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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Westerplatte. Archaeologists have found a plaque decorating a military signal trumpet years ago

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Archaeologists working in the Military Transit Depot at Westerplatte came across an interesting find. Among the rubble of the farm building, they found a plaque, i.e. a decorative plate that adorned a signal trumpet used by Polish soldiers years ago. There is an assumption that the artifact was hidden among the rubble by someone from the POW camp, which functioned here until June 1941. All this so that the decoration would not fall prey to the Germans.

– This type of artefact was found on Westerplatte for the first time. It will definitely go to an exhibition about the history of Westerplatte in the near future – says Filip Kuczma, head of the archaeological department of the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk.

We are talking about a plaque (i.e. a decorative plate) with an eagle, which adorned the signal trumpet used on Westerplatte years ago. Such trumpets were used to transmit orders on the battlefield and set the rhythm of everyday life in barracks conditions.

Plaque from a signal trumpet found on WesterplatteMuseum of the Second World War

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In peacetime they played the tattoo, and in wartime – as a signal to attack

“In the area of ​​the Military Transit Depot at Westerplatte, the trumpeter played the bugle call of the Polish Army, wake-up call, capstrzyk (i.e. the sound indicating the end of daily activities), signaled the changing of the guard, briefing of weapons, meals and informed about the passing hour. He also participated in the field mass, as well as in all solemn events” – we read on the museum’s Facebook profile.

The decoration measures 45 by 55 millimeters and weighs four gramsMuseum of the Second World War

In combat conditions, the trumpeter gave the alarm signal, the start of the attack and the retreat.

“Signalers often did not have professional musical preparation, they were trained only to play specific sounds. Due to the importance of this function, the JTS commanders tried to ensure that there was a trumpeter with appropriate skills on each shift” – reads the entry.

– It can be suspected that on September 1, 1939, after 4.48 am, when the shelling of Westerplatte began, the trumpeter played the combat alarm signal – Filip Kuczma points out.

The prisoners of war demolished buildings, including the one where the plaque was found

He adds that the plaque was found during archaeological excavations at the remains of a brick farm building where pigs, cows and a horse were kept.

– From the name of the keeper of this inventory, the building was called Mikołajew. From September 7, 1939 to June 1941, a camp for civilian prisoners of war operated on Westerplatte. They were the ones who demolished buildings, including Mikołajewo, on orders and under the supervision of the Germans, says Kuczma.

Filip Czuma: maybe someone didn’t want it to become a German trophy

He adds that the plaque was found inside the building, in the demolition layer, among the rubble. There were also buttons from Polish uniforms.

– We assume that perhaps one of the prisoners – not wanting the plaque to be taken by the Germans as a trophy – hid it among the rubble. However, why the emblem was detached from the trumpet and in what circumstances it happened is difficult to say – our interlocutor points out.

It is made of brass sheet, on which the image of an eagle pattern 19 is embossedMuseum of the Second World War

The plaque measures 45 by 55 millimeters and weighs four grams. It is made of brass sheet, on which the image of an eagle pattern 19 is embossed.

They are also looking for a Polish field gun position

In addition to unveiling the relics of Mikołajewo, the current – tenth – stage of archaeological work at Westerplatte aims, among others, at discovery and documentation of the relics of the non-commissioned officer’s villa together with the guardhouse number 3.

SEE ALSO: The cutlery production workshop discovered in Muranów will go to the museum. The facility showed photos

Archaeologists are also continuing the search for the position of the Polish field cannon (the so-called putilowka) and the remains of the legionnaire Mieczysław Krzak who died near the Fort outpost.

Thanks to the research conducted on the peninsula, about 60,000 artifacts have been found so far. The most valuable of them can be seen at exhibitions presented in the space of the former warehouse.

Main photo source: Museum of the Second World War



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