Merry Christmas: 54,000 Germans in Augsburg Evacuated after Discovery of British WW II Bomb
nsnbc : Authorities in the city of Augsburg in the German State of Bavaria, decided to intermediately evacuate thousands of people after the discovery of a British bomb from World War II.
Yesterday people in Augsburg woke up to what some jokingly called “a late British Christmas present” when local authorities, police and other services announced that up to 54,000 would have to intermediately evacuate because an unexploded WW II bomb had been discovered.
A spokesman for Augsburg police said today at 10:00 am local time, we today began the clearing of the danger zone, with a radius of 1.5 kilometers, including part of the historic center where there are located emblematic institutions such as the city hall and the cathedral, as well as 32,000 houses.
It was the largest evacuation of this type carried out in Germany since the end of that war, since it exceeded the one in 2011 in Koblenz where 45,000 people were evacuated when appeared a ‘sleeping projectile’, which did not explode during a WW II bombing raid.
Around 9,000 police and hundreds of firefighters were deployed in Augsburg to support the operation and at noon explosives specialists began deactivating the 1.8-ton bomb, which since its finding last Wednesday has raised concern among population. The 1.8-ton bombs are widely known as block-busters.
Kurt Gribl, the Mayor of Augsburg and its almost 300,000 inhabitants, told the media that unfortunately, because of this situation, the city ‘is different from what we all had expected’ for Christmas, with empty streets and closed businesses.
British and American “saturation bombing” of German cities also targeted Augsburg, which was bombed 17 April 1942 and 25/26 February 1944.
Other cities that were “saturation bombed” were cities like Hamburg, Berlin, Bremen, Pfortsheim, and Dresden, among others. About 17.000 were killed during one night of firebombing of Pfortsheim. Over 100.000 non-combatant civilians were killed during the firebombing of Dresden.
CH/L – nsnbc 26.12.2016