Battlefield Salvage.

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by von Poop, Apr 24, 2007.

  1. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Sadly Drew, they went on to blot their copybooks so far as abandoning material is concerned !

    Who's going to find that house on Google then ?
  2. chrisharley9

    chrisharley9 Senior Member

    Plenty on salvage on the Great War Forum
  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Sadly Drew, they went on to blot their copybooks so far as abandoning material is concerned !

    Who's going to find that house on Google then ?

    Just outside Arleux heading to the railhead.

  4. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I want to have a look in those sheds !
  5. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    I wonder if any of out veterans know what arrangements were made for salvage of weapons from the battlefield. I know many captured German and Italian small-arms and ammunition were dropped to resistance organisations, I'm aware of the SOE arrangements - but what went on with the 'real' army to gather and store this equipment??
  6. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    in many cases after a battle - after a couple of days rest -many units were sent back to clear up in order to keep them and their minds occupied - but in the main it was the Pioneers and RASC who did most of the clearing -if they were not too busy..
  7. ww2ni

    ww2ni Senior Member

    I believe that it was through becoming a Scrap Merchant and gathering all the metal that was lying about that the Dutch gentleman who started the Overloon Museum made his fortune and as such was able to create the museum.
  8. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    I've merged your query into an existing thread.
  9. Dog green 1

    Dog green 1 Member

    Interesting topic. Another part of WWII history I think many people would never consider. The pics on the first page are very interesting. Particularly like the shot of the German POW's sorting out the lead from small arms ammo.

    Always knew tanks, heavy equipment, firearms, etc were salvaged but never gave a second thought to the more mundane military eqipment.
  10. Noel Burgess

    Noel Burgess Senior Member

    I have read that jerry cans became an important item of salvage in NW Europe - because most fuel was supplied in them and because emptys were usually discarded - a special drive had to be made to recover them. I believe this included cash rewards to civilians.

  11. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    From WO167/192

  12. RosyRedd

    RosyRedd Senior Member

    I've just come across this in the 'History of the RAOC'

    Ammunition Empties and Salvage.

    The recovery of material from expended ammunition increased in importance as the war continued. Metal packages were a valuable source of raw material for industry and in the Middle East an organization was developed for receiving these 'empties', sorting them and despatching them to South Africa...Equally important were the valuable metals obtained from returned ammunition which was no longer required...The arrangements made by the RAOC for the...recovery of brass and other metals, reached a high level of efficiency in the Middle East and contributed to the war effort and to the needs of industry in the period of scarcity which immediately followed the war.

  13. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    From 'Welsh Guards at War' by Ellis page 256 & 257.

    Salvage was important in those days. Lieutenant-Colonel Gurney was an implacable hater of waste and kept the battalion busy cleaning up the mountains whenever there was salvage to be collected. "Salvage proceeds apace and every evening sees the causeway crowded with enthusiastic Guardsmen picking up petrol cases , mortar boxes, 'drawers cellular' and other items of kit, with that charming zeal for hard work which has long been their most endearing characteristic. They sing softly to themselves at their work and from time to time there falls sweetly on the cool night air the enchanted words "____! ____! ____! "
  14. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Only just seen this thread on 197th Infantry Brigade (Battlefield Clearance).

    quote from Idler
    Such large quantities of materials were abandoned in the FALAISE area that a HQ based on HQ 197 Infantry Brigade was established with Service components including No 17 Field Salvage Unit to cover that area. The first reception area was established at BRETTEVILLE SUR L'AIZE, but it later moved to TRUN where it remained until December. This organisation proved most satisfactory and resulted in the recovery of large quantities of stores and equipment, while the provision of PW labour after the initial stages greatly eased the manpower problem
  15. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    Something which I have only ever given a passing thought to - the huge mountain of wrecked and surplus materials which littered postwar Europe .
    A very good subject , thank you gents.
  16. Lofty1

    Lofty1 Senior Member

    A few pictures here giving a better idea of volume, I can remember as a kid going to Pride and Clarkes in Brixton and seeing para bikes piled high for £1- ten shillings each , WW2 motorbikes for £25, they have all gone now, so has Pride and Clarke, and so has Brixton compared to how it used to be in Violet Szabo"s time, (she lived and worked there) regards lofty

    Attached Files:

  17. Rneil

    Rneil Member

    A short article on the New Zealand Divisional Salvage Unit that served in Egypt, Libya and Syria in 1941-42
    Aixman, PackRat and von Poop like this.
  18. PackRat

    PackRat Well-Known Member

    A personal recollection by Doug Dawes of 364 Battery 139 (Army) Field Regiment, in action near Petegem during the Battle for the Escaut, 21 May 1940, in support of 6 Queens & 2 Buffs:

    We returned to the gun position. They were just running out of shells. The order came to pack up and get out. The Germans were over the river in strength and the position was not supported on the left or right. We packed up, guns were limbered up and ready to go.

    Then there was a remarkable order - originated I bet from someone in an office far away. No shell cases - brass of course - were to be left behind, the Germans were short of non-ferrous metal. The place was littered in shell cases. Panic; threw them into the Scammels which towed the guns and carried the gun crews and into any other vehicle including my 15cwt. We checked that no one was left behind and there was much amusement when some appeared from the slit trench which we had fitted up with a plank as a bog. We were off!

    My front seat in the 15cwt had been appropriated by a senior N.C.O. and I flung myself in the back onto the jumble of shell cases. It was absolute agony. We had to stop after a mile or two and I had a chance to clear a space behind the cab and settle more comfortably. I don’t remember what happened to the shell cases. Well, like many others, I was 19 and growing up fast.
    Tolbooth and canuck like this.
  19. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    After the fighting in the Keren in 1941 , 4th Indian Division was involved in clearing up the battlefield. 4th Bn 11th Sikh Regiment was given charge of a salvage dump and for three weeks had daily working parties collecting stuff and bringing it to the dump where 100 Italian prisoners were employed sorting and listing it.
  20. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    Last edited: Nov 14, 2019
    ecalpald likes this.

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