Recent WWII bomb find in Berlin (photos)

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by CWPZM, Jul 20, 2008.

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  1. Hello everyone,

    I'm sure everyone here knows that there is still plenty WWII vintage unexploded ordnance found in Germany. It's quite common and usually only makes local news, mostly as traffic warnings on the radio as roads are being cordoned-off.

    I just stumbled over an article on a recent find in Berlin Wilmersdorf from last Tuesday (15th July 2008). I thought I'd mention it here because there's a little photo gallery about the whole thing (which is rare) and it also happened to involve a British bomb.

    In case anyone's interested, here's the link to the photo gallery (German):

    Click on "weiter" to get the next picture.

    Captions translated:

    1) A 500kg [~ 0.5t] aircraft bomb from WWII...
    2) ... was defused without complications in [a nearby public park] on Wednesday.
    3 & 4) A police spokesman said that the chemical fuse was blown off the bomb at 08:15 am.
    5) This action had been delayed several times because of the complex nature of the fuse.
    6) The British bomb was discovered on Tuesday afternoon in a depth of 1 metre in the front garden of a house on Mecklenburgische Strasse.
    7) The bomb was transferred into the nearby Volkspark for the "detonation" [the German word does not necessarily imply a big explosion but rather the act of using explosives no matter what quantity].
    8) Previously, ca. 5000 people were evacuated from their homes for their own security and brought to local schools for the night.
    9) Volkspark Wilmersdorf [the public park] remained closed for the time being.
    10) The nearby Stadtautobahn A100 was closed between Wexstrasse and Hohenzollerndamm and surburban railway traffic was briefly halted during the "detonation" [see previous comment].
    11) Nearby streets had been cordoned-off during the night. Ca. 200 policemen, 120 firemen and members of the German Red Cross were on scene.
    12) The bomb had been discovered during construction works on the property.

    Some further facts from a print article (German):

    - experts initially wanted the bomb to remain where it was for defusing because of the "complicated chemical" Langzeitzuender (lit.: long-term fuse). [If anyone knows the proper word, tell me please, this isn't really my area of expertise.] They changed their mind in the evening and requested a special vehicle for the transfer to the park.
    - the transfer to the park also meant a hospital with 400 beds and intensive care unit didn't have to evacuate
    - the evacuation radius was 500-600 metres
    - the bomb was located in the earth between the pavement and the entrance to the house in question

  2. Langzeitzuender in this case means delayed action fuse. Probably some type of acid eating through a retaining wire holding a spring in place. Wire snaps, spring with striker impacts on a detonator and boom. Strength or composition of acid would give variable time delays.
    Any eod types could probably wax lyrical on the theme. Lucky this one was a duff - Berlin is a cool joint nowadays.
  3. Friends of mine installing an experiment in the Grosser Ploenersee got a bit of a shock a couple of months ago when a stake they were trying to insert into the lake bed hit something hard and metallic... A quick check showed it to be the remains of a panzerfaust and resulted in a number of rather worried fish biologists (who had been whacking the aforementioned stake with a sledgehammer) rapidly heading to the shore... The feuerwehr were called and it got sorted, but new pants were needed all round...
  4. Same type of fuse was used in the attempted assasination of Adolf Hitler I believe.
  5. Nice sidearm, shoot a lot of unexploded bombs in Das Fatherland do they?

    Well, the thought made me laff.... I'll get my coat.......