SG Buyer’s Log: European Military Surplus Tour – 1st Stop, Poland! [VIDEO]

Italian WWII Safari Helmets, Genuine Cold War-era Fallout Shelter Signs, U.S. Military-issued Radiation Detectors…Sportsman’s Guide is known for its huge selection of 100% authentic, real-deal, ripped-from-the-history-pages military surplus.

But where do we get all this wonderful stuff?

Looking to add a little Cold War intrigue to your home decor?
Looking to add a little Cold War intrigue to your home decor?

Well, the answer to that is every bit as interesting as the “stuff” itself. Which is why we’re giving you full clearance to follow Senior Military Surplus Buyer John Manion on his latest mission: a two-week barnstorming tour of Europe’s biggest military surplus suppliers!

Poland to Germany, Belgium to Holland, Manion’s vast network of military surplus dealers will lead you to sites rarely seen by those not on the “inside”…from remote warehouses packed floor-to-ceiling with forgotten history, to artillery graveyards heaped with the steel skeletons of war machines past.

Plus, you’ll get an exclusive sneak peek at what’s to come in the “HQ” catalog…so don’t miss this rare opportunity to get the “story behind the surplus”!


First stop, Poland!

The Battle of Kolobrzeg (Kolberg) destroyed nearly 80% of the city. (Image: Public Domain)
The Battle of Kolobrzeg (Kolberg) destroyed nearly 80% of the city. (Image: Public Domain)

The first dispatch from John’s European tour comes from Kolobrzeg (Kolberg), Poland. Highlighted by its medieval architecture and 7.5 miles of beautiful beach, this town of 44,794 sits on the south of the Baltic Sea and has seen its fair share of military maneuvers, having survived both the Thirty Years’ War and an invasion by Napoleon.

World War II, however, would leave the town in ruins. Between March 4 and March 18, 1945, Polish and Soviet forces fought to take the city from Nazi Germany in the Battle of Kolberg. Though the Soviets and their Polish Allies succeeded in gaining control of Kolberg, the fierce fighting destroyed most of the city in the process.

Only in the mid 1950s did Kolobrzeg begin to regain its former grandeur.

John writes:

“Hello from Poland!  

Today I got some great photos and video. The vendor we saw today is in the town of Kolobrzeg, Poland on the Baltic Sea.

We are approximately 225 miles from the Russian Border and the town of Mamonovo, which is in the Province of 
Kaliningrad, Russia.

"Kolobrzeg" means "by the shore" in Polish.
“Kolobrzeg” means “by the shore” in Polish.

The place we went to today was a Polish military Artillery Graveyard, but they do complete restoration and reselling of most everything in the pictures. They had a ton of Cold War Era Artillery and equipment and lots of guns. Mostly Mausers and AK47’s.

I bought a number of great items and I’ll send you a few choice pictures to give folks a sneak preview of the catalog.

I was lucky enough to take a ride in a Polish Made Russian 2S1 Howitzer Gvozdika.

I’ll get back to you when I am in Tangermunde Germany.”

– John

Yes, John actually did get to ride in a Polish-made Russian 2S1 Howitzer Gvozdika. And here’s the proof that he has the coolest job at Sportsman’s Guide:


Aside from that heavy metal joyride, John made sure to take plenty of pics for us, too – check out the full gallery below!

Artillery Graveyard – Kolobrzeg, Poland:

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One Response to “SG Buyer’s Log: European Military Surplus Tour – 1st Stop, Poland! [VIDEO]”

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    Carl in Reno

    Great pics and vid, thanks for adding that to the Sportsman’s Guide Experience!