Logo Hi Res

WW2 Prospections

In this section, you will find a selection of our discoveries related to WW2 Romanian battlefields. These relics were recovered between 2015 and 2021 from places such as the Moldavian Front/Jassy-Kishinev Offensive, The Battle for Oarba de Mures, Ploiesti or The Battle of Targu Frumos. In the Articles section, you will find more detailed materials for several of the artefacts presented in this main section.


About one year we deeply scanned that area, in order to find out if something more was located there. We were convinced that more materials should be present.

Jassy Kishinev Offensive

Offensives lead by Soviet troops, were considered a coordinated invasion of Romania, conducted by the Red Army’s 2nd and 3rd Ukrainian Fronts.

Jassy KISHINEV Tank Parts

A small collection of heavy armored tank parts. All of them were recovered from the Iasi area, coming from the clashes related to the 1944 events.


In 2015 we explored the Romanian Mures County, where the village of Oarba de Mures is located. There, in the fall of 1944, the Romanian troop joined the Soviets

PLOIESTI – 2015/2018

We prospected that perimiter between 2015 and 2018. Among the presented artefacts, we would highlight few notable ones, as a German Spanish cross.


Offensives lead by Soviet troops, were considered a coordinated invasion of Romania, conducted by the Red Army’s 2nd and 3rd Ukrainian Fronts.


A small collection of heavy armored tank parts. All of them were recovered from the Iasi area, coming from the clashes related to the 1944 events.


These artefacts come from the same perimeter in which we found the EK2 German crosses hoard and the erkennungsmarke/identification tags. As previously stated, for about one year we deeply scanned that area, in order to find out if something more was located there. We were convinced that more materials should be present in that area; considering the previous results and our historical researches we were able to identify the size of the former German base, even its perimeter which was still visible through the remains of the former barraks which were placed at the headquarter borders.

In the proximity of 2 bunker’s remains, we managed to recover some very rare and important relics. We are talking about parts coming from an Enigma machine, the iconic German cipher device.

We found parts coming from the rotors and the electrical system, by judging their quantity we ended up believing that the artefact were related to two different Enigma’s. As for the other equipment we’ve found, even the Enigma’s were left behind in the hurry retreat, being destroyed most probably when the former bunkers were detonated.


We visited several times the city of Iasi and its surroundings. There, between June and August 1944, took place the First and the Second Jassy–Kishinev offensives. These offensives lead by Soviet troops, were considered a coordinated invasion of Romania, conducted by the Red Army;s 2nd and 3rd Ukrainian Fronts.

The Soviet plan was to break German and Romanian strategic defenses in northern Romania and capture the cities of Iasi and Chisinau, with the intention to advance deeply into Romanian territory, maybe even reaching Ploiesti or Bucharest.

Such was the context for multiple heavy clashes and known battles for the Iasi area.

First offensive

Second Offensive

The artefacts were recovered from areas of both heavy fightings and retreat routes.
The relics comes from all the involved armies; we’ve found German M35 helmets, Romanian M39 helmets, German decorations and Soviet decorations, ammunition of all sorts.

The battledamaged equipment was left behind in the trenches or near them. These pictures are related to several prospections we did in the immediate vecinity of Iasi, in some areas that functioned as Axis strongholds against the Soviet invasion.The awards and decorations were lost most of the times in battle. During some hurried retreat…very often were thrown away. A soldier /prisoner having several combat awards in display on the jacket most of the times was shot on the spot. We had the luck of finding several awards in different locations, concluding that in each location the action was on some high notes back then. Many relics, tons of signals in soils infested with shrapnels and iron scrap of all sort.


Here you will find a small collection of heavy armored tank parts. All of them were recovered from the Iasi area, coming from the clashes related to the 1944 events.

The parts comes from Soviet tanks as T-34 or Shermans M4A2, American tank is use by the Soviet army within the Lend-Lease program, a program in which the US supplied the Soviet Union with good, starting from oil or food to reach warships, warplanes or other weaponry.


Between 10 and 15 august 2015 we explored the Romanian Mures County, where the village of Oarba de Mures is located. There, in the fall of 1944, the Romanian troop joined the Soviets, in  the common purpose to set the territories free from nazi troops, which only 2 weeks before were the Romanian’s allies in the fight against the Soviets.

In this scenario, the soviet general Trofimenco, which had the 4th Romanian Army under his command, gave to the Romanian troops the mission to cross the Mures river, and proceed in a frontal assault of the German positions, well posted on the hills facing the river.

