Skip to comments.German soldiers preserved in World War I shelter discovered after nearly 100 years
Posted on 02/14/2012 5:49:12 AM PST by Mikey_1962
The men were part of a larger group of 34 who were buried alive when an Allied shell exploded above the tunnel in 1918 causing it to cave in. Thirteen bodies were recovered from the underground shelter but the remaining men had to be left under a mountain of mud as it was too dangerous to retrieve them. Nearly a century later French archaeologists stumbled upon the mass grave on the former Western Front during excavation work for a road building project. Many of the skeletal remains were found in the same positions the men had been in at the time of the collapse, prompting experts to liken the scene to Pompeii. A number of the soldiers were discovered sitting upright on a bench, one was lying in his bed and another was in the foetal position having been thrown down a flight of stairs. Related Articles 'World War One Pompeii' 10 Feb 2012 As well as the bodies, poignant personal effects such as boots, helmets, weapons, wine bottles, spectacles, wallets, pipes, cigarette cases and pocket books were also found. Even the skeleton of a goat was found, assumed to be a source of fresh milk for the soldiers. Archaeologists believe the items were so well preserved because hardly any air, water or lights had penetrated the trench. The 300ft long tunnel was located 18ft beneath the surface near the small town of Carspach in the Alsace region in France. Michael Landolt, the archaeologist leading the dig, said: "It's a bit like Pompeii. "Everything collapsed in seconds and is just the way it was at the time. "Here, as in Pompeii, we found the bodies as they were at the moment of their death. "Some of the men were found in sitting positions on a bench, others lying down.
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
Pretty fascinating. They’ll probably never run out of buried World War I artifacts in France and Belgium given the magnitude of what went on there.
Pickelhaube. Unless I missed a joke.
Unlikely. By 1918, the standard helmet was the stahlhelm - the German “coal scuttle.”
In any case, pickelhauben were usually made out of hard leather. They would have been in pretty bad shape after nearly a century in the dirt. Nothing would have been left except the furniture (brass).
Poor guys. Hope it was quick.
According to the article, even leather items were well preserved here. I don’t know how water was excluded from the site for a century but it apparently was.
All really quiet on the western front.
I guess this would be a German version of the Trench of Bayonets.
Cool. Then, if there was a pickelhaube, it would be preserved. Still, its pretty unlikely.
Water would in some circumstances actually aid in preservation, especially if the burial was in mud. The fine mud seals out oxygen. Water itself can be deoxygenated, and then also acts like a sealant, keeping atmospheric oxygen away from the artifacts.
World War I was a total disaster, and never should have been allowed to happen. Britain especially had no excuse for getting involved. The result was that hundreds of thousands of young men were killed, and a generation depleted. The loss of morale effected every participating country. Good governments were destroyed, so that in their place socialist dictatorships could arise. More wars then followed. All this was unnecessary.
The leaders of those days were total fools to let this happen. And we see little sign that modern leaders are any smarter.
Yep....horrifying to even contemplate the hell these young men were going through when they met their demise:
The true meaning of W. Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is WAR: This is what WAR is.
No one even knew what the WAR was about. The two young people in the drama, caught in the tide of history, didn't care a whit what it was about. And the outcome--in Shakespeare's beautiful drama and in real life--is always tragic.
My sister visited France in the '70s and went out to Verdun. The farmers there were still plowing up duds and every year or so a couple got killed when they hit a live one.
Its a joke for a buddy who ALWAYS screws up the German language to a point that nobody knows what he is trying to say.
Ironically he is working in Germany now, and lurks in FR on a regular basis.
God help the engineers at TRW in Germany.
What is the difference between these guys and Oetzi the Iceman? Is it because we don’t know their names that we give them a proper Christian burial and we stick Oetzi in a padlocked freezer?