WW2 ‘earthquake’ bomb explodes in Poland during attempt to defuse it

Navy divers from the 12th Minesweeper Squadron of the 8th Coastal Defense Flotilla take part in an operation to defuse the largest unexploded World War Two Tallboy bomb ever found in Poland, in Swinoujscie, Poland
image captionAbout 750 residents had been evacuated from the area

The largest unexploded World War Two bomb ever found in Poland has detonated during the defusing process, a Polish Navy spokesman said.

The chance the bomb – at the bottom of a Baltic Sea shipping canal – would detonate had been put at 50-50 and all the divers were unharmed.

About 750 residents had been evacuated near the port city of Swinoujscie.

The RAF dropped the Tallboy or “earthquake” bomb in a raid in 1945 which sank the German cruiser Lützow.

Swinoujscie was part of Germany and called Swinemünde at the time of the bombardment.

The shock of the latest detonation was reportedly felt in parts of the city and a video shows the blast throwing up a large column of water into the air.

The bomb was 6m (19ft) long and weighed 5.4 tonnes, nearly half of which was its explosives.

The bomb was embedded at a depth of 12m and only its nose was sticking out.

A Tallboy, 1 Jan 44 (Imperial War Museum archive, copyright expired)
image captionTallboy bombs were dropped by RAF Lancaster bombers
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  1. The Tallboys were fabulous bombs…massive armour piercing things intended for penetrating great thicknesses of concrete such as submarine pens. They were designed by Professor Barbes Wallis, who also invented the famous “Dambuster” bomb.

  2. Sounds a lot like they just blew it in place but didn’t want to say that. If we set off this small charge close to it there is a 50% chance it wont go off.

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