More WWII-Era Bomb Discoveries Around the Globe

Three other WWII-era bomb discoveries happened in various parts of the globe just about the time a 1000-pound WWII-era bomb unearthed in London made it to the headlines and sparked a massive evacuation in the southern part of the city.

Opava, North Moravia

Czech authorities had to evacuate about one thousand civilians from the Opava-Katerĩnky neighborhood in North Moravia after a WWII-era bomb was discovered during one of the excavation works within the said area Monday, March 23.

All in all, about 16,000 civilians dwell in Katerĩnky, which is Opava’s biggest housing estate.

According to firefighters, the evacuation lasted for four hours before the people were allowed to get back to their respective homes. The said WWII-era bomb was unearthed in a densely populated part of the area. The location where it was found had several shops and even transportation lines.

Soňa Štětínská, spokeswoman for the Czech police, said that the location where the WWII-era bomb was excavated had to be closed down and the traffic restricted. Some civilians even caused authorities a little difficulty as they refused to leave their homes. Fortunately, bomb experts were able to contain the explosive safely and in record time.

Nevertheless, the WWII-era bomb discoveries are not at all uncommon in Moravia. November of 2013 saw the evacuation of some four hundred people from Opava after a vintage explosive from World War Two was found. Additionally, November last year saw two evacuations due to the same reason.

But the biggest evacuation happened on July of 2011. About 3,500 people had to be moved out when construction workers unearthed an air bomb buried in an area that was located between two shopping centers in Liberec, in the northern part of Bohemia. The said explosive posed as a threat to the health and lives of the individual who were within the said bomb’s one-kilometer radius.

Grafenwoehr, Germany

Thursday, March 19, saw the evacuation of some 200 people from the residences and offices at the Tower Barracks in Grafenwoehr, Germany after an unexploded 1000-pound WWII-era bomb was found in the said area.

It was found Thursday afternoon during the prepping of a new elementary school site in the location. Individuals residing within ten housing units in the area along with those who were in a number of office buildings including the garrison headquarters were, then, promptly moved out before bomb experts started to safely defuse the said WWII-era bomb. The situation was controlled successfully thirty minutes after the bomb disposal team started working on it.

The WWII-era bomb was then removed from the area and brought to a range where it was detonated all at the same day.

The Grafenwoehr Training Area was heavily bombed by US troops during the Second World War particularly on April of 1945 that is why it is not unusual to dig up undetonated vintage explosives within the said location. It is a standard operating procedure in Grafenwoehr to check a site by examining and analyzing old photos as well as using metal detectors and other equipment to detect buried explosive relics before beginning any construction procedures.

Dnipropetrovsk Region, Ukraine

A Ukrainian bomb disposal team was sent to the Dnipropetrovsk region of Ukraine after a civilian stumbled upon a WWII-era bomb lying undiscovered and dormant for seven decades.

A local from the Myshuryn Rig was the one who came across the said WWII-era bomb in the nearby forest. The device reportedly weighed about 500 kilograms. According to a bomb specialist, it was too dangerous to take off the bomb from its spot resulting to them defusing it safely right on the location it was found.

“This is a German bomb weighing 500 kg. Why was it so dangerous? It was too close to the village. The Gulf of the Dnieper River is very close, it’s where barges are loaded. Extracting the bomb wasn’t an option because traps were set up around it,” said Dmitry Fedorchenko, the Pyrotechnic Department’s head.

There were no other vintage explosives were found within the area where the WWII-era bomb was discovered.

Heziel Pitogo

Heziel Pitogo is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE