Back News

25 Jul, 2016

Minewerfer Discovered at Virginia Auction

25 Jul, 2016 - Tranzon Fox

For Immediate Release   

                                                                          For More Information:  Linda Terry 804-354-9090

 

NOT FOR SALE

Tranzon Virginia Auction Uncovers Unique World War I Artillery Piece

Richmond, Virginia  July 13, 2016. The many auctioneers at Tranzon Fox, a leading real estate auction company based in Virginia, have pretty much seen it all in decades of conducting real estate auctions in Virginia and throughout the Mid-Atlantic states. But an enormous piece of German artillery from World War I? That’s a first for Tranzon.

While Tranzon auctioneer Linda Terry, AARE, CAI, GRI was preparing for the auction sale of a home in Dinwiddie, Virginia, a longtime Tranzon client noticed the upcoming auction and alerted Terry to the signficance of a peculiar item on the front lawn: a World War I vintage German Minenwerfer. Terry knew immediately that this was something quite unusual, and she began to dig into the history of the Minenwerfer.

Minenwerfers, Terry learned, were fearsome mine launchers used by the Germans to launch shells the size of watermelons toward the Allied lines. The mines were used to pummel Allied bunkers and clear barbed wire in No Man’s Land between the trenches that separated the Allied and German armies.

This particular Minenwerfer had been located in the front yard of the otherwise seemingly ordinary Dinwiddie residence for as long as 50 years, and perhaps longer. Nobody seems to know exactly how it ended up there.

After some historical research, it was discovered that the government of France had shipped three Minenwerfers to Viriginia following the Great War as a gesture of gratitude for the sacrifices of the 29th Division of the Virginia National Guard in the deadly Battle of the Meuse-Argonne in 1918. According to Al Barnes, Command Historian of the Virginia National Guard, the other two minenwerfers were probably cut up for scrap metal during the next great war, World War II.

The Minenwerfer in Dinwiddie is one of only three or four known to exist in the United States. Linda Terry, Tranzon’s auctioneer, knew immediately that this one was “NOT FOR SALE” at the Tranzon auction, and that it should instead be returned to the Virginia National Guard. The Guard intends to refurbish it and put it on display as a tribute to the 29th Division’s contributions to the Allied cause in France nearly a century ago.

So, without the military equipment, the auction sale in Dinwiddie came off without a hitch, according to Terry. “Both the house in Dinwiddie and the Minenwerfer will now have new and grateful owners,” Terry said, commenting on a fitting conclusion to a most interesting chapter for a lovely residence and a less-than-lovely relic of German artillery from a bygone era.

About Tranzon: Tranzon Fox is a member firm in Tranzon, LLC, one of the largest real estate auction companies in the country, with 30 offices coast-to-coast. Tranzon’s accomplished auction professionals are widely recognized as leaders in the auction industry and have conducted auctions in 48 states and the District of Columbia, selling billions of dollars in total asset value. All Tranzon companies are independently owned and operated. For more information about Tranzon, go to www.tranzon.com.

Have a Property To Sell? Request a FREE Property Evaluation.