Relics from the Front Since 2010
  • German soldiers body armour bottom plate recovered from the area of Schwaben Redoubt near Thiepval on the Somme battlefield of July 1916

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    This is a German soldiers Body armour complete bottom plate .The plate is in relic but solid condition it is very rusty but not crumbling or braking up the plate has been lightly cleaned since its recovery which was very recent but the plate may well clean up more with some effort it is a nice and very rare find from the battlefield.The armour plate was recovered from the area of the Schwaben Redoubt near Thiepval on the Somme battlefield of July 1916 this area saw very heavy fighting on the first of the battle on the 1st July 1916. A very nice iconic find from The famous Somme battlefield.

    The Armor, capable of stopping a pistol round but only superficially helpful against rifle fire, also helped protecting against bayonet and other edged weapons thrusts. The additional weight though fatigued the wearer quickly and defeated any tactical advantage he might have wearing it. First World War period German Army body armour of this type initially issued to front line troops in 1916. The equipment weighed between 20lbs and 24lbs (9kg and 11kg), reflecting the two variant sizes produced; 500,000 sets were issued to men on the Western Front. Capable of stopping low velocity fragments and shrapnel, the Sappenpanzer (trench armour) was, due to its weight, only practical for troops on sentry duty and machine gunners operating in static positions and was designed to be used together with the armoured brow plate that hooked on to the steel helmet

    The Capture of Schwaben Redoubt (Schwaben-Feste) was a tactical incident in the Battle of the Somme, 1916. The redoubt was a German strong point 500–600 yd (460–550 m) long and 200 yd (180 m) wide, built in stages since 1915, near the village of Thiepval, overlooking the River Ancre. It formed part of the German defensive system in the Somme sector of the Wesetern Front and consisting of a mass of machine-gun emplacements, trenches and dug-outs. The redoubt was defended by the 26th Reserve Division, from Swabia in south-west Germany, which had arrived in the area during the first battle of Albert in 1914. Troops of the 36th Ulster Division captured the redoubt on 1 July 1916, until forced out by German bombardments and counter-attacks after night had fallen.The British kept the area of the redoubt under bombardment until 3 September, when the 49th West Riding Division attacked the area from the west, in a morning fog. The 36th Division infantry got across no man's land but were defeated, when German artillery and machine gun fire swept the Irish troops and German infantry counter-attacked from the flanks, using hand grenades. In late September, the British gained a footing in the redoubt, during the Battle of Thiepval Ridge (26–28 September). Attack and counter-attack followed until 14 October, when troops of the 39th Division, captured the last German foothold in the redoubt and repulsed German counter-attacks from 15–21 October 1916.


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