Massive Bomb Dropped On London Found 75 Years Later

 

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Emergency vehicles on site where bomb found. 

Pizza, potato wedges, and soft drinks are little consolation for being kicked out of your East London flat due to a live World War II bomb being found underneath the floorboards. However, that’s exactly what happened to over 150 people who spent the night in an emergency shelter after being booted from their apartments; the 500-pound bomb was unearthed yesterday while builders were working to convert a former factory into luxury flats.

“The bomb is 10 feet from my flat on the other side of a wall and I’ve had so many parties here…if it was going to blow up, it would have done so by now,” one evacuee, Pauline Carter, 26, told The London Evening Standard.

“I didn’t know anything about it until I went outside ….,” said Oers Sardi, 28, another resident who was told to leave immediately.

The bomb was evidently dropped during the Blitz of 1940-1941, making it about 75 years old. Photographs released by the Ministry of Defense show the dangerous artifact to be a rusting shell resting about two feet underground. The Ministry of Defense has been delicately attempting to remove the bomb, as it is reportedly in a “tricky location.” There is not yet a timetable for it to be defused and extracted. Jeva Lange

Courtesy of “The Week”

http://theweemassive-world-war-ii-bomb-found-under-floorboards-london-apartment

 

From the London Evening Standard

Bethnal Green bomb: Army explosives experts prepare to defuse and detonate 500lb WW2 bomb dug up under flats

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British Army bomb disposal experts moving bomb away from buildings after digging it up. Not a job I would want.

 

Army bomb disposal experts were today battling to defuse a Second World War bomb as hundreds of evacuated residents feared they could be forced to spend a second night away from home.

Teams worked overnight after a 500lb bomb was unearthed at lunchtime yesterday by builders converting a former factory in Bethnal Green into luxury flats.

Ministry of Defence sources admitted the 70-year-old device was in a “tricky location” and this morning were unable to give a precise timetable for its removal.

3pm Update: Army defuse bomb and families return home
Adam Atkinson, vicar of St Peter’s church in Bethnal Green, said residents were “definitely fearing” that they may be unable to return home today. “What is being talked about by the uniformed services is more in hope than expectation that it will be resolved today,” he told the Standard.

The remainder of the story is here

British Army Bomb Disposal Experts Prepare to Defuse Bomb

UXB in London: A Reminder of the Blitz

 

From Al Jazeera America 3.24.15

 

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a bomb disposal expert from the Royal Logistics Corp working on defusing an unexploded (UXB) German bomb in London 3.24.15

WWII bomb prompts evacuation of thousands in London

Hundreds of Londoners were allowed to go home on Tuesday after a huge unexploded World War II bomb that kindled a “Blitz spirit” among evacuees was removed for detonation after being found by construction workers.

About 1,200 homes in Southwark, on the south bank of the River Thames near Tower Bridge, were evacuated as army bomb disposal experts examined the 1,000-pound bomb dropped by the German Luftwaffe.

Eighty people spent Monday night in hotels after being put up by the local council, which was also laying on food and hot drinks for residents plus activities for children whose schools were closed.

The police said the bomb was “made safe” and driven through the city in an army truck to a quarry outside London, where it will be detonated.

“There’s been a sense of the Blitz spirit,” said Louise Neilan, a spokeswoman for the local council in Southwark. “We’ve been trying to reassure people.”

Southwark was an industrial and commercial hub that was badly damaged during the Blitz, the German aerial campaign against Britain in 1940 and 1941 that killed some 20,000 civilians in London and was intended to cripple the country and force it to surrender.

The entire story is here:

http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/3/24/blitz-spirit-london-evacuees-go-home-as-ww2-bomb-removed.html

World War Two Bomb Causes Massive Evacuation In French Town

An interesting piece from the London Daily Mail. I have often written about unexploded World War Two bombs in Europe. There are several hundreds of thousands of what used to be known as “UXBs”

 

More than 3,000 evacuate French city after massive British WWII bomb found near town hall

 

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A 250kg bomb, containing approximately 70 kilos of high explosives, was discovered around Rennes’s town hall area during the works on the new metro line. Photo courtesy of www.ibtimes.co.uk)

 

Workers spent two hours defusing the aged weapon, which is believed to have been dropped by Britain’s Royal Air Force between 1943 and 1944 as the Allies fought Nazi Germany.

