I have quite a few enquiries and questions sent to me and so I've decided to place those most frequently asked on this page.
Can Anyone search the battlefields?
In France, Belgium and Germany searching the battlefields with a metal detector is not encouraged. This is mainly to do with public safety. There is no law against walking a battlefield with a map, unit history, camera. Of course you should be aware of any private property you might trespass on. Very often local people can be helpful if asked about the history of their town or village, and might even unearth a keepsake of their own to show the traveller.
What if I discover live Ordnance?
Tons of war detritus still lies beneath the battlefields, even in areas fought over during WW2. Some of this "junk" is still potentially deadly, even to those familiar with handling it. You will see items of ordnance in the virtual museum. However we do not encourage visitors to handle anything that could potentially wound or kill. Sometimes I wander if US soldiers didn't deliberately bury thousands of fragmentation grenades, just to avoid carrying them! However, joking apart these can be bought, safely inert from "reputable" museums and collectors shops for as little as £5.
Are Any of the Exhibits for Sale?
From time to time some exhibits are placed on the site for sale as well as display. Visitors should check the exhibits list for items so described.
The most personal of exhibits are the identity disks shown on this site. Such items stir up different emotions in different people. Some people will rage that a battlefield grave has been robbed. They are of course acting with the best intentions but too often with no experience. As we have seen, the discovery of an identity disk does not always imply that a fallen soldier lies nearby. However we advise to anyone finding such items that they immediately inform either; the local authorities, if the disk is German then the Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge, if the disk is American then the Dept of Defense can help. If there are items that are British or Commonwealth related then you should contact the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
Why no pictures of bones?
Contrary to what some other sites may display it has never been my personal belief that any purpose is served by displaying the mortal remains of the fallen, no matter what their nationality.
Why Make up Stories for exhibits?
Regular visitors may agree that an all too often line on the site is "if only such things could talk". It is true, and stated on the homepage, that we do "speculate" on an items history. My understanding of speculate is that it is, by definition an imprecise method. Again, where possible units known to be in an area where an item was found are used. I think that such speculation adds to the wonder of this artifacts from the past. The circumstances of some items loss may be speculative, the MIA's on the site of course are real enough. None of the finds are "staged" either!
Do WW2 Battlefield Relics want monetary donations?
I enjoy being able to share my interest with others and unlike some sites do not ask for your donations. Profiting from this site has never been my intention.
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