Polish Navy Begins Removing Huge, Live WWII Bomb from Channel

They were called “Tallboys.”  The English bombs, dubbed “earthquake” bombs, weighed 12,000 pounds, were hard to manufacture, and could only be delivered by a specific heavy bomber. But they were effective, especially against hardened targets such as ships.

The British Royal Air Force dropped them on a German cruiser in the Polish Piast Canal, which connects the Baltic Sea with the Oder River. Unfortunately, one of them didn’t explode. Poland found the unexploded ordinance in September of 2019 when deepening the channel.  It took a year to coordinate removing the bomb.

Now the Polish Navy is working on the actual removal, which is tricky given that the location is near a liquified natural gas terminal.

A spokeswoman at site operator Gaz-System said:

“There will be no deliveries while the bomb is being neutralized.”

That seems sort of obvious.

Michal Jodloski of the Polish Navy said:

“We dug up the moving part of the bomb, the middle part the bomb was left, as planned, so that the debris around it would keep the bomb in a fixed place, so that it would not move and the fuses would not be triggered.”

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