Thousands evacuated in France for WW2 bomb disposal

Thousands of people were evacuated from their homes following the discovery of a series of bombs from the Second World War in the French city centre of Rennes.

Sixty five years after the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany, the city in Brittany was closed as engineers worked to defuse a 550lb RAF device…

Some 10,000 people living in Rennes were involved in the evacuation as the centre of the city resembled a ghost town…

Further east, 4,500 people were moved out of Woippy, in the suburbs of Metz, as bomb disposal experts worked on devices around a former Wehrmacht supply centre.

It is now being converted into a bus station, but was bombed so many times during the war that its basement and foundations are littered with ordnance, including RAF and US air force devices.

All of the work was being coordinated by France’s Département du Déminage (Department of Mine Clearance), which recovers around 1,000 tons of unexploded munitions every year…

Their work is concentrated on the so-called ‘Iron Harvest’ of unexploded ordnance which is littered around the battlefields and bombing targets of northern France…

Some 70,000 French civilians were killed by Allied strategic bombing during the Second World War.

Just in case you think “collateral damage” is a brand new excuse.

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