WW2 'earthquake' bomb made in Sheffield explodes in Poland - watch the video
A WW2 ‘earthquake’ bomb that was made in Sheffield has exploded in Poland during attempts to safely defuse it.
The 12, 000lb Tallboy – believed to be the largest unexploded World War Two bomb ever found in Poland – was made by Vickers & Co at their River Don Works.
The RAF dropped the Tallboy bomb in a raid in 1945 which sank the German cruiser Lützow. The bomb was 6m long and weighed 5.4 tonnes, nearly half of which was its explosives and was embedded at a depth of 12m and only its nose was sticking out.
The device was still active and it was decided it needed to be defused and earlier this week naval forces were called in. Around 750 people in the surrounding area were evacuated and divers were sent in.
However, the bomb ended up detonating and caused a blast which threw up a large column of water into the air.
The Tallboy is the smaller version of the Grand Slam bomb, which has the nickname Ten Ton Tess, and is on display at Kelham Island Museum.
Gemma Holden, Marketing & Audience Engagement Co-ordinator for the museum, said: “It’s not often one of our bombs make it on to the news any more.
"The bomb in Poland that exploded was a big bomb packed of explosives and if it hadn’t have been in the river it would have caused serious damage.”
She added: “We have the bigger version, the Grand Slam, on display in our museum safely detonated but without the tail.
"It’s so big it has even made it into the Guiness Book of World Records for being so big and weighs more than double the bomb that went off in Poland – 22,000lbs compared to the 12,000lb Tall Boy.”
Both bombs were designed by Sir Barnes Wallis, who designed the bouncing bomb used by the Dambusters. It was used by RAF Bomber Command against strategic targets such as bridges and viaducts, railways and U-boat shelters.
The bombs were produced in Sheffield however only 30 to 40 of the bombs were ever actually made and they were only used during 1945, the last year of the war.
To watch the video off the Polish bomb explosion click here