UXB, Berlin & Germany

Discussion in 'Germany' started by Kuno, Jun 2, 2010.

  1. Kuno

    Kuno Very Senior Member

    A 1'000 pound bomb of WW2 has exploded yesterday at the German city of Goettingen while the specialists prepared to defuse it. 3 persons are dead and several injured.

    65 years after it was thrown it finally did, what it was initially designed for.

    Sad story.
     
  2. MrEd

    MrEd Observer

  3. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    Tragic story.
    Seems strange that it suddenly went off after all this time. Any further news on who was killed? Civilians or disposal team?

    Mike
     
  4. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Tragic story.
    Seems strange that it suddenly went off after all this time. Any further news on who was killed? Civilians or disposal team?

    Mike

    I heard that it was the Disposal team, plus others injured in the area.

    A real tragedy.

    I suppose with so many bombs still being recovered a lot of people think that it is a routine operation defusing these bombs.

    This incident just proves how dangerous Bomb Disposal really is.


    :poppy: RIP :poppy:


    Regards
    Tom
     
  5. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Heard just the briefest of details about that this morning. Very sad.
     
  6. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    Just goes to show there is nothing such as a 'routine' bomb disposal incident, especially when delayed action fuses are involved.

    RIP three brave men:poppy:

    Mike
     
  7. HenryG

    HenryG Junior Member

    Just goes to show there is nothing such as a 'routine' bomb disposal incident...

    I was thinking the same thing. Very tragic.
     
  8. ChrisR

    ChrisR Senior Member

  9. Recce_Mitch

    Recce_Mitch Very Senior Member

    :poppy: RIP:poppy:

    Paul
     
  10. At Home Dad (Returning)

    At Home Dad (Returning) Well-Known Member

    heard an interesting lil' spot on Radio4
    this afternoon while washing up...

    BBC News - Defusing Berlin's WWII bomb legacyDefusing Berlin's WWII bomb legacy By Stephen Evans BBC News, Berlin [​IMG]
    There are some jobs that are more demanding than others. And being a bomb disposal man in Berlin has to be at the more demanding end of the spectrum.
    Ralf Kirschnick gets called out several times a month to stand over a lump of death which failed to explode more than six decades ago.
    His job is to make bombs safe, either by leaving a detonator and walking a long way away before exploding the whole lot, or - if it is too close to people and property - by defusing it.
    [​IMG] The Allies dropped about 465,000 tonnes of explosives on Berlin during WWII
    He does not wear protective clothing because he says it would do nothing to protect him from an exploding bomb dropped on the city in air-raids during World War II.
    It is not a job that gets easier, because the longer the time that's elapsed since 1945, the more the rust has been able to work.
    Nor is it a job where the workload gets any lighter, because the fierce pace of building in Berlin means new potential hazards are always uncovered.
    No bravado The Allies dropped a mountain of bombs on Berlin. About 465,000 tons of explosives hit the ground, and about one in eight bombs did not explode.
    Ralf Kirschnick says that the reason for the high proportion of unexploded ordinance is that the British and Americans tested their bombs in a part of Scotland with particularly hard ground.
    [​IMG] Three bomb disposal experts died in Gottingen last year
    When they tried them out on the softer earth of Berlin, they sank into the ground - until today's property developers came along.
    It means that all major project sites have to be inspected for unexploded bombs, be it the dredging of a canal or the construction of an office. If anything suspicious is found, Mr Kirschnick's the man.
    He has the right temperament. Ask him for a picture, and he will tell you that bomb disposal people don't like having their pictures in the media. The danger is that they then start to get full of themselves, and that leads to bravado, a fatal attribute in a bomb disposer.
    And if you ask him how many bombs he has disposed of, he will say that he knows but he will not tell you. Everybody in the team, he says, knows how many everybody else has done but they keep it secret for fear of starting a competition, even an unspoken, friendly one.
    Competition means potentially taking a fatal bit of extra risk.
    According to Spiegel Online, more than 600 tonnes of old munitions from the two world wars and from Soviet army exercises during the period that Germany was divided, are discovered every year.
    Patron saint Mr Kirschnick knows everything there is to know about bombs dropped in World War II. The British had 98 different kinds of bomb fuses, he says, and 123 types of bomb. Some were booby-trapped, he says, to catch out wartime bomb disposal experts.
    "Fuse 35 and 37 were booby-trapped, but we know how to screw the fuses out of the bombs," he says.
    Russian bombs were often, in fact, German bombs, picked up by the Red Army as it swept westward, and then fitted with Russian fuses and sent back home to be loaded on to Russian planes.
    If you're arguing with your wife and two hours later you have to do this job, don't think about the arguing with the wife”

