Incessant Threat of WW II-era bombs: Will It Ever Cease to Exist?

Sunday night of London was highlighted by the discovery of an unexploded “Nazi bomb” causing a total shutdown of the London City airport. Even after 70 years, the never-ending threat of World War bombs haunts the war cities. It is believed that every year, Germans suffer from the explosion of one or two such World War II-era bombs.

world war II bombs UK

After more than 7 decades, London revisited an awful historical chapter of the Second World War. A relic of world War II, an unexploded bomb, was discovered in the river Thames during a pre-planned work. The explosive was expected to be detonated in a controlled environment. In turn of such events, the London City airport, a vital hub for business travelers, was forced to shut, affecting more than 16,000 passengers and nearby residents. The armament was said to be a 500 kg fused device, lying in a bed of silt 15 m underwater at the King George V Dock near the river Thames. People in the range of the located bomb were evacuated by local authorities. Police asked for the cooperation of residents and counseled them to leave their homes overnight.

According to London City airport’s website, more than 260 departures and arrivals had been scheduled for Monday. The cancellation led to vexation among several passengers and business travelers. People were asked not to visit London City airport and urged to contact their respective airlines for further information and schedule.

The recent events brought back the war memories to several citizens of London. On the word of many historians, London was heavily bombarded during the Blitz. The Blitz was a bombing offensive military attack of Germans used against Britain in 1940 and 1941. German planes dropped nearly 30,000 bombs on London in just three months, but not all of them exploded at the time.

In March 2015, a similar ordnance was discovered in Cliffe, a village on the Hoo Peninsula in Kent. It was believed that the explosive was dropped by Germans on 11 May 1941, but did not detonate. An area of 200 m around the device was put in lockdown as army ensured safety and diffused the bomb.

The discovery of such WW II-era bomb is not unique to London. It is said that, every year, one or two such World War bombs explode without warning and around 2,000-pounds of WW II-era bombs are uncovered. In 2016, Germans located a 550-pound American WW II bomb in their soil. After a prolonged period of 70 years, the fuse of the bomb was still intact, and could set off at any minute. During the World War, the U.S. and its allies showered entire Europe with more than two million tons of bombs, and even now, people stumble upon such unexploded explosives. Similarly, in 2017, tens of thousands of German residents in Frankfurt were evacuated to defuse such unexploded bomb. The technicians defused a 4000-pound unexploded WW II bomb, also known as “Blockbuster”, which was located at the edge of Goethe University, Frankfurt. The evacuation of Frankfurt is considered as Germany’s largest evacuation after World War II.

Well, the question of “Will this threat ever end?” is still unanswered, and it has grabbed attention of social media and other platforms. Whether such happenings appear in London or Germany, their discovery makes the blood run cold for sure.


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