quads, bikes and vehicles hurtling around the targets and backstops recovering the rounds as new ones were still to be, or in the process of being delivered.

It was the same (less quad bikes etc) in Iraq, one or two nasty injuries to the locals scavenging on the ranges, some to children.
 

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