Even many decades after the Second World War, bombs keep popping up during construction work. In Baden-Württemberg there were 20 explosive devices last year. Not all could be defused.
Stuttgart (dpa/lsw) - Baden-Württemberg's ordnance disposal companies rendered 20 World War II bombs with a total weight of more than 50 kilograms harmless last year. That is one less than in the previous year, as the Stuttgart regional council announced on Friday, where the bomb experts are located centrally. Not all duds were defused, two had to be blown up in a controlled manner.
"Over the years, the danger of the existing explosive ordnance has increased, and it is often no longer possible to defuse them," explained District President Susanne Bay. Therefore, more destructive blasts must be expected in the future. In January last year, a dud was blown up in a controlled manner in Mannheim. Around two months later, in March, another bomb detonated in a controlled manner in a forest near Großbottwar (Ludwigsburg district).
The explosive ordnance disposal service also had to deal with found ammunition. Last year they removed more than 21 tons from soil and water. In 2021 it was still more than 25,000 tons of small ammunition. Here, too, blasting is necessary on site. In addition, the experts destroyed 15,000 weapons that were seized by the police, among others.
On average, around 1,300 tons of ordnance are found nationwide every year. Hundreds of duds are defused. Most date from between 1942 and 1945, when Germany was bombed from the air. Most defuses are uncomplicated. Sometimes buildings have to be cleared and streets closed. It is unclear how much ammunition is still underground. According to the regional council, 100,000 tons of dropped ammunition fell in Baden-Württemberg alone, of which ten to 15 percent did not detonate.