Legenda Military Archaeology FAQ sheet.
We hope this answers most of your questions, if not please contact us.
1- Where do we search ?
Our main area of searching is in Kurland, Latvia but we also search in all parts of Latvia and other countries when we are kindly invited to assist our international digging colleagues.
2- What battles happened in Latvia ?
There was fighting in Latvia in WW1 as the eastern front ran through large parts of the the country plus in WW2 there were large battles fought in Kurland from July 1944 until May 1945. For more info :
3- Who was fighting there ?
In both wars mostly German,Russian and Latvian soldiers.
4- How long have legenda been searching ?
Legenda was formed in 1999 in Latvia with our first international members joining us in 2000 and we all continue to search to this day.
5- Who are we ?
We are all volunteers and do this hard, sometimes perilous work giving up our free time and also funding our own expeditions to pursue this noble cause as we feel its is a worthy thing to do to find these lost soldiers and hopefully give them a proper burial and if possible find a relative to give them some closure for their missing loved one.
Since our inception in 1999 our membership has blossomed and we now have people coming to help us from as far a field as Canada and the US we also have members from Norway, Sweden the UK and other European countries.
Legenda is one of the few non German search groups working today searching for missing German and Russian soldiers.
6- What happens to the soldiers we find ?
All Russian soldiers recovered by Legenda are collected and then buried in various ceremonies throughout Latvia with full military honours which are usually attended by high ranking dignitaries from the Latvian and Russian governments.
We are also sometimes joined at these ceremonies by living relatives of the soldiers we have recovered who normally have to travel huge distances to be there for the burial of there loved ones or relatives which gives us a huge sense pride in the work we do.
All German soldiers recovered by Legenda are handed over to the German war graves commission in Latvia for re burial in various cemeteries throughout Latvia.
We try to identify as many soldiers as we can using either there identification tags or medals with the resources and help of the Russian and German authorities.
7- What happens to the live ordnance we recover ?
Legenda members are all well versed in the dangers of live ordinance as we have many ex military members in our ranks including army engineers and follow the correct safety procedures when handling it and disposing of it plus any unstable or potentially dangerous live ordinance found is carefully collected and then disposed of by Latvian EOD officers.
8- What is our code of conduct and what laws do we have to adhere to ?
Legenda members follow all the correct legal processes and recovery procedures regarding the exhumation of any human remains discovered.
Legenda do not and never will prescribe to battlefield looting and so called black digging where soldiers remains are desecrated and items found on them stolen and sold illegally.
Legenda adhere to Latvian government laws and regional laws when searching and obtain all relevant permissions and permits from the authorities before begining any recovery work.
We also work in close cooperation with the Latvian, Russian and German war graves commissions.
9- Can I just come and dig in Latvia ?
Searching any battlefield without legal permission and permits or without the relevant experience that Legenda has is extremely dangerous and highly illegal and we strongly advise anyone who foolishly attempts this practice or is thinking of coming to Latvia to illegally dig to think twice about it as you could get in to serious trouble with the authorities and worse still you may seriously injure yourself as the battlefields are still littered with dangerous unexploded ordinance some of which is extremely volatile when mishandled also if you get caught illegally digging in Latvia you could face 4 years in prison.
10- What happens to all the items we find ?
All items found with soldiers remains stay with them and are buried with them.
Some items are donated to museums in Latvia other items of interest found during our expeditions are recovered and preserved then stored by us for future generations to study and research to give a better understanding of the fighting that took place in Kurland.
11- how are we funded ?
We fund ourselves for everything we do from our expeditions to all the equipment we use and get no funding from any official organisations anywhere but we do have donations sent to us by people who appreciate and believe in what we do which helps us continue this invaluable work.
12- Can I help ?
As you can imagine we get lots of requests to come and help us which is greatly appreciated but unfortunately we have a strict policy of who we can invite due to various reasons including numbers, safety, laws etc. We also have a members recommendation policy in place.
To really help us in our continuing work please make a donation plus we are also currently running a competition in which you can win the chance to join us on next years expedition the details of which can be found on our main page.
To make a donation: