• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

British WWII bomb forces evacuation of Koblenz

The Local · 28 Nov 2011, 08:42

Published: 28 Nov 2011 08:42 GMT+01:00

The enormous bomb, dropped by the Royal Air Force, was only discovered thanks to the unusually low level of the Rhine, due to a severe lack of rain over the last few weeks.

The bomb disposal situation has been complicated by the discovery of two more, smaller bombs in the mud nearby.

The Koblenz city council said around 45,000 people will have to move, that is around 42 percent of the city’s population, in what will be the biggest evacuation in its history.

An evacuation radius of 1.8 kilometres has been decided upon. This means 700 patients at two hospitals will have to be moved, as well as the residents of seven old people’s homes and prisoners in a jail. The city’s main train station will also have to be emptied as well as several hotels.

The evacuation zone will have to be empty from 9 am, while the bomb should be defused between 3 pm and 5 pm, after which people will be able to return to their homes.

The low level of the Rhine is exposing unexploded World War II bombs which have lain under water for decades.

Police closed a road and a stretch of railway near Rhein bei Vallendar near Koblenz on Saturday so that three smoke bombs found in the river could be blown up. An artificial traffic jam was created on a nearby autobahn to slow traffic while the explosion work was underway.

A day later and just a few kilometres downriver the bomb disposal crews had their work cut out for them in Neuwied where a 500-kilo aerial bomb was spotted in the river. This required the evacuation of around 1,000 people living in the nearby area of Neuwied.

Story continues below…

DAPD/The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

14:07 November 28, 2011 by auniquecorn
you know, if you find a ton of gold buried the gov´t screams, it´s mine, it´s mine.

Find a fkn bomb? its the brits, its the brits.
14:30 November 28, 2011 by Alofat
Are you high?
15:39 November 28, 2011 by rutledm
@auniquecorn.......Maybe they're screaming "it's the brits it's the brits" because it was the Brits? I think there was a bit of a scuffle between the two countries back in the 40's, or maybe the "made in England" label is still visible, who knows?
16:39 November 28, 2011 by tobyjug
its rather easy to say it was the Brits!!! the only bomber in WW2 in the Europe theatre capable of carrying a single bomb of that weight was the Lancaster bomber.

B17 and B24 had heavy bomb loads but only multiple smaller bombs i think the B25 could but it was was not deployed in Europe during the war
19:58 November 28, 2011 by finanzdoktor
@auniquecorn...Think both rutiedm and tobyjug have you there. Unless it was the Free French or Polish Air Forces.
21:13 November 28, 2011 by candianrider
You sure it doesn't have a "Made in Canada" stamp with a maple leaf beside it?

The Royal Canadian Airforce flew more Lancasters than the Brits.

But for arguments sake we'll call it a bomb dropped but the allies.

I agree that it must have been carried by a Lancaster though, despite the notoriety of the American B17 the Lancaster was the real workhorse during the war.

Let's hope that kind of nonsense doesn't happen ever again, and my best wishes to the poor guys who have been charged with diffusing that thing.
22:39 November 28, 2011 by Whipmanager
You know, they should just leave it where it stands. It has been there for so long, how dangerous can it be if you dont mess with it. If it goes uff, you will now lose the lives of teh EOD guys (UXO for the brits, right?) and a great deal of damage to teh surrounding community and the actual economic driving force of the River itself.

As for responsible parties, if Adolph hadnt have started it, it wouldn't be there, so, it is ultimately the fault of the country where the UXO is actually found. The finders keepers rule applies, as well as the Bend over and Kiss your Bottom Goodbye rule.

Wow, you have a 1.8 ton bomb, a safety circle of 1.8 kilometers, I wonder if the Authorities are over reacting? Unless there are gas lines, NATO Oil Lines or soemthing else around it. Wish I were there to see this operation. As I remember it, there may be a certain Base around Germany, with two car loads of Un exploded munitions from WWII sitting on it, burried in a moound, because it was so unsafe and unstable, they couldnt do anything with it....can't wait until that one gets fixed....
01:32 November 29, 2011 by wood artist
@Whipmanager

So, using your logic, if the water weren't quite so low, no one would notice it. Then, when a small boat happens to go over it, and the propeller strikes and detonates the bomb, and a major section of the city is destroyed exactly what governmental official will you blame?

And...since you seem to have some issues with the protective space required, exactly who does the family member of a person killed should something go wrong go see? Is there a Department of Governmental Stupidity? Are they much good at helping?

In a perfect world, this gets done without a hitch and everybody goes back home. We don't, in case you haven't noticed, don't live in a perfect world. The precautions are not only reasonable but prudent. You'd be the first one in line to criticize if they didn't clear the area and somebody other than those doing the work were injured or killed.

Although I'm nowhere near there right now, I'd much prefer to be safe. I've been close enough to detonating ordnance before, and it's not much fun.

wa
06:53 November 29, 2011 by JCBearss
What an interesting bit of news. As stated the UXO will need to be defused and removed as soon as possible because it has the POTENTIAL at this point due to erosion and low water levels to be a hazzard once again. Inconvenient for some, yes, but so is a major disaster in the beautiful city of Kolblenz. I am MORE than certain that Germany has trained EOD diver experts well suited to deal with this matter because it is not the first time having to adjust to such a problem.
08:49 November 29, 2011 by tobyjug
@candianrider

RAF Lancaster Squadrons in WW2 60+

RCAF Lancaster Squadrons in WW2 15

RAAF Lancaster Squadrons in WW2 3

Unexploded Ordnance is Extremely dangerous if struck!!! so no they cant leave it there! as for exclusion zone that's the maximum distance plus some that shrapnel could travel!!! Better over reaction than some poor sod being hit!

but i think we will all agree that lets hope no major air power starts indiscriminate bombing of the scale of WW2 ever again.
17:05 November 30, 2011 by Englishted
@tobyjug

Yes I hope you are right that is never needed again but don't rule it out because it worked .
03:29 December 2, 2011 by yuri_nahl
"but i think we will all agree that lets hope no major air power starts indiscriminate bombing of the scale of WW2 ever again."...You mean like in Libya? Or , what was that place, "Yugoslavia"?
16:38 December 2, 2011 by tonybot
It's only there because the Germans bombed London
16:08 December 3, 2011 by Bruno53
Well, the same German bombs can still be found in England and many other parts of Europe. So what's new?
13:44 December 4, 2011 by Mossie
@tobyjug

- Correction. The Lancaster was not the only bomber in WW2 in the Europe theatre capable of carrying a single bomb of that weight. The De Havilland Mosquito could also carry a single 4000 lb (1,800kg) "Cookie" or "Blockbuster" bomb!

It has been calculated that a Mosquito could be loaded with a 4,000 lb bomb, fly to Germany, drop the bomb, return, bomb up and refuel, fly back, drop a second bomb, and return, and still land before a Stirling (the slowest of Bomber Command's four-engined bombers) could strike Germany with a full bomb load.
Today's headlines
Far-right AfD leader injured by flying frozen cake
Jörg Meuthen and a cake. Photo: DPA

The co-leader of the far-right AfD party was attacked with a cake while attending a political event on Monday. But the fact the dessert was frozen made the act "dangerous", according to the politician.

Underwater pensioner hunts boats on famed Bavarian lake
A passenger boat on Lake Starnberg. Photo: DPA

"I love chasing the ships, and what a great feeling it is when they sound the horn!" he gleefully exclaims.

What are Merkel's chances for remaining Chancellor?
Photo: DPA.

She's already held the Chancellery for over a decade, but infighting with political allies as well as a rocky response to her refugee policies may put a damper on Angela Merkel's staying power.

German EU commissioner doubts Brexit will happen
EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger. Photo: EPA.

Germany's EU Commissioner Günther Oettinger raised doubts on Tuesday about whether Britain would leave the bloc, saying he wouldn't bet on "Brexit".

Merkel offers Russia a lifting of sanctions - if it behaves
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA

Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday that she has "the very greatest interest in stopping sanctions" against Russia, Reuters reports.

'Idiot' youth lets regional train drive over him as dare
Photo: DPA

In a stunt police have described as "incomprehensible idiocy," a drunk young man from Munich lay down on the tracks in front of a fast-moving train and let it ride over him.

'Unfriendly' Germans make expat life harder: report
Photo: Pexels.com

Expats in Germany generally find it great for families and starting a career, but were turned off by the language barriers and "unfriendly" Germans upon arrival, according to a new report.

Is German diplomacy getting too chummy with Russia?
Russian President Vladimir Putin meeting German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Photo: DPA/AFP Pool.

Critics have been questioning the German Foreign Minister's recent series of comments about working closer with Russia, with some labelling the diplomat a "Russia-sympathizer".

Police investigate after mosque door is bricked shut
The bricked-up door. Photo: Facebook/Netzwerk für Flüchtlinge in Parchim.

Unknown people have bricked up the entrance to a mosque in northeastern Germany and stuck racist flyers to their masonry work.

Vice-Chancellor: TTIP trade deal is dead
Photo: DPA

Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said on Sunday that negotiations on a massive trade deal between the European Union and the United States were effectively dead in the water.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
Lifestyle
What's on in Germany: events for August 2016
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
7,567
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd