Found in the wood today

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by ugly, Nov 7, 2010.

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  1. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    A .50 cal round with a black tip, headstamp S L 43. My boys book of headstamps, ok its really DIA Small Arms Identification Guide 1984 says its St Louis Ordnancee Plant and armour peircing.
    We were topping up feeders in the wood and Archer found it mud encrusted in the middle of a Chestnut Coppice ring.
    We are wonderng how it got there?
    Sussex by the sea in case you were wondering, definetly no marks from being extracted.
    Sorry about the close up, cant work the macro too well!

    Attached Files:

  2. At a guess, think 1944: the whole of England below the line River Severn/The Wash was knee deep in fresh-faced Doughboys. I seem to recall a relative who was down that way saying that Ordnance dumps were in hidden in anything with more than 4 trees. Aparently it was due to the close proximity of Soton and Pompey.

    ...............standing by to be corrected, though.
  3. More likely from an aircraft, I'd guess. Maybe jettisoned or crash debris. Were .5" BMG belts fabric? An ammo dump would most likely have the stores in boxes.

    Do you have access to a metal detector?
  4. isn't it a bit hazardous picking up unfired/exploded ordanance?
  5. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Not really 70 year old 50 cal ammo isnt likely to go bang when handled even if out in the weather for all of that time. If I had suspected anything remotely explosive it would have been dealt with, as it is I may deactivate the round. Then again I may not, not important, I can hold that ammo.
  6. Surely anything from WW2 would have been well and truly buried by now?
  7. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    You would think so but this is ancient woodland, managed by coppicing. The chestnut rings increase every year and disturb more ground as they grow and each year the area gets larger around the original tree. Stuff from centuries ago just appears sometimes along with old clay pigeons, fired brass and other muck. We use the wood as a pheasant shoot and also as a training ground/range for stalker training, there is so much fired there its like Sennelager B range sometimes! Thats why its not worth metal detecting!
  8. 0.50 belt was metal link in most cases, the M2 and M3 browning are little changed from the 1940s.
  9. If you have got stuff like this turning up then be careful with the chainsaw. I have had some interesting encounters with bits of "metal" in trees: Thank goodness for good chain brakes!

  10. Several hundred tons of various types of explosive and pyrotechnic ordnance is dug up and disposed of in UK every year. Stuff gets washed ashore on beaches every few days somewhere along the UK coast. In Belgium, about 400 tons of chemical weapons alone are found and disposed of annually. France and Germany have similar problems, in fact an German EOD bloke was killed by a British or US bomb just a few months ago.
  11. Yes, I daresay; I was just surprised that a WW2 round would be lying on the surface like that.
  12. It's a slow process but Hazel Coppice will push up all sorts of strange things; Chestnut is equally good at this. Any of the fast growing hard woods will turn the soil over and as the root structure expands will tend to shove things to the surface. There has been quite a lot of Medieval artifacts found in this manner.
  13. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    It could have been from a shoot that took place during training, the whole south coast was an armed camp and setting up ranges was cheap and quick during a war!
  14. Out of curiosity, is the headstamp dated?