During World War II, an entire third of the world’s population perished in the conflict. Those kinds of massive casualties are so large that they can defy comprehension.
Thankfully, those who did survive shared their stories. The memories of the war, both good and bad, live on in writing, human testimonials, and in collections of artifacts from the battles themselves.
Though the memory of the war lives on, there are still unanswered questions and soldiers who never made it home. Amateur archaeologists in places like Russia often visit battlefields and recover amazing clues to help unlock the past, which is exactly what two men did while on a hiking trip in the Russian countryside.
60 million people died during World War II. It’s a number so big that it is hard for the human brain to really understand. Even now, decades later, people continue to search for closure and understanding among the artifacts. There are still missing soldiers and so many unanswered questions…
Recently, two friends went exploring in the Russian countryside at the scene of a few major battles of the war. They had only just started digging when they began to unearth shockingly intact items like the handgun pictured below.
Before too long, they also stumbled across explosive devices, like this grenade. If you ever find a grenade in the wild, leave it alone. Do not touch it — instead, report your findings immediately to authorities. These are dangerous weapons.
At first, the two friends were not sure who these guns and explosives belonged to, but then they found this German crest. The text on it reads in German “Meine ehre ist treue.” Which translates roughly in English to “My honor is loyalty.”
The grenade was not the only dangerous artifact they found during their amateur investigation. They also found this land mine in almost perfect condition. They had no idea if it was still live, and decided to take photos of it and otherwise leave it alone.
Here is another mine that was still planted with a trigger in place deep underground. In a way — though these men weren’t professionals, and no one should do this without experience — it’s good they found this mine so that no one would accidentally set it off.
The two men couldn’t believe the wealth of World War II memorabilia they were finding in a single location. Many of the guns were still in perfect working condition. The ones that weren’t (like the gun pictured below) were corroded with rust, but were still fascinating relics.
One of the reasons it is not advised for amateurs to go digging at old battle sites is because these locations also double as graves for soldiers who fought and died during the war. These men accidentally unearthed this soldiers remains with his shoes still on.
The two men continued to find more weapons, more explosives, and more equipment designed to enhance the weapons’ performance on the field. They had no way of telling whether or not these grenades were still live, either!
In addition to all of the grenades and live charges they uncovered, they also found boxes and boxes of machine gun and rifle ammunition that was totally untouched. When they unwrapped the boxes, the munitions inside looked brand new.
The two men knew that the items they were finding (including an impressive array of automatic and semiautomatic weapons like those pictured below) would have incredible monetary value. They also knew that their historical value was probably even more important.
Some of the items they found were so scary looking that even this brave duo didn’t risk actually touching them. When they unearthed this pile of unused grenades that seemed to have leaked out a toxic substance, they knew it was best to step away.
The two men couldn’t believe it when they found this scoped machine gun. Weapons like this one are not even made anymore, and while this one would be impossible to get into working order, it was still an amazing and important find.
It wasn’t just guns and grenades that the two men found either, though those were plenteous. They also found old helmets, old meals kits, and even soda from that era that remained unopened.
Some of the items provided a chilling inside look into the terror of World War II. Below, the images of a gas mask and a pouch used to holster a gun along with a few rusted silencers serve as potent reminders of all the dangers that come with going to war.
This gun was one of a few identified by WWII buffs who took a look at the photos when they first surfaced. This one is a scoped Mauser, and while the gun itself is now useless, it would be possible to restore the scope.
There were more reminders of the human beings who wielded all of these weapons. Hidden beneath an old chamber pot they found in the field was a man’s wedding band. While everything around it had tarnished, the ring itself still shone brightly.
This unearthed gun pictured below was another one of the weapon found in the area. This gun is a luger, a popular handgun that was carried by most German officers. The gun remains, but the man who carried it is long gone.
There is a lot of controversy surroundings expeditions like the ones these two men shared. On the one hand, it gives families answers to haunting questions about their loved ones. Others believe that the bodies should be left undisturbed.
While the debate may go on, these findings are undeniably important keys to understanding and remembering the course of human history. Hopefully everyone learns from the mistakes of the past and nothing like this ever happens again.
Share these amazing finds with your friends below!
Source : boredomtherapy.com