A unexploded 1.8 tonne bomb was found in city of Augsburg, southern Germany on December 20 by construction workers. The British Royal Air Force bomb found is the biggest ever found in Augsburg. Authorities chose Christmas Day to defuse the bomb to cause the least disruption. 

Around 54,000 citizens were evacuated on Christmas morning, over 100 of whom took shelter in the city’s football stadium, while many others were able to seek refuge with friends and family, as Euronews reports. The operation was conducted on a massive scale, which took almost 11 hours and involved around 900 police officers, according to reports. The detonation of the bomb was said to be successful and it ended around 1800 GMT, as IB Times reports.

During World War II,  Augsburg was a heavily bombed and damaged. The bombing of Augsburg included two British RAF and one USAAF bombing raids on 17 April 1942 and 25/26 February 1944. 

The target of the first raid was the MAN U-boat diesel engine factory. It was codenamed Operation "Margin". With this bombing, RAF Bomber Command took the capabilities of the new Avro Lancaster. The operation had propaganda value to the British public (having proved that bomber command could reach distant targets within Germany).

In a final Big Week mission, the American Eighth Air Force bombed the Augsburg Messerschmitt works during the day on 25 February 1944. That night (25/26 February 1944), RAF Bomber Command followed and destroyed large parts of the centre of Augsburg. The last bombings killed 730 people and injured 1,335; 85,000 were left homeless, and nearly a quarter of all homes had been destroyed.

The Messerschmittsiedlung was raised to the ground during the Second World War (Via)

More than 70 years after the end of the war, unexploded bombs are still found buried on German territory, vestiges of the intense bombing campaigns by the Allied forces against Nazi Germany. As BBC reports, other WW2 bombs have been recently discovered in Germany:

  • May 2015: 20,000 people in Cologne forced to leave their homes after a one-tonne bomb was discovered
  • January 2012: A construction worker was killed when his digger hit an unexploded bomb in Euskirchen.
  • December 2011: 45,000 people were evacuated from Koblenz after two bombs were found in the riverbed of the Rhine. It took three hours to make them both safe.
  • June 2010: Three members of a bomb disposal squad were killed in Goettingen during an operation to defuse a bomb found on a building site.


Euronews (Youtube) | www.euronews.com | www.dailymail.co.uk | Wikipedia | www.ibtimes.co.in

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