The decision by the Russian general command to send in a suicidal attack the Romanian infantry was perceived also as an act of revenge by the soviet, considering that only days before their soldiers were killed by the Romanians. The assault was intended to be followed by the Russian troops on the flanks, but in fact the Russian units present on the field were more likely intended as guards of the Romanians, being ready to execute them in case of hesitation in the engaging of the frontal assault. In this context, the Romanian Colonel Vatasescu addressed his men, telling them the truth about the situation:

“We have to do this to stay alive and protect our country. If we don’t attack the Germans, the Soviets will shoot us as prisoners and burn our houses and kill our children. And the Russian units you see here are not supposed to support us, but to shoot us if we retreat, so don’t count on any help from them. If any of you survive this war, remember that we did it for our nation”. quote from

The 9th and 11th Romanian infantry Divisions from the 6th Army Corp were deployed and had to attack the hilltops occupied by the 8th SS Cavalry Division ”Florian Geyer”. The battle took place in 22-25 September 1944, reporting heavy casualties for the Romanian troops: 11.000 deaths on a frontline of 800m width.

During the several assaults, many Romanian soldiers used to choose a close combat fight, entering the German trenches with bayonets. One detail of these attacks, reported both by Romanian and German veterans, states that many Romanian soldiers entered the trenches barehanded, with shovels or sticks, taken from the vines cultures facing the hills. Many of the soldiers were very young peasants children, not knowing how to handle weapons, preferring to resort to simpler methods, like the wooden sticks.

During our stay, we searched three hilltops, where clear signs of entrenchments were visible. Verifying also several information about the elevation points of the attacks, we were able to identify the Romanian line of assault. At the beginning we recovered plenty of empty shells, shrapnel and mortar tails, but nothing of real interest. We had to face also multiple holes of other diggers, who know the zone pretty well…


Somehow discouraged, we started to dig up some signals, trying not to loose faith and patience, even if we were pretty convinced that all the good items were already gone. After several Mauser empty shells, we found a Romanian belt buckle, plain iron type, which was located in a trench’s wall, maybe that was also the reason why it wasn’t already dug up. At some point I got a very high and strong signal, coming from an area which was already ”prepared” to be dug: leaves and grass removed, the first layer of soil removed. We believed that it would be a very big piece of shrapnel on a 3­5cm depth, but still, why the spot wasn’t dug up? Probably also the previous digger felt the same, that it would be just another useless chunck of iron…


We decided to dig the signal, just to skip the paranoid feeling that at 1% could be something else. I was prepared to see the useless iron after the first shovel, but it didn’t show up; the signal was high and strong even after I reached 20cm depth, so at that point we became sure that it must be some bigger piece of iron. At around 35cm we started to see some round borders, deep stuck in the soil; what at the beginning seemed some larger pot, revealed as a Romanian M34 Dutch helmet. Underneath it, there were another two helmets of the same model, together with a German MG34 drum magazine and a MP40 magazine.

Being struck by the luck of the discovery, we started to analyze the items, discovering that two of them were reporting battle damage signs. The MG34 magazine reported a small entering hole, probably a shrapnel, and a larger exit one, suggesting a strong blow from the inside. We guessed that probably the shrapnel detonated the magazine’s ammunition, causing the explosion.


One of the helmets had signs of perforations both on the neck and top area, caused by bullets or shrapnel. Considering the items mix, we tend to believe that the hole was somehow a dump one, for the useless battlefield remains. After further searching on the spot, we weren’t able to find anything else, so we decided to skip to the immediate front of the trenches, where we were able to recover a Romanian ZB bayonet. After reconditioning the MG34 drum magazine, we discovered traces of white paint, which stands for a winter camouflage application. Following the history of the Florian Geyer SS Division, we were able to find out that they were previously deployed on the Russian front, where probably they used the winter camo.



PLOIESTI 2015 – 2018

Here you will find some more relics related to the Ploiesti area. We prospected that perimiter between 2015 and 2018. Among the presented artefacts, we would highlight few notable ones, as a German Spanish cross (Spanien Kreuz) awarded to the soldiers who partecipated in the Spanish Civil War fighting for the nationalist general Francisco Franco, or some rare J Feder 504 timed fuse.


Many times to continue the prospections in a familiar area could mean more good results. As we discovered the German EK2’s crosses hoard, we decided to concentrate even more on that perimeter, being sure that more material should be located somewhere there. Not far from the location of the EK2’s crosses, we had the luck to struck another great discovery, this time related to a generous number of German id-tags or ‘’erkennungsmarke’’.

It started with just one id-tag, which eventually lead us to the core of the discovery, composed by 27 tags and even few decorations, including a IAB/Infantry Assault Badge in zinc, a KvK war merit cross 1st class in silver finish and a totally unexpected Kriegsmarine minesweeper badge.

