This is a very unusual find especially from the battlefield a German wicker shell carrier for 17cm Kanone 18 heavy howitzer which only 338 were made this is a large basket is 35 inches long. There were not that many made of this wicker shell carrier as the gun was not made in that large numbers which is pretty much complete some of the wicker damaged and dirty from being around for 70 odd years but it is still very solid not braking up or falling apart but as is so rare find such a nice example The carry basket is in very nice condition for a recovered relic but is perfect for display or any collection. The basket was recovered from Sevastopol the battlefield of 1941-1943 in the Crimea the Germans last big victory in East.
In late July 1941, Hitler ordered Army Group South to seize the Crimea as part of its operations to secure the Ukraine and the Donets Basin, in order to protect the vital Romanian oil refineries at Ploesti from Soviet air attack. After weeks of heavy fighting, the Germans breached the Soviet defences and overran most of the Crimea. By November 1941 the only remaining Soviet foothold in the area was the heavily fortified naval base at Sevastopol.
Operation Sturgeon Haul, the final assault on Sevastopol, was one of the very few joint service German operations of World War II, with two German corps and a Romanian corps supported by a huge artillery siege train on the 4th July 1942 Thirty thousand Soviets surrendered and in July itself a total of 90,000 prisoners were taken also 467 guns, 758 mortars, and 155 antitank guns captured. Two more Soviet armies were smashed and an estimated 50,000 of the enemy killed on the battlefield. Including civilians, Soviet casualties were about 250,000 for the entire siege. Despite Manstein’s efforts to spare his infantry and crush the defenders with overwhelming bombardment, official Eleventh Army losses numbered 4,337 dead, 1,591 missing, and 18,183 wounded. Actual casualties were probably much higher, up to 75,000. In addition, they had used up 46,700 tons of munitions and 20,000 tons of bombs.
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