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Polish divers begin operation to defuse “earthquake bomb” from WWII, World News

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Polish military divers on Monday will begin the operation to defuse a massive WWII bomb at the bottom of a canal near the Baltic Sea.

The five-ton bomb was called the “Tallboy” and is also known as the “earthquake bomb”. Tallboys are designed to explode underground next to the target, creating shock waves that will cause damage.

The bomb is six meters (19 feet) long and contains 2.4 tons of explosives – equivalent to about 3.6 tons of TNT.

Shot down by the Royal Air Force in an attack on a Nazi warship in 1945, it was discovered last year while dredging near the port city of Swinoujscie – formerly known as Swinemunde, a part of Germany – in the far northwest of Poland.

Marine traffic will be suspended on the shipping channel and surrounding waterways in an area of ​​16 km around the bomb disposal operation.

About 750 local residents are being evacuated from the 2.5 km (1.6 mi) area around the bomb and the operation is expected to last up to five days.

Navy divers will instead use a technique known as combustion to burn the explosive charge without causing an explosion, using a remote-controlled device to penetrate the shell to start combustion.

How it ended up in the Baltic region

During World War II, the region was home to one of the most important German naval bases in the Baltic Sea and the region was subjected to intense bombardment. The ship’s cannons were used to repel the advance of the Red Army in the final days of the war.

On 16 April 1945, the RAF sent 18 Lancaster bombers from 617th Squadron – known as the “Dambusters”. The bombers fired 12 talboes on board the Lutsu, but one failed to detonate and one of the two aircraft crashed on the island of Carsebor, killing all seven of its crew.

The ship survived the raid but was eventually captured by the Soviet army and used in target practice exercises after the war. It finally sank in the Baltic Sea in September 1947.

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