World War II Bomb Found in April 2010

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Here is a link to one of the news posts: http://www.tagesspiegel.de/berlin/Polizei-Justiz-Friedrichshain;art126,3076869

 

It's in German but the gist is that during the renovation of Ostkreuz, an old WWII bomb was found. Queue an enormous amount of Polizei personnel surrounding Ostkreuz.

 

I was on my way home from a friendly game of football when I was forced to walk to Ostkreuz from Treptower Park in an indirect loop because Ring service was interrupted due to the uncovered bomb. The Polizei are literally everywhere.

 

What do you think the chances of the bomb still being remotely active?

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Unlikely to still be active, but definitely possible - as that roadworker found out a year or two ago. Some pretty big bombs were dropped on Berlin - could be pretty messy if it went off, put it that way.

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The chance that it blows up is... well not that remote actually. Also depends on the type of bomb. Old phosphorus grenades, hand grenades or mines all have a tendency to blow up the second they're touched. And old 500 lb bombs, as in this case, have been known to just blow up randomly without anyone touching them.

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What do you think the chances of the bomb still being remotely active?

The chances are high.

 

One needs only to google the words "Bombenräumung" and "Munitionsräumdienst".

 

From year to year the chances are higher that the bombs with delay detonators are blowing off by themselves because the materiel inside those detonators is getting weaker and weaker.

 

For the other bombs:

They are looking old and rusty from outside...but are pretty well conserved inside.

Whatever may have been the reason for the detonators not to go off when they were dropped: a little vibration may be now the reason that the interrupted chain of reaction inside the detonator is continuing.

I´ve watched once a documentary about all the old bombs in the ground of Germany and elsewhere (I think the title was "Tödliches Bombenerbe").

An old bomb technician showed a souvenir: A delay detonator with a mechanical clockwork. One of the tiny cogwheels was blocked by a corn of sand. That saved his live during he was trying to deactivate this bomb.

 

Some of the bombs didn´t detonated because they fell into muddy ground.

The soil of Berlin is soft. Soft and sandy.

 

Many bombs and their detonators are so well conserved as if they came right now out of the factory.

Others were damaged or corroded.

That is causing another danger: The chemicals inside the blasting agents inside the bomb itself and inside the detonator AND the chemicals inside chemical detonators (partly delay detonators) are getting year by year more unstable.

 

In this documentary they´ve showed another type of delay detonator: A British one where the firing pin is only held back by a thin paper-like layer of a materiel I´ve forgotten the name.

The detonator contains acid that corrodes the "paper" and the firing pin is igniting the bomb.

All those materials are corroding now for 60 years into the earth.

A sixty years old thin layer of paper...

 

From time to time I´ve heard about such delay bombs going off. Not very often, but it happened.

 

Years ago at an Autobahn construction site near Bremen: A bomb was thrown into a shredder that war shredding the big old blocks of concrete Autobahn road surface.

The shredder looked like a bizarre flower afterwords.

 

Because there were so many bomb craters, old ammunition and bombs in post war Germany (millions and millions of tons) they were not able to deactivate all to them.

Life had to go on and Germany would still lay in ruins when they wouldn´t have simply put earth on the most craters and build stuff like houses and roads on top of it.

 

Once I saw a picture of a bomb that was pulled out of the foundations of a little house somewhere in a big city of Germany.

It was covered by cement.

It was INSIDE the foundations. The owner discovered it, when he had to open a part of the foundations in his cellar to replace an old drainage pipe.

He lived for 50 years on a bomb.

Thanks God he seemed to have not a stompy and heavy walk.

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At least in Berlin it was mandatory for a long time to have sites searched before building on them. I think it is not mandatory anymore, but having sites searched before building is still done for free.

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Geez, how often are they found? brb next time in berlin not touching any odd looking things!!!

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Another one found at Ostkreuz yesterday! It's weird to keep having police and firetrucks lining my street.

http://www.rbb-online.de/nachrichten/vermischtes/2010_09/blindgaengerfund_am.html

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At least in Berlin it was mandatory for a long time to have sites searched before building on them. I think it is not mandatory anymore

 

It still is in some parts, (especially the surrounding areas to the North) they find about 7 or 8 a year where I live (roughly 150 since 1991) and they reckon there's another 200 still lying around

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Another one found at Ostkreuz yesterday! It's weird to keep having police and firetrucks lining my street.

 

I guess it´s just fine to have police and firetrucks lining your street - if you think of the alternative, you would have a big hole, police, firetrucks and ambulances there, plus a lot of people either injured or in shock...

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A WW2 bomb was detonated on a river bed in Potsdam (yesterday?). Video below - watch out for the duck getting the fright of its life!

 

Linky

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Yeah, my husband works in Potsdam and he said they found it near the train station during construction? Wow...

 

Poor ducky!!!

 

EDIT: actually, this thing says "river bomb" -is the river near the train station?

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Not in Berlin but:

I was on a job back in April/May nearAugsburg on a site which had been an Me262 base at the end of the war and had been pretty well plastered by the USAAF. They were building a new Lidl or Aldi and I had to check the ground for archaeology (It was directly next to a Roman road). We were told that the area had been cleared of any munitions and that we could start our dig. Turned out that was not quite the case...

Halfway through the dig the EOD guy turned up and asked what we doing...did we not get the message that there were at least 2 500lbers buried on our site along with plenty of 2cm Flak munitions? Given that only Indiana Jones uses little paint brushes to find his treasure and that we were using pick axes and spades, the implications of finding munitions during our dig were quite serious.

That was on a Thursday. Friday comes and its lunch time...did I want a beer with my lunch the EOD guy asked? Sure, I would love one. He has a case in his car. We down a second one. I figured that as it was Friday he would be finishing early. No. He gets back in his JCB and trundles off to find more big-bangey things. Unbelievable. Only in Bavaria. At least he was wearing steel-capped boots and a viz-vest...those'll save him.

 

I picked up some cool souvenirs from the EOD firm...some big chunks of shrapnel, a Wehrmacht tent peg and even a couple of bits of of aircraft that had been blown to bits in 1945.

 

I was surprised to learn that civilian contractors do an awful lot of this work.I expected it to be the exclusive domain of the Bundeswehr

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In 2005, one was found outside the perimeter of my workplace in Truppenuebungsplatz - U.S. Army Grafenwoehr. Had to evacuate military housing tenants and several workplaces within a 1km radius. Fortunately, I was on vacation at the time.

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