Many unexplored WWII bombs are found in German cities. How do bomb disposal technicians disarm these rusty bombs?

Mudassir Ali
Feb 06, 2020 04:01 PM 0 Answers
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Mudassir Ali
- Feb 06, 2020 04:01 PM

Hi there! I lived in Germany for a while and went through this exact experience.

I believe it was 2015. Construction workers were on a project to build a new elementary school in Grafenwöhr, which is in Bavaria.

Grafenwöhr was also home to a military base, Tower Barracks, and was jointed with another Army base about 20 minutes away, Vilseck (Rose Barracks).

Construction was under way and they came upon a problem, which quickly spread by word of mouth so everyone knew what had happened. It was extremely exciting but also kind of concerning once you thought about it.

During their work, the construction workers had to dig further into the ground, perhaps for gas lines or septic tanks. Whatever the reason was, they had to go further into the earth than they had before.

Buried under the soil was a bomb still intact left over from World War II.

Now what were they supposed to do with this undetonated bomb? They couldn’t pretend like they never saw it and build around the area for chance that it could be set off.

They ultimately decided to do the most logical thing- blow it up.

No really. They set the bomb off. They picked a set day when they were to do it, and all construction work was stopped until the bomb was taken care of.

Everyone in the town knew of this and also knew that they planned to detonate it, so it was major news in a place where not a lot happened.

I was in Vilseck when they set the bomb off, 20 minutes away by car, and I felt the shake from it. You could feel the tremor in the ground and it felt as if you were inside a snow globe that someone was vigorously shaking. There was also a big boom sound that resonated with the shaking, giving everyone the signal that the bomb had been set off.

Once the bomb was blown up, construction resumed like normal, as if they didn’t just encounter a 70 year old bomb and make it go kaboom.

That’s my story. Usually when Germans come across “left overs” from wars, the safest thing to do is to detonate it. They compile it so it does the least amount of damage, which is usually to re-bury it so the brunt of the impact is underground. This also helps if the bomb is found in a large city where there are lots of buildings and people around.

Better than leaving it there with the possibility that it could go off at any minute, right?

Hope this helped and love to all!

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