The discovery of a gigantic World War II bomb forced thousands of residents to flee their homes in the French city of Rennes on Sunday.

More than 3,000 people were evacuated after the potentially devastating 550-pound device was found near the city’s town hall, reports France 24.

Workers building a new metro line were stunned to unearth the aged weapon – which was packed with 155-pounds of high-grade explosives.

All homes and businesses within 300 yards of the scene were cleared, including a fire station and a home for the elderly.

Bomb disposal experts then moved in to disarm the shell, in what was described as a “very delicate operation.”

 

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/thousands-evacuate-french-city-discovery-wwii-bomb-article-1.2021466

World War Two bomb blown up in Bristol Channel

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World War Two Bomb Exploded In Bristol Channel

Story and photo from The Bristol Post

April 15, 2014

 

“A Second World War bomb was blown up by Army experts after being found on a beach near Weston-super-Mare. A controlled explosion took place at St Thomas Head, Kewstoke, at about 7pm tonight.

A 500m cordon was put in place to protect the public while the operation was carried out. The bomb was found at around 8.30pm yesterday and police worked with the Army’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment to make it safe.

A spokesman for Avon and Somerset Constabulary said: “The explosion all went off without a hitch. Everything went according to plan.

The area where the bomb was found was a bombing range and weapons testing site during and after the war.”

From the website of the Bristol Post

http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/World-War-bomb-blown-Bristol-Channel/story-20961422-detail/story.html

 

An aside by Charles McCain:  “Shipshape and Bristol fashion” is an expression which long ago fell out of use. You may come across it if you read English novels from earlier centuries or nautical fiction/non-fiction.

It comes from the era when Bristol was a major seaport and ship building center in Great Britain. Times were prosperous and Bristol ships were always in good order.

 

source:    http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/ship-shape%20and%20Bristol%20fashion.html

 

Allied Bombing Campaign Continues in Germany

 

Fliegerbombe versetzt Muenchens Kneipenviertel in Ausnahmezustand

 

An aerial bomb in Munich had to be detonated on site on Aug. 28, deemed too dangerous Because it what to defuse. Bomb experts warn did examined cases are likely to increase enlarge Because dud bombs are becoming more unstable over time.

 

No, the Allies are not still dropping bombs on Germany but lots of bombs dropped in World War Two did not detonate when they hit the ground. Der Spiegel cites German government figures which claim more than 300,000 unexploded bombs still litter Germany. More than 5,000 unexploded bombs are found and disposed of each year. Since the bombs have grown unstable after all these decades, moving them will often cause them to explode, killing the bomb disposal experts. (In fact, German experts believe many bombs are so unstable they will explode on their own since the slighest movement will set them off).

Hence, the bombs are often detonated in place which often requires evacuating tens of thousands of people from high density population centers. Berms are built around the bomb and other measures taken to try and contain some of the explosion. But the pressure wave is hard to contain and usually shatters windows for blocks around.

In 2011 reports Der Speigel, a 1.8 ton British bomb (UXB in Allied parlance: unexploded bomb) was discovered in Koblenz when water levels in the Rhine fell during a drought. German authorities brought in a floating crane to construct a sort of dam with sandbags around the bomb so excess water could be pumped out from around the bomb so disposal experts could do their work. This did not involve deativating the bomb but detonating it in place.

This is unfortunate but the tactic of indiscriminately bombing cities was initiated by the German Luftwaffe at the very beginning of World War Two during the unprovoked German assault on Poland. This attack which kicked-off on 3 September 1939 officially began World War Two. (Payback is a bitch as we say in the USA).

As German forces crossed the frontier in Poland Luftwaffe dive bombers preceded them and bombed the hell out of everything: towns, cities, railroads, troop formations, industrial plants. Next up, the Germans bombed Warsaw without regard for civilian casualties since the Nazis believed the Poles to be “sub-humans.”

The world we live in was shaped by World War Two, the largest event in human history and the remnants of war continue to remind us of this.