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Well-Known Member
Dear friends,

Yesterday a man in Italy was seriously wounded by a ww1 grenade found in the Piave river and containing phosgene !!!
I would like to remind everyone to be careful because the objects that can be handled still dangerous!!​
Rusted lumps of death,leave well alone!

Sadly this shows the stupidity of some folk.
I would say I have a sound understaning of the workings of basic fuses and grenades,but I would NEVER attempt to mess with somthing that looks suspect.

leave it to the proffessionals.

Its not worth taking the risk.
Some of the old exlosive fillers,deterioate and produce nitro-type crystals that are very shock sensitive.
Explosives can also chemically react with the rusted casing,and self detonate.
They can also be highly toxic. And thats beside the ones containing chemical agents...

Please please,if any one is visiting France/Belgium,or any other battlefield just buy a 'sovenier' from a museum like the ww1 museum in Le Boiselle,close to the 'grand mine' or 'lochnager crater' as its reffered to.
You'll get a good piece,and the curator will be able to tell you all about it.

People are STILL being killed digging,farming ,or mucking around with this stuff.
Ive seen grenades with the pin and lever intact,just imagine that these parts are always under load from the main spring,now what if the pin and lever are corroded?(as they often are) that means there is little holding it together except rust and mud,that somone will scrape off!

My own opinion is that these areas are mass graves anyway,and I dont believe folk should digg for soveneirs,unless they are professional archeologists or UXB clearing.
I do believe you can pick odd bits up,like wire,spent bullets quite safely.

But I cant stress enough how deadly most of thse things are.
They were designed to kill,why do folk think they still wont,just because there old??
I work for an organization that tested chemical (war chemical) munitions from 1941 until 1968. Absolutely every piece of ordnance that we find throughout the year that pops out of the ground, is treated as a suspect chemical round until we know better. We don't go on a call without a decontamination crew and a medic with a full line of kit that can counteract any agent that we find.
In the UK our teams are fully equiped with Chemical equipment just in case an item turns up, It can be delt with immidiatly.