4,000 tons of bombs created the Hanbury Crater

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by RCT(V), Nov 21, 2009.

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  1. I remember mention of this event in another thread about big bangs, and holes in the ground. (Maybe someone could cross-link that thread to this, and visa versa ?).

    I don’t think anyone else has mentioned it this morning. I have checked the Historical thread, the “arty farty” media thread, Sappers thread (as they used to have the AT), and RLC thread (now AT, and incorporate what was RAOC), and can’t find any mention.

    For those who like making holes in the ground, and making things go bang, this should be of interest . . .

    Available (for now) on the BBC iPlayer


  2. Is this Fauld?
    Where the RAF bomb store went up
  3. Yep! it is an RAF bomb store that went up.

    And, yes (listening to it again whilst typing this), she has just mentioned the "Fauld mine, owned by British Gypsum".

    Well worth a listen.

    Edited to add: Includes sensitive interview with a couple from the area that remember the incident. Also the information that the explosion blew up a damn (the factory was steam driven), the resulting flood drowning the factory workers - some of whom were previously Italian POW. Plus, a whole working farm that disappeared from the landscape. And, they reckon there are still (unexploded) bombs there!
  4. Ahhh
    The Fauld explosion is the biggest manmade non-nuclear explosion ever I believe.
    The Crater is huge and there is a lot of history on the net.
    British Gypsum still operate a mine there but next door to the bit that was once the bomb store.
    The RAF had a bit of a problem with their underground bombstores, the LLanberis one in North Wales also collapsed with diastorous results, I believe Harpur Hill had to be closed due to serious construction faults.
  5. Hopefully related topic-am I correct in thinking that some of the WW1 mine craters can still be seen?
  6. No that would be Minor Scale.
  7. correct
  8. Just a bit ! Google Lochnagar Crater.
  9. Most definitely. I have been to one near Ypres that is huge today after 90 years of weather and nature trying to reclaim it. I am sure the others will be in a similar condition unless someone has taken the time to replace the thousands of tons blown out.

    If you ever get the chance to visit the battlefields near Verdun you can still see whole hillsides pock-marked with arty impacts. The French and Germans had a huge bun-fight there.

    Lastly, I used to walk my dog through the local woods during my last Germany tour. There were numerous WWII RAF bomb craters in there.
  10. They are lakes, IIRC. Enter "messines mines" into Google and read the various stories. Not all were detonated, one exploded decades afterwards and a couple are still out there!

  11. Did they fail to detonate? Is there still thousands of pounds of concentrated explosives under farmers fields in France? I find it quite fascinating.
  12. rampant

    rampant LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    Yep, apparently one is still left, the other went up in 1955:




    piccie of the Lochnagar Crater
  13. There are still many huge caches of munitions and explosives left over from the wars. For example, few people seem to remember that there are around 1,500 tons of munitions sitting in the SS Richard Montgomery off Southend.
  14. Gremlin

    Gremlin LE Good Egg (charities)

    Tin Foil Hat time:



    Mind you the pic is quite good!
  15. Gremlin

    Gremlin LE Good Egg (charities)

    And why would that be Mr Fawkes? :twisted:

    I have to agree though the whole concept of WWI mine warfare is fascinating, even if a bit gruesome. If you get the chance to visit the Canadian tunnels at Vimy Ridge it is well worth it!