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Deus discovers WWII enigma

I would like to ask you, what would you consider the difference between garbage and something extraordinary?
When out metal detecting with your XP Deus, how many finds have you thrown finds away, having not considered them to be something interesting, all sorts of apparently random and common fragments of ”stuff coming from other stuff”, could hide some incredible secrets.
Over the last 2 months, we have been focusing on a place that has given us many interesting finds. From that area, we previously managed to recover some important WW2 relics, including an incredible hoard of 180 German iron crosses.


Since our team gained a second HF coil ( the 9” round one) we regularly deploy them in the field, on the less explored spots of this productive area, such as places close to the road, and pretty much covered with modern garbage, but on this perticular day, under that mixture of bottle caps, foil and scrap, something more interesting was hiding.

The fast recovery speed of the Deus plus the extraordinary separation of the HF coils, helped us to locate a perimeter around a small hotspot. Some German uniform buttons popped up, and a very nice lighter, having a hand-made engraving saying ”Jassi 1944”, standing for the Romanian city of Iasi, where during 1944 very heavy clashes took place between the German / Romanian and the Soviet armies. Some other items were also located mostly German tubes of medical creams, and even tubed cheese.


We recovered few more German coins, scattered on what looked like a 10m line, facing the road; eventually, we came to believe that a small group of soldiers were possibly hidden exactly near the main road border. We concentrated our Deus on that spot, and recovered a German badge first class, made out of a brass sheet.


Encouraged by the results, we decided to cross the street and enter the other side of the road and forest, hoping that maybe even some other soldiers were stationed on the border, but the spot was empty.

We continued to explore the area, and not far away we spotted a big crater with a lot of vegetation surrounding it, more vegetation than normal. Very often this is the sign of a structure or habitation.

Upon further investigation we found the thick vegetation was covering the remains of a German WW2 bunker, the two entrances were visible but packed with mud and garbage, the rest of it collapsed in what could have been a detonation intended to destroy the bunker before a German retreat.

We made a path around the vegetation and the mosquito’s, in order to understand if something happened there. One of the very first finds was the one which changed everything. Our colleague Adrian, found an aluminium disc, a piece ”from something”, apparently garbage, but to be honest….. I knew exactly what it was, and I was frozen to the spot. What at first sight could have been a metal detecting target to throw in the junk pile, what the XP Deus had found was in fact a part of a a German ENIGMA machine, the iconic cipher device featured in so many movies and books. Enigma_machine

No need to say how rare this item is, and how important and incredible it was to find something like that. Most probably, the Germans destroyed the bunker with a powerful explosion, and the Enigma machine was included in the blast program.

We had just enough gsm signal, in order to google some references and confirm without doubt what we had there. After 3 more hours, we managed to recover a second rotor part, some fragments of the numerical strip/band, the shaft dedicated to the rotors and to some other components, a few Bakelite connectors, a frame coming from its original box and other small fragments.

The HF coils helped a lot, considering the soil was scattered with thousands of mixed metal scrap parts, all in considerably mineralised – Heavy soil.

What a discovery, we will now wait for the fall/winter to come, and the vegetation to rot down. We are sure that somewhere in that perimeter, more surprises will be waiting for us.

Once more a big THANKS to XP, your products are always an incredible support on the field!

The Romanian Military Archaeology Team, Romania

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