Polish military divers have begun to defuse a giant British World War Two bomb – the Tallboy – at the bottom of a busy Baltic Sea shipping canal. It is 6m (19ft) long and weighs 5.4 tonnes, nearly half of which is explosives. The bomb was designed by British aeronautical engineer Barnes Wallace, was nicknamed ‘Tallboy’ and also known as an ‘earthquake bomb’. The Royal Air Force dropped such bombs in 1944-45, using Lancaster bomber. The bomb is embedded at a depth of 12m. It was dropped it in a raid in 1945. It was discovered last year during dredging. Poland has never defused such a big bomb underwater before. The Polish Navy team used underwater cameras to locate the Tallboy. Divers have spent days preparing the site and the operation is expected to take five days.
Nobody has ever defused a Tallboy that is so well preserved and underwater. Only one diver at a time is allowed to work on the bomb because of the risks. About 750 residents have been evacuated on Monday from the area, near the port city of Swinoujscie. A controlled explosion is considered too dangerous at the Baltic bomb site, because it would cause a massive seismic shock. Poland was one of the most heavily bombed countries in the war. World War II-era bombs still cause chaos and casualties.