• Germany edition
 
British WWII bomb forces evacuation of Koblenz
Photo: DPA

British WWII bomb forces evacuation of Koblenz

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

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
Woman sues for accidental pot raid
Photo: DPA

Woman sues for accidental pot raid

A Bavarian woman is suing police for unlawful search after a reported break-in at her home led authorities to discover 158 cannabis plants in her basement. READ  

Clueless Merkel forgets the F-word
Merkel suffers from Wortfindungsstörung at the IT summit in Hamburg. Photo: DPA

Clueless Merkel forgets the F-word

Angela Merkel's government is often criticized for its lack of understanding of all things digital and an appearance by the Chancellor in Hamburg which was supposed to change those perceptions has only made things worse. READ  

Germany lags in permits for non-EU migrants
Photo: DPA

Germany lags in permits for non-EU migrants

Germany gave out fewer residency permits last year per head to non-EU citizens than any other major European economy. READ  

Hamburg volunteers test Ebola vaccine
Hamburg's UKE has helped lead the fight against Ebola. Photo: DPA

Hamburg volunteers test Ebola vaccine

Volunteers have rolled up their sleeves for the first phase of the human trial for an Ebola vaccine at the Hamburg-Eppendorf University Clinic (UKE), it was announced on Wednesday evening. READ  

US adds voice to chorus telling Germany to spend
Jacob Lew and Sigmar Gabriel. Photo: DPA

US adds voice to chorus telling Germany to spend

US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, in a meeting on Wednesday with German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel, called on Germany to boost public spending to stimulate stuttering eurozone growth, the Treasury said. READ  

Man leaps with son, 5, from third-floor window
Schönhauser Allee in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Man leaps with son, 5, from third-floor window

A father and his young son are in serious condition after police and firefighters were called to their home in northeast Berlin early on Wednesday morning. READ  

North braces for storms and floods
Cars waiting to be loaded onto the ferry at Bremerhaven, Lower Saxony, were caught in flooding on Wendnesday. Photo: DPA

North braces for storms and floods

UPDATE: The remnants of hurricane Gonzalo have drifted across the Atlantic and are now threatening North German cities with flooding, forecasters warned on Wednesday. The news followed a night of accidents caused by heavy winds in southern Germany. READ  

Kerry's challenge to Russia at Berlin Wall
US Secretary of State John Kerry at the Berlin Wall. Photo: DPA

Kerry's challenge to Russia at Berlin Wall

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited remnants of the Berlin Wall on Wednesday and warned that East-West tensions again threaten freedom in Europe, 25 years after its collapse. READ  

Satirist lives the dream on EU gravy train
Sonneborn in the EU Parliament. Photo: DPA

Satirist lives the dream on EU gravy train

Martin Sonneborn can’t believe his luck. The German comedian, leader of the political party “Die Partei”, managed to get elected to the European Parliament in May, and has found himself overwhelmed with fresh material. READ  

The Local List
Which high school cliche is your city?
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock

Which high school cliche is your city?

This week's Local List takes a leap of imagination and finds German cities fit perfectly into high school cliche categories. Who's the class clown? Who's the nerd? READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
Which high school cliche is your German city?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Storm hits southern Germany
Sponsored Article
An international school unlike any other : School on the Rhine
Photo: Fitzpatrick family
Society
'We still don't know what happened to Matthew'
Photo: Mariana Schroeder
Munich
Special Report: Hope and chaos at Munich's refugee shelters
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Robbers blow up Berlin bank
Photo: DPA
Culture
Can you top our history quiz leaderboard?
Photo: Facebook
Society
German motorcycle gang joins Isis fight
Photo: DPA
Politics
UKIP ‘seeks EU pact’ with German satirical party
Photo: DPA
Gallery
PHOTOS: World's biggest erotic fair opens in Berlin
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
11 things Germans are afraid of...
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The ten richest people in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,510
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd