Update on the German commando raid on England in 1943 finds?
Apologies for the delay in getting the findings out. On my return from the Island, I had a heavy work schedule and then was slammed by the dreaded Flu bug currently touring this country. Im recovering today, so here is the update.
A good friend of mine, Mr Steven Knight has been helping us with installing the electrics for the new EWM workshop in Hitchen. In the evening last night, he kindly offered to wash and clean one of the rifle casings found at the radar station site. We then all searched the “Tinternet” to try and identify what we had. So, what did we find?
Here is left, the find, middle a German mauser bullet, end a standard .303 rifle bullet. You can see the differeances between the .303 and the other 2?
This time the other way around with the .303 first, then German then our find.
Now, the find and the German bullet side by side after cleaning.
Its the head stamp that provides the final evidence that it is not a german bullet that was found.
It is in fact a 30.06 rifle bullet, dated 1933 made by Frankford Arsenal of Philadelphia in the USA. Was used and fired by a P17 rifle.
Many P17’s bought by the United Kingdom through the British Purchasing Commission for use by the Home Guard. 615,000 arrived in Britain in the summer of 1940, followed by a further 119,000 in 1941. These P17 rifles were prominently marked with a red paint stripe around the stock to avoid confusion with the earlier P14 that used the British .303 round.
From the comparison pictures, you will see that the German Mauser cartridge from the side view is pretty much identical to the casing discovered. Not thinking of the P17 rifle used by the home guards, it was easy to be carried away in that moment into thinking I had found some German rifle casings.
The mystery still continues…..?
So, the casings location is a mystery as well? Why, well, if your doing target practice, very reasonable thing to do, you would not choose the spot I found these casing! Why, because a perfectly good, safe place to do target practice would be beside the cliff top, out to sea. Where these were found, you cant see the sea, only the “escape route” to the beach along a covered approach! Aahhaaa, so the story continues still. Could these be the casings from rifles being fired at “retreating German commandos’s” by gallant Home guards men, seeing off the Nazi hoards????
We all know that “they dont like it up em”? We shall see. More reports from the site will follow I am sure.
However, the adventure so far has wet the appetite for both a game to be made of the raid (some good friends are already preparing a board and figures in 28mm scale for such a game), and possibly i might make some figures suitable for the raid also in 20mm as part of the EWM ranges.
I’m keen to learn more and will be following up on my next visit to the location, which I hope will be soon.
One thing is for sure, a good book, an imagination and a powerful wartime story and landing in the very spot and location by chance can together, ignite a very great adventure! An adventure that will still lead to who knows what?
Thanks for reading and following the FIRST part of my adventure.
Paul [email protected]