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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Bomb disposal


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On another board I am a member of the topic recently came up about ordinance disposal units (specifially UXB during WWII). Were there any units or parts of R.E. units who's responsibility was the removal or disarming of duds or other unexploded ordinance?

My feeling was that the logisitics i.e the vast number of artillery plus the inaccesibility of some areas would make it almost impossible, that the men would usually do it themselves as quickly and expediently as possible.

What is the truth?


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I asked this question on the forum before. The general view was that whilst the RE had a sort of general responsibility for this there were no specialist units. Given that the Germans only began to used delayed action aircraft bomb fuses towards the end of the war there would probably not be so many UXBs and those there did occur would be genuine duds rather than stalled fuses. Some UXBs from WW1 remained undetected until uncovered by the WW2 blitz and mightily puzzled some disposal squads.

Try the forum search

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