Polish underwater bomb disposal experts have started a “world first” operation to defuse a massive RAF Tallboy “earthquake” bomb lying on the bottom of a channel in the north-west coastal town of Swinoujscie.
Weighing some 12,000 lbs, the Barnes Wallace designed bomb was built to shatter targets with the shockwaves caused by the detonation of 5,200 pounds of explosives.
Historians believe the Tallboy was dropped by 617 “Dambuster” Squadron during attacks on the Lutzow, a German pocket battleship, which was moored in the channel in April 1945. The ship, one of Nazi Germany’s last remaining capital ships, was holed below the water by the attacks and sank.
Around 750 civilians have been told to leave their homes when divers are working on the bomb during an operation that could last five days. Maritime traffic has also been suspended, and the authorities have imposed a 2.5 kilometre total exclusion zone around the bomb.