Investigation of Westerplatte brings first artefacts to light

First season of a three-year project of archaeological investigation of the Westerplatte area revealed numerous artefacts from the early days of World War II. The site is the place of the Battle of Westerplatte, the first battle in the invasion of Poland and marked the start of the Second World War in Europe.

Polish eagle (by Radio Gdańsk)
Polish eagle (by Radio Gdańsk)

The research was conducted by Muzeum Westerplatte aims at precisely surveying the area of the heroic battle of the Polish Army against German naval forces and soldiers and Danzig police in 1939. So far the areas of the Polish Military Transit Depot (Wojskowa Składnica Tranzytowa) and the Guardhouse no. 5 were explored. Remains of the Officer Villa were also discovered.

Westerplatte artefacts presented by archaeologists (by Radio Gdańsk)
Westerplatte artefacts presented by archaeologists (by Radio Gdańsk)

The discoveries are connected with the heroic stand of the Polish Army against superior odds. Among the finds is an eagle belonging possibly to a fallen defender of the Military Transit Depot, which was bombed on September 2nd 1939 becoming a grave for 10 Polish soldiers. Other finds include numerous ammunition shells, seals, a golden ring from the 1930s, coins, and even German military dog tag from World War I.

Seal (by Radio Gdańsk)
Seal (by Radio Gdańsk)

Other finds include barriers, vertically mounted rails, iron nettings, and a Browning rifle magazine. An interesting find was made in the area of the Officer Villa, where a bottle of a garlic alcohol mixture was discovered. After the capitulation the Villa was dismantled by forced labour workers brought by Germans from Stutthof concentration camp. It is believed that the bottle with the liquid might have survived since 1939 – further analysis are scheduled.

(after Radio Gdańsk)

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