    Ralf Kirschnick
    His office is in an old military complex in the town of Wundsdorf, in the forests to the south of Berlin. In the corridor outside, there is a statue of a saint in an alcove.
    She is Santa Barbara, the patron saint of miners and of those who deal with explosives.
    It is his nod to superstition - or to belief, if you believe. Inside the office, he keeps the more mundane tools of his trade: wrenches and aerial photographs of Berlin taken by the British and US air forces.
    He spreads old maps over his desk and points out the armaments factories to the north of the city in Oranienburg, and the bomb craters - and, true enough, Oranienburg is a prime source of work today.
    He then shows me a concentration camp for slave labourers and points out the absence of craters because the Allies avoided bombing it. And, true enough, that is not where his work is today.
    More than a job The job takes a high personal toll. Last year, three bomb disposal people were killed on the job in the central German city of Gottingen.
    Many of the members of the team have been married more than once. It is not the sort of job which spouses find easy.
    The men - they are usually men - need a particular mind-set. They need to be able to blank out distraction: "If you're arguing with your wife and two hours later you have to do this job, you have to say, 'No, don't think about the argument with the wife - now, it's the job and you will live'. If you can't blank it, you aren't right in the job.
    "I am afraid, just like you," he says.
    How many times has he felt that he was about to die?
    "I think I have had that feeling three or four times. But you don't think about it at that moment. You do the work and one day later or two days later, you think that was not nice."
    Is it just a job?
    "If it was just a job, you would die".
     
    Smudger Jnr likes this.
  11. At Home Dad (Returning)

    At Home Dad (Returning) Well-Known Member

    apologies for the fugly c&p layout!
     
  12. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    There was a bomb found near my daughters school in Spandau when workmen were excavating some new foundations for houses.

    A 250 kg US Bomb and the whole area was evacuated for more than 24 hours whilst it was made safe and removed.
    The school hall was used for emergency sleeping accommodation as it was outside the cordon and large enough to take the residents.

    You have to admire the Bomb Disposal experts, not a job for the average person.

    It will be a long time yet before all the bombs are found and made safe.

    Regards
    Tom
     
  13. Gage

    Gage The Battle of Barking Creek MOD

    A terrible legacy.
     
  14. leccy

    leccy Senior Member

    When I was in Berlin the wall came down and they started doing the rebuilding. UXO was being found all over the place. During one excavation a panzerfaust was uncovered in a dangerous state so it was decided to blow in situ. Unfortunately hidden underneath was what was reported as a weapons cache containing a crate of them along with some other ordnance. Very big bang.
     
  15. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

  16. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Almost half the German city of Koblenz is under evacuation orders as experts prepare to defuse a two-ton ‘Blockbuster’ RAF bomb in the Rhine.
    The 10ft bomb, one of the biggest in the wartime arsenal of Bomber Command, was discovered after 65 years when the river level dropped during the driest November on record.
    The fuse is badly corroded, and the authorities are evacuating 45,000 of Koblenz’s 120,000 population to leave a security zone of a mile around the bomb - which is capable of destroying an entire city block.
    The evacuation - the biggest in German postwar history - will involve fleets of buses and 1,000 volunteers helping police and firemen.


    Read more: German city Koblenz half evacuated after 'Blockbuster' RAF bomb is found in Rhine | Mail Online
     
  17. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

  18. dave500

    dave500 Senior Member

  19. David Layne

    David Layne Well-Known Member

    A load of cobblentz
     
  20. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

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