Danger UXB–German style.

There used to be a show called Danger UXB which told the story of the bomb defusers in the UK fighting the legacy of World War II. But here’s an interesting piece from the German side of things, published today in Der Spiegel.

In the whole of Germany, more than 2,000 tons of American and British aerial bombs and all sorts of munitions ranging from German hand grenades and tank mines to Russian artillery shells are recovered each year.

Kind of interesting is the reason some didn’t go off. Soil conditions and gravity prevented some of the chemical triggers from activating 60 years ago.

An estimated 20,000 delay-action bombs were dropped on Oranienburg during the war because it had a suspected atomic bomb research site, the Heinkel aircraft factory and a pharmaceutical plant. They were designed to explode between two and 146 hours after hitting the ground, to disrupt clearing up work and cause chaos.

But many failed to go off because Oranienburg has soft soil with a hard layer of gravel underneath. That meant bombs would penetrate the earth, bounce off the gravel and come to rest underground with their tips pointing back upwards. In that position gravity stops the chemical detonators from working. They contain a vial of acetone which bursts on impact and is meant to trickle down and dissolve a celluloid disk that keeps back the cocked firing pin.

But when the bomb is pointed upwards, the acetone seeps away from the celluloid, leaving only the vapors to wear the disk down.

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Exit German Special Forces, enter, German (or French) AWACs to defend against the Taliban (Air Force/Farce)??? WTF?

Your services are no longer required...I guess.

Your services are no longer required…I guess.

For three year a crack German commando team has sat in Afghanistan and stared at the Sun. They’ve been deployed in combat operations ZERO (that’s 0) times and Germany politicians are starting to demand that they return. Fair enough. You’re not going to use them because of the political decision not to actually do anything of value in Afghanistan, you might as well pull them back and hunt neo-Nazi’s in the former East Germany.

But what gets really funny is how the Europeans want to substitute for this ‘non-needed’ special forces–they want to send great big hulking AWACs aircraft. Planes designed to steer combat aircraft into Russian fighters and other hostile air forces are going to be sent to Afghanistan to defend against…the Tabliban Air Force? Ummm…does that make sense?

But wait, it gets better. France say no, there is no Taliban Air Force–don’t send German AWACS, because… we want to send our French AWACs to Afghanistan instead.

Yea, this will help....

Yea, this will help….

As a gesture of goodwill, Steinmeier said he would consider replacing the KSK soldiers with NATO AWACS reconnaissance planes for Afghanistan that are based in Germany and have largely German crews.

NATO’s decision on whether to deploy the planes has been delayed because of a bizarre attempt to block the move by the French. First, Paris claimed the mission would be too expensive. Then they said it made no sense because the Taliban has no air force that the flying radar facilities could be used against. At the same time, however, Paris offered to deploy its own AWACS aircraft.

WTF?

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