09:56 GMT +323 February 2017
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    German World War II Artillery Found in Caucasus

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    Police in a mountainous region of southern Russia have found five German World War II-era artillery guns along with ammunition for them.

    Police in a mountainous region of southern Russia have found five German World War II-era artillery guns along with ammunition for them.

    The guns - 76-millimeter cannon - are in good condition, according to police in Kalbardino-Balkaria Republic, the location of Mount Elbrus, the tallest mountain in Europe.

    “If they fell into the wrong hands, they could be used as intended,” Elbrus police chief Muslim Bottayev said, adding that military engineers would soon remove the weapons and ammunition to a safe location.

    The guns were discovered near the Donguz-Orun pass at an elevation of 9,184 feet by officers from the Elbrus District Police Department jointly with members of the Memorial Elbrus society.

    The find included eight 76-mm artillery shells, four hand grenades, three mines and 500 small-arms rounds abandoned when the Wehrmacht withdrew from the area.

    Nazi forces occupied the area surrounding Mount Elbrus for several months in the summer and fall of 1942, during which a team of German high mountain troops climbed to the top. Intended as a propaganda coup, the stunt reportedly enraged Hitler, who viewed it as a frivolous diversion of effort.

    Reminders of the fighting that took place near Elbrus during the Great Patriotic War continue to turn up. Just last month, police and searchers found the bodies of six Red Army troops who died fighting on the slopes of the mountain.

     

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