These images show how a German farmer got his plough embedded in an unexploded British World War II bomb while working his field.
Newsflash obtained the images and a statement from the City of Viersen, which is located in the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, yesterday (Thursday, 24th March).
The city authorities said that the farmer, who has not been named, found the British bomb while ploughing his field on Thursday, 17th March. They said that the “plough had pulled an object out of the ground and got stuck in it”.
They added: “But the tractor driver could not see what it was in the dark. So he unlatched the stuck part of the plough and left the item in the field.”
The following morning, on Friday, 18th March, “he realised it was a bomb” and called the police. The police handed the case over to bomb experts and officers from the German ordnance disposal service (KBD) arrived on the scene.
A first photograph provided to Newsflash by the City of Viersen shows the unexploded bomb with a chunk of the farmer’s plough embedded deeply in it. It is currently unclear why it did not detonate.
The bomb was reportedly a British INC30 incendiary bomb that had contained phosphorus and that dated back to World War II.
The City of Viersen said: “Before being transported away, the stuck plough was separated from the bomb and returned to the tractor driver.”
The City also said that last Monday, 21st March, local citizens who went to clean up the forest a bit then “discovered two grenades”. The fire department was called to the scene before the KBD bomb experts were called back as well. They took the ordnance with them “for safe disposal”.
There have been no details regarding the provenance of the two grenades, one of which can be seen in this photograph provided by the City of Viersen.
Thousands of tonnes of unexploded bombs from World War II are still believed to be littered across Germany, with locals regularly stumbling across them in fields and forests across the country.
They also regularly found, usually during construction work, in German cities that were bombed by the Allies as the end of the conflict drew near.
World War II saw the United States and United Kingdom, along with their allies, oppose Nazi Germany and its Third Reich dictatorship, led by Adolf Hitler, and its allies, who together formed the Axis Powers.
Incendiary bombs were widely used during World War II, perhaps most infamously when the British Royal Air Force and the US Air Force bombed Dresden in February 1945.
Another infamous example is the American firebombing of the Japanese capital, Tokyo, a few weeks later, in March 1945, a few months before the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States in August 1945.
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