Zundapp KS750 Dug Up after 64 years in Normandy!
In our recent feature Normandy
Relics we mentioned a farmer in sight of
MILWEB’s office in Normandy who found 3 German bodies last spring.
Though identification efforts continue, it is certain from insignia that
the bodies were from 10th SS soldiers who fought so desperately to stop
the British breakout.
Normandy’s dark harvest continues and the week before Christmas 2008 our same farmer dug up this Zundapp KS750 and sidecar – 2 metres down in the ground.
It is a truly incredible find and is yet another important artifact of the Normandy battleground.
M.Thierry told MILWEB that he discovered some debris in the soil and knowing the tell tale signs from years of ploughing up a wide range of wartime relics, he ran over the area with his metal detector and realised there was something large – so returned with a large digger and was amazed when he found the Zundapp on a bitterly cold December day. He initially thought it was a BMW R75 but examination shows it to be a Zundapp KS750. He also found an officers gauntlet with the Zundapp, he firmly believes that the remains of the driver are likely to be nearby.
Why was it 2 metres below ground? It was most likley in one of thousands of shell holes that were filled in when the farmers returned to what little was left of their homes and farms. But many of the locals didnt come back as they had lost everything - life in Normandy had changed forever.
The Zundapp appears to have taken a mortar or shell hit and the engine
was ripped off and the transmission was found 20meters away.
This particular farmland is in the epicenter of the bloodiest part of the Operation Bluecoat during August 1944 and he has built up a large collection of relics found on his own farmland. Recently a German veteran returned to retrace his part in the battle, finally being wounded on the farm. He produced a fascinating war diary and map of his personal few days of hell deep in the bloody Bocage.
MILWEB’s editor is seriously researching Operation Bluecoat and M.Thierry was kind enough to provide an accurate insight into the location of some of the key locations in the battle of the Perrier Ridge – such as farmhouses and hamlets that have now disappeared since the destruction of those terrible 10 days in August 1944 that played such a key part in the liberation of Normandy.
It is hoped that the Zundapp can be preserved as found and perhaps form
part of a display for the 65th anniversary, when veterans of 11th Armoured
Division and the Norfolks and Monmouth Regiments return, perhaps for the
last time to the now so tranquil Normandy countryside.
Photos by Nigel Hay, ©MILWEB
Click on images to enlarge