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5.4 tonne WWII bomb in Poland detonated during deflagration process

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During an underwater diffusion process, the largest World War Two bomb ever found in Poland detonated.

5.4 tonne WWII bomb in Poland detonated during deflagration process

During an underwater diffusion process, the largest World War Two bomb ever found in Poland detonated.

The discovery of the ordnance resulted in approximately 750 residents being evacuated from the area near the bomb site. 

The bomb, called a Tallboy - or ‘earthquake bomb’ - detonated underwater near the port city of Swinoujscie.

The Tallboy measured 19ft long and weighed a colossal 5.4 tonnes. These particular bombs are so enormous they have the potential to cause utter devastation to communities. 

Even though the explosion happened in water, the earthquake bomb proved true to its namesake as people in the nearby city reported feeling tremors from the detonation.

It has been reported that the RAF dropped the bomb during a raid in 1945, and that even though it didn’t detonate, the device sank the German cruiser Lützow.

Due to the weight of the bomb, it was embedded deeply in the seabed at a depth of 12m, with only the nose visible above the surface.

SafeLane’s Marine Director Chas Reid commented, “this case is particularly interesting as it was claimed that due to the numbers dropped, all Tallboys and Grand Slams had been accounted for.  Clearly, that’s not accurate.”

Upon discovery of the ordnance, naval forces in Poland attempted to deflagrate it.  This technique burns the explosive charge without causing detonation.  In this instance, the process failed and resulted in an accidental detonation. 

Fortunately, all naval personnel were located sufficiently far from the bomb and were uninjured.

This case just serves as a reminder as to why evacuations and safety procedures are essential when dealing with ordnance, these processes protect the community if things aren’t quite able to go to plan.

No matter the size of the device, there is always a risk when dealing with unexploded ordnance. If you’re planning any form of intrusive works on land or in the marine environment, we can provide you with a detailed risk assessment, ensuring you don’t unexpectedly encounter UXO.

Published by SafeLane Global on