We started the Romanian Military Archeology adventure, mainly having in mind the interest for Romanian history and its related events. So, we began our quest with this mental setup, which proved generous in Romanian artefacts and relics coming from both WW1 and WW2.
In the 2015 – 2016 time frame, we have managed to gather unique and rare items, most of them being dug by us in Romania, few of them coming from private collections or from fellow diggers who operate in areas where the Romanian army had activity, like the Don / Stalingrad areas.
We have found items on the border between equipment and trench art, from common to strange and further to unique. We have a WW2 M39 Romanian helmet with Royal cipher, which has an engraved cross in the middle of the cipher, probably drawn by the soldier as lucky charm. An identification tag from the ‘’Calarasi’’ Regiment with a condom glued on its back, probably the soldier kept them together in his wallet or pocket…and more helmets, including WW1 ’’Adrian’’ type, some of them in relic condition, others recovered in very good shape, of different provenance.
Also related to the helmets&headwear section, we managed to find a WW1 Romanian Royal badge for military hats. The winter hat was actually part of the Md.1895, which was out of use by WW1, but many have been reissued. The writings on it says ‘’Nimic far Dumnedeu’’ – Nihil Sine Deo (Nothing without God). After a few weeks from the badge discover, we found its ‘’brother’’, the cockade with the regiment number. Both belong to the winter wool hat introduced with the model 1895 uniform.
Also a pristine M39 helmet with original interior and period marks, another one coming from Stalingrad and having some sort of protection goggles (very probably hand made out of a Russian gas mask).
From time to time, we have stumbled onto many Romanian identification tags, coming from all sort of situations and sources. Among them, we found some rare ones, like a set of two WW1 pieces assigned to second lieutenant Caton Ion, from the 14 Reg. Artillery. Interesting to observe how the smaller cross is a silver one, which would confirm the officers’ habit to manufacture their id-tags differently from the rest of the troops. Another WW1 silver one, this time round, is assigned to Haim Hers Schargel, from the Reg.41 Craiova; an enlisted Romanian soldier, with Jewish origin. One WW2 rounded aluminum id-tag, bullet pierced exactly in the area where it was tied to the soldier’s neck and another one, this time from WW1, comes from a soldier who fought in the Reg.45 Infanterie, which was an infantry regiment heavily deployed in the Battle for Brasov; the 45 Infantry Regiment being also quoted in a memorial monument in Brasov.
Also in the personal items series, we have found medals, belt-buckles, a part of a leather wallet together with some coins (maybe representing part of the soldier’s pay), water canteens with names and drawings, a phonetic table for the campaign phone, bayonets and many more, other items.
Some items were donated to local history museums, none of them are for sale.