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1795-1815 Napoleon Detecting Finds Hohenlinden

Battle of Hohenlinden

Many of the relics below were found on the battlefield of Hohenlinden (3.12.1800) in southern Germany.

Austrian Button Double Headed Eagle

Austrian Button. Napoleonic Period.

Double headed eagle.

Button was found on the field of the mayor of Hohenlinden, Mr. Maurer.

Number "8" Army Button

Number "8" Button.

The number identified the soldier's unit.

Former Napoleon War Trench

Trench of Napoleonic Era.

Like all three dimensional structures it is difficult to see in the forest floor. The camera looks along the former trench. Today the trench might be just some 30-50 cm deep. Local farmers drew my attention to this place.

Bronze Pole Head

Pole Head Napoleonic Era

Remains of gold plating or gold color or still visible. Flame design. Solid bronze.

Along with musket balls the item was found at an old farm were soldiers were present during and after a battle.

Barrel Cleaner

Barrel cleaner. Iron.

Used to remove dirt or pieces of cloth from the barrel.

Screwed onto the iron ramrod this cleaner was used to remove dirt from the barrel, especially cloth remains.

Group Picture Cannon Ball and Grape Shot

15 cm grenade cannonball and other items.

Mostly Napoleonic era.

Top left and center: 25 mm /1 “ grapeshot.
Top center: 15 cm / 6 “ grenade dud. Grenades are more rare than massive balls. Grenade duds are even more rare.
Right of center: Dropped musket balls.
White spot bottom left of center: Extremely flattened musket ball.
Bottom right: Plastic bags containing the remains of the gunpowder (now harmless) and the wooden fuse.
The rifle bolt in the bottom left corner shows the same place saw action again some 150 years later in World War 2.

6 Inch Napoleon Grenade Dud

15 cm / 6 " Grenade Cannon Ball.

Napoleonic Era.

AA cell for size comparison.

Napoleon Grenade Fragments 1

Grenade Fragments 1. Napoleonic Era.

Complete grenades as shown above are rare. Usually just fragments are found. Wall is some 1.5-2 cm thick. Drink can for size comparison.

Napoleon Grenade Fragments 2

Grenade Fragments 2. Napoleonic Era.

Napoleon Musket Ball Group

Musket Ball Group.

The balls have a caliber of some 16.5 mm. The gun's caliber was slightly bigger with 17.5 mm = 0.69". After a few shots the barrel was so full of dirt that bigger balls would not have fit.

The musket ball represents like no other find warfare from the 30 year war to well into the 19. century. They are found in relative large quantities as they do not corrode and can de facto only be found by metal detectors. Experienced detectorists often have a jar or some sort of vessel at home filled to the rim with musket balls.
Musket balls are very good indicator finds, i.e. they act as waybills for those who are looking for unknown battlefields. If musket balls are found in close proximity this indicates an unsearched battle field.


This group of musket balls serve as a representative for all musket balls I ever found. It was found on a single day in a rather small area of some 20 m square. At the time of the battle this place must have been a true death zone. Bottom right is a completely flattened ball. It hit a hard, even surface. The next ball to the right is deformed as if it had hit a soft target.



Exchanged musket ball fire site1

Battle Forest 1

The following pictures were taken at the actual find spot of the musket balls depicted above. To give the reader an idea how close the balls lied to one another the find spot of every ball was marked with a colorful plastic bag. These pictures might give a more vivid notion than a map. During the battle this forest must have been a virtual area of death.

Exchanged musket ball fire site 2

Battle Forest 2

The battle forest is also shown in the movie clip below. (MOV File, requires QuickTime). Again, each plastic bag marks the exact find spot of one of the musket balls shown above.

Battlefield Hohenlinden Close Combat Area Movie [2.992 KB]

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