Massive British "Tallboy" bomb from WWII explodes in Poland while being defused

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/10/13/massive-british-tallboy-bomb-from-wwii-explodes-in-poland-while-being-defused.html

6 Likes

Dropped by the RAF in 1945 in an attack on the German cruiser Lützow, in case anyone wonders how and why a Tallboy ended up in (or near) the Piast Canal. The canal connects the Baltic Sea with the Oder River.

35 Likes

Added to post. Thanks!

16 Likes

“We’re gonna summon the Holy Ghost from the battlefield
And in the morning this old world won’t be the same”

Tallboy, Widespread Panic

3 Likes

Well, we have some fascists to get rid of again. How about we just drop these on them. It worked the first time.

4 Likes

Three comments:

  • How nobody got injured or dead is amazing. And there was no boat or equipment around it, so… it was a day off?
  • The video was a bit weird, no commentary or anything, just some kind of stock music.
  • The fact there are still live, huge bombs hanging around Europe after all these years is scary.
15 Likes

Well, not this one.

11 Likes

Bomb spends 75 years under water, and still retains much or all of its potency. Scary stuff.

16 Likes

A bit more detail. Looks like they were aiming for a small controlled explosion to disable it and it fully detonated instead. So “exploded while navy divers were trying to defuse it” (as appears in a number of stories) is somewhat misleading - “disarm” would be a better description, with no divers anywhere near it.

28 Likes

I was wondering why a 5,400 kg bomb only contains 2,400 kg of explosive.
What is the other 3,000 kg, marzipan?

11 Likes

Portions of Germany were ceded to Poland (and to the Soviet Union) after 1945.

1 Like

Nobody died, not even a remote bomb defusing drone. A happy ending in my book.

16 Likes

Music didn’t do it for me on this video. Going “against type” only works sometimes.

2 Likes

A very heavy steel casing designed to penetrate the ground (near underground facilities), buildings or in this case ships, and then detonating. From the Wikipedia article:

To be able to penetrate the earth (or fortified targets) without breaking apart, the casing of the Tallboy had to be strong. Each was cast in one piece of high-tensile steel that would enable it to survive the impact before detonation. At the same time, to achieve the penetration required, Wallis designed the Tallboy to be very aerodynamically clean so that, when dropped from a great height, it would reach a much higher terminal velocity than traditional bomb designs.

32 Likes

Oh right, that makes sense. Thanks.

5 Likes

[shudder] Now that would be scary!

12 Likes

Lützow née Deutschland—I love the story of that ship. When Hitler realized the Royal Navy was not playing, he decided the risk of a ship named “Germany” being sunk and the attendant publicity were not worth it.

Then they used the damn thing as a gun emplacement after it was sunk!

12 Likes
9 Likes

The rest is mostly material designed to allow the bomb to penetrate its target before exploding. It’s a bunker buster.

7 Likes

IMO, robotic solutions for such a huge problem (UXO) are a good idea.

9 Likes