WWI German tunnel found.

An interesting story in that the French and the German governments seem to want to forget the tunnel and the bodies entombed within. Imagine if this was a British tunnel?

Official reluctance to proceed with an investigation is clear. Diane Tempel-Barnett, spokeswoman for the German War Graves Commission (VDK), told German radio "to be honest we are not very excited about the discovery. In fact we find it all most unfortunate".
It is hard to imagine the Commonwealth War Graves Commission taking a similar line if the bodies of 270 UK troops were found. But then World War One is often described in Germany as its "forgotten war".


Hopefully the bodies will be recovered and given a proper burial. Added to that the archeological and personal finds would add to our knowlege of the German army of WWI.

"Remember the tunnel was where these soldiers lived from day to day - so there will be all their normal possessions. Every soldier will have a story. It will be the biggest ever reserve of human material from the First World War."

 
Anyone who has done the battlefield tour circuit in France and Belgium will already be aware of the difference in standards between the British and Commonwealth war cemeteries and those of the German side.
 

arfah

ADC
The fallen deserve a decent burial.

Might be worth getting the heads of the French/German church involved for a bit of political/moral arm twisting...
 

theoriginalphantom

MIA
Book Reviewer
I was just reading the article on this and as @arfah says they fallen deserve a decent burial.
The longer everyone takes to something about it the greater the chance of the tunnel being broken into and the remains damaged/mixed up/removed by the bounty hunters
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
I was just reading the article on this and as @arfah says they fallen deserve a decent burial.
The longer everyone takes to something about it the greater the chance of the tunnel being broken into and the remains damaged/mixed up/removed by the bounty hunters

Sadly, I suspect that's what officialdom is hoping will happen.
 
Well done to Monsieur Malinowski, and shame on the German and French governments.
 

Chef

LE
As has been said in the article and @theoriginalphantom observes the tunnel will be looted fast and ruthlessly. If only to identify and decently inter the remains it should be done.

Given the possible casts, minimal I'd suggest, the French and German governments owe it to the dead and those serving their countries today. I'd hate to have been described in the manner of the German war graves rep:

'Official reluctance to proceed with an investigation is clear. Diane Tempel-Barnett, spokeswoman for the German War Graves Commission (VDK), told German radio "to be honest we are not very excited about the discovery. In fact we find it all most unfortunate".'

Maybe she isn't the right person for the job.
 
Well done to Monsieur Malinowski, and shame on the German and French governments.
Given the possible casts, minimal I'd suggest, the French and German governments owe it to the dead and those serving their countries today. I'd hate to have been described in the manner of the German war graves rep:

Why are the Frogs getting the blame? Its not their soldiers, let the boxheads come up with a suggestion and let them pay for it.

And Malinowski sounds like great bloke when he's not using mechanical diggers to dig up battlefields,

Pierre Malinowski, at 34 years old a maverick ex-soldier who once worked for Jean-Marie Le Pen
 
As has been said in the article and @theoriginalphantom observes the tunnel will be looted fast and ruthlessly. If only to identify and decently inter the remains it should be done.

Given the possible casts, minimal I'd suggest, the French and German governments owe it to the dead and those serving their countries today. I'd hate to have been described in the manner of the German war graves rep:

'Official reluctance to proceed with an investigation is clear. Diane Tempel-Barnett, spokeswoman for the German War Graves Commission (VDK), told German radio "to be honest we are not very excited about the discovery. In fact we find it all most unfortunate".'

Maybe she isn't the right person for the job.

I suspect that now it has reached the international media something will be done. For the German Government to leave the remains of its own dead (most of whom are known and who have living relatives) to be dug up by treasure hunters will not play well with the German media, notably at the Bild end of the spectrum.

There is an official German organisation dedicated to this task and no doubt they will be by now aware of the site. One aspect that will need careful attention however is the risk. There is little doubt that retrieval of bodies and clearance of the site will be a very expensive, dangerous and difficult job. One possible way to recoup the costs (if only partly) would be to syndicate the recovery operation with a TV network.
 
