Wednesday, April 3, 2013

How Do You Say "Pucker My Sphincter" in German?

Brad_in_MA sends in today's HOLY HELL WHAT WAS *THAT*???

WWII bomb disrupts commute at main Berlin station
Trains are being stopped or diverted in Berlin after the discovery of an unexploded World War II bomb near the city's main railway station, affecting thousands of commuters.
The area around the 100kg (220-pound) bomb, found on a building site, has been cordoned off.
What? They found unexploded ordnance from WWII? In Germany? What are the odds?

Now, I understand that they need to treat it as though it could explode at any second. It's an explosive device that's been sitting around for 70 years - there's no telling what could happen. Sure, it's possible that it's long since past its expiration date and the explosives are all long degraded - but do you want to bet your morning commute on that? A 100 kg bomb will ruin your day and then some.

One thing I noticed from the video in the attached link is how similar urban construction seems. Until they interview the guy in charge and you can see the weird Euro-style vans in the background, that could be any metropolitan city in the world. Although not many other cities have 220 pound bombs littering the construction sites...

In any case, here's hoping no one's commute gets off to a bang...

That is all.

15 comments:

wolfwalker said...

"Sure, it's possible that it's long since past its expiration date and the explosives are all long degraded... "

Explosives are funny things. For some, time renders them inert. For others, time and decay makes the explosive more potent. Deteriorated bombs were the main culprit in the disastrous Forrestal fire of 1967.

"Although not many other cities have 220 pound bombs littering the construction sites..."

It's a more common occurrence than you might think. In parts of Belgium and France they still regularly find UXO from World War One, never mind Two. London is another fertile hunting ground - not everything the Germans dropped on it exploded as designed...

Anonymous said...

I remember seeing building that were still bombed out shells in Munich in the mid 60's. it took a long time to rebuild and no doubt more than a few buildings were built on leveled piles of rubble. They will find old ordinance for the next 100 years

NotDilbert

Armed Texan said...

Transliterated: Pucker meinen SchlieƟmuskel.

Dave H said...

Admit it, Jay - you're secretly pleased that someone else's traffic problems are worse that Boston's.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

What Wolfwalker said. Not only can it end up more potent, but depending on what it was and how it degraded, sometimes you couldn't set it off on purpose, and sometimes it will go off if you just look at it funny.

There's a reason they usually evacuate the neighborhood and blow them up in place.

David aka True Blue Sam said...

Read Aftermath- The Remnants of War by Donovan Webster if you can snag a copy. The Demineurs in France said a couple things that I remember. "they lull you to sleep. On the outside they look old. BUt inside they're still clean as a new clock.", and "This shell has a secret.---It could be a small problem, and moving this shell will revive its memory.---You never know."

God, Gals, Guns, Grub said...

I always look for the "Made in America" label...

Dann in Ohio

Glenn B said...

Finding unexploded and possibly still live bombs is not that uncommon in many European and Asian countries that were heavily bombed in WWII and WWI. Bombs are often found when new construction is done for foundations.

I can't wait until someone finds a missing nuke somewhere in the world, imagine the hoopla that will cause. There were a few missing from the USSR after it collapsed, one has to wonder if they ever recovered all of them.

Rob said...

They will find old ordinance for the next 100 years


Probably longer than that. Anyone else remember the guy who killed himself messing with an unexploded Civil War mortar shell that he dug up?

Old NFO said...

They find them all the time in Japan and other places in WESTPAC...

Waffenbesitzer 2.0 said...

Judging from the patch on the arm of one of the EOD guys, you might believe we're pretty international:
https://twitter.com/DavidCharter/status/319421044236640258/photo/1

Stretch said...

Back in the '80s some kids found a Civil War shell. They decided to share it and started to saw it apart.
Friction heated up the powder and both were killed.
And they're still finding chemical shells in Washington, DC form back when American U. was making ordinance for WWI.
History will smack you in the face when you least expect it.

Brad_in_MA said...

All,
EOD was able to successfully remove the detonator and defuse the bomb, in spite of it being well rusted onto the bomb casing. As for the stability of the explosive compound, yeah some become MORE UNSTABLE with age. Trinotro-phenol (picric acid) was a FAVE during ww1. The results of unstable picric acid can be seen in the 1917 Halifax harbor explosion.

ASM826 said...

Approximately 900 such incidents a year in Berlin alone.

Belgium has 3,500 incidents a year for a total of 250 tons. Their estimate is that there are 450 million unexploded devices in Belgium from WWI and WWII

Sailorcurt said...

I saw another story on this same incident that said a couple of years ago (2010 IIRC) six EOD people were killed when one of these went off.

They also said that it's so common to have to defuse them that they have a dedicated EOD team in Berlin that specializes in WWII ordnance.

I'd imagine that the poster above was right in that, after the war, the rubble was smoothed over and new buildings were built right on top...so they'll continue to find these things for a LONG time as the old buildings are torn down and new foundations are dug.