As stated in the EK2’s hoard article, the reason for having such a mixed selection of artefacts is directly related to the context in which they were recovered. Most of the units related to the id-tags weren’t active or even deplyed in that area, those are id-tags coming from regiments active in Rusia, Balkans or even Greece, nothing to do with Romania. Those soldiers were in transit into the headquarter perimeter and there regrouped in mew formations, so the old identification tags were left behind becoming unuseful. The area of the discovery, the above quoted German headquarter, was an important logistic center in which troops coming from all fronts were stationed.


It’s somehow hard to narrate this episode, because it’s related to such an incredible moment for us, the emotions we felt during the events are something that can’t be described, just lived. We are an NGO specialized in the recovery of military artefacts related to both WW1 and WW2, all within Romanian territory. We work very closely with our local museums and community, often managing to to put under new light forgotten or now unkown battlefields and situations related to the Romanian military History.

We don’t dig randomly, we study every detail of our targeted areas, considering and centralizing data, knowing that the most important phase is to gather information. Part of our research is directly related to history books or archives, even school manuals or stories we’ve heard directly from war veterans.

We’ve managed to put together enough information related to the location of a former WW2 German headquarter. The context is the Ploiesti area, where the oil refineries were guarded by a complex net of anti aircrafts artillery, the so called FLAKS.

Ploiesti was the target for the Tidal Wave Operation, which was an air attack action by the United States Air Forces which on August 1, 1943, had 177 B-24 bombers took off from an Allied base in Libya, bound for the oil-producing city Ploiești, Romania, nicknamed “Hitler’s gas station.
More about the Tidal Wave Operation.

During September 2017 we decided to give it a try. On our first visit we managed to achieve some good results: all sorts of mixed materials, apparently garbage but in fact very important items, because capable to confirm that German troops were stationed in the area. The perimeter to prospect was a not very big forest, with almost flat ground and a surrounding corn field. In the centre of the forest we discovered several trenches and shelters dug into the ground. We came back the next day,focusing our prospections in a spot totally littered with signals, but most important…with many bricks on the surface, sign that former barracks could have been there.

We were using a custom ”Fast” program on our Deus’s, with medium discrimination, 5 tones, 11Khz and most important 2,5 reactivity, a perfectly balanced program for that kind of context. We started to catch many signals, most of them very strong and high pitched: pieces of aluminium, buttons, coins, all sorts of parts coming from bigger mechanisms, probably some sor of light armored vehicles. We had to dig every signal, because in a Militaria context even a metal scrap may prove to be something interesting.

Most of the signals were almost on the surface or at very shallow depth, so everything depended on the metal detector recovery speed between targets and discrimination. We found clear signs of intense activity in that area, but nothing suggesting fighting: no empty shells, shrapnels or battle-damaged material. I received a very strong 95 signal, I was convinced that another aluminium ”piece of useless something” was under my coil, but it wasn’t so. On the surface, just under the leaves, a German Flak badge (this badge was awarded to servicemen of the Flak artillery who distinguished themselves in action against enemy aerial or ground attacks), complete and in incredible condition. We were totally hyped by the discovery but in the same time aware that there could be more, and we were right.

Behind a big rock, we managed to recover a German Gorget in use by the military police, then a few meters from it, several Second Class German Iron Crosses (EK2, awarded for a single act of outstanding combat bravery above and beyond the call of duty) started to pop out of the ground. There was a lot of confusion in our walkie-talkies, everyone was screaming in the same time ”My God, we have found several iron crosses”.

We’ve found the exact location of a German commandment, where many materials were dropped and left behind, when they had to retreat in a hurry from their positions in August 1944. From the same perimeter, we also recovered 93 German KvK War Merit crosses, most probably stacked in the same way as the EK2’s.

All the decorations were ”unused”, not yet awarded, probably stacked for future use. We were glad to donate part of the discovery to the local history museum, offering them all the information we gathered on and from the field.

At the end of the day, we counted 180 German EK2 Iron Crosses, about 90 German KvK War Merit crosses, flak decorations, the military police gorget…a true haul!

An incredible result for our local History, considering that such finds aren’t reported even in contexts where incredible ”Militaria” findings are common (Stalingrad/Volgograd, for example). An incredible moment for our team, a result that puts the Romanian metal detecting community on a larger, international map.

At the end of the day, we counted 182 EK2 iron crosses, 93 KvK War merit crosses, two Flak badges and several other minor artefacts. Until today, this is the biggest known discovery of its kind, WW2 military awards. The faith placed such cluster of awards in Romania, not in the Stalingrad area or in other bigger battlefields.

All the recovered artefacts were restored and exhibited in several events by our NGO. We were glad to share this incredible discovery and historical time capsule.




Aleea Calatis nr.14

Parter, Bl.A11, Sc.D, Ap.47

Municipiul Bucuresti

Sector 6, CP 061926

CIF 41004549