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Removal of giant Tallboy bomb will begin on Monday

Tomorrow, on Monday 12 October, a long-awaited operation to remove a giant British WWII Tallboy aerial bomb will begin in Świnoujście. The unexploded bomb is lying on the bottom in the area of the Piastowski Channel and poses a great danger. Due to the size of the bomb and the potential threat it poses, it
Published: October 11, 2020 - 09:00
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 21:18
Removal of giant Tallboy bomb will begin on Monday

Tomorrow, on Monday 12 October, a long-awaited operation to remove a giant British WWII Tallboy aerial bomb will begin in Świnoujście. The unexploded bomb is lying on the bottom in the area of the Piastowski Channel and poses a great danger.

Due to the size of the bomb and the potential threat it poses, it will be necessary to evacuate local residents in advance, a total of more than 750 people living within a 2.5 km radius of where the unexploded ordnance was found. Authorities are also warning of possible traffic problems that may occur during the clearance of the bomb.

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This will be one of the largest and most dangerous operations of its kind conducted in recent years. The entire operation has been scheduled for the next five days, with Thursday and Friday set as additional dates in case any complications arise along the way and the bomb cannot be removed according to plan.

The recovered Tallboy aerial bomb is a monster weighing 5340 kg. During the Second World War, only the Avro Lancaster was able to drop bombs of this type. However, this heavy four-engine British bomber had to be specially prepared to carry the Tallboy. For this type of mission, the armament and armour of the aircraft had to be dismantled.

The dangerous find was discovered on 16 September by employees of Seaterra, a German company specialising in finding such objects. The company was hired by the Maritime Office in Szczecin to check the bottom of the channel, before the planned deepening of the Szczecin-Świnoujście waterway.

The British bomb was located 100 metres from the Karsibór ferry crossing. The explosion resulting from its detonation would be felt within a radius of several kilometres. In addition, the action of the Tallboy was designed to transfer all the energy of the explosion to nearby objects, destroying them as if during an earthquake and making their repair very difficult and highly unprofitable.

The problem may not be limited to a single bomb. The Tallboy found is probably the remains of a raid conducted on 16 April 1945. At that time RAF aircraft attempted to sink the German cruiser Lützow, which was located in the canal area. A total of 14 bombs of this type were dropped, some of which may still be lying on the bottom.

Photo: Imperial War Museum

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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