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Chef

LE
Why are the Frogs getting the blame? Its not their soldiers, let the boxheads come up with a suggestion and let them pay for it.

And Malinowski sounds like great bloke when he's not using mechanical diggers to dig up battlefields,

Pierre Malinowski, at 34 years old a maverick ex-soldier who once worked for Jean-Marie Le Pen
Since the dead are on French soil they're involved whether they like it or not. Granted they don't seem to have said anything yet but their cooperation will be necessary.

I've not blamed anyone, just pointed out they owe their soldiers something.
 
Since the dead are on French soil they're involved whether they like it or not. Granted they don't seem to have said anything yet but their cooperation will be necessary.

I've not blamed anyone, just pointed out they owe their soldiers something.

The French don't owe the Germans jack shit. Its for the Germans to come up with an idea (and money)
 

Chef

LE
The French don't owe the Germans jack shit. Its for the Germans to come up with an idea (and money)
I'm fairly certain that the Germans would need to ask permission to start an excavation/archaeological dig on foreign soil, in this case French. It might be a legal requirement and is certainly a diplomatic courtesy.

The last couple of times the Germans dug holes on French soil without asking permission there was a hell of a row over it.
 
I suspect that now it has reached the international media something will be done. For the German Government to leave the remains of its own dead (most of whom are known and who have living relatives) to be dug up by treasure hunters will not play well with the German media, notably at the Bild end of the spectrum.

There is an official German organisation dedicated to this task and no doubt they will be by now aware of the site. One aspect that will need careful attention however is the risk. There is little doubt that retrieval of bodies and clearance of the site will be a very expensive, dangerous and difficult job. One possible way to recoup the costs (if only partly) would be to syndicate the recovery operation with a TV network.
That would be the VdK which indeed is "not very excited about the discovery. In fact we find it all most unfortunate."
I just cancelled my membership.
 
I'm fairly certain that the Germans would need to ask permission to start an excavation/archaeological dig on foreign soil, in this case French. It might be a legal requirement and is certainly a diplomatic courtesy.

The last couple of times the Germans dug holes on French soil without asking permission there was a hell of a row over it.

Its down to the Germans to ask then? The frogs dont owe them anything.
 
The French don't owe the Germans jack shit. Its for the Germans to come up with an idea (and money)
The VdK pays employees in France and other countries to search and if possible exhume and bury or repatriate dead soldiers. So they have ideas and even money but not necessarily the will to do something.
 
The VdK pays employees in France and other countries to search and if possible exhume and bury or repatriate dead soldiers. So they have ideas and even money but not necessarily the will to do something.

The reality is that few people really care.
The chances are the vast majority if not all of the men's relatives who were alive when they died are now dead themselves.
For the Germans neither war is something they want to remember in a positive way.
 
The VdK pays employees in France and other countries to search and if possible exhume and bury or repatriate dead soldiers. So they have ideas and even money but not necessarily the will to do something.
I would have thought that given the current climate, a joint Franco - German venture in the spirit of EU co operation and reconciliation, would benefit both countries.
 

Chef

LE
The reality is that few people really care.
The chances are the vast majority if not all of the men's relatives who were alive when they died are now dead themselves.
For the Germans neither war is something they want to remember in a positive way.
All those who donate or are members do care. At least the VdK is always great at highlighting its efforts when it comes to collecting money.
It is true that the direct relatives will no longer be alive, but there are also the descendants of these people.

Regardless of this, all the fallen deserve to be buried properly, regardless of which nation they belonged to.
 

DSJ

LE
"Inside, the men from the 10th and 11th companies of the 111th Reserve Regiment were trapped. Over the next six days, as oxygen ran out, they either suffocated or took their own lives. Some asked comrades to kill them."

Those poor sods. Either dig them up and inter them with elsewhere with the love and respect that they are due, or conduct the dig, remove the articles of interest, and re-inter them there and have it registered as a war grave.
 

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