UXB series

#1
Watched this on DVD from Amazon,great cheap buy and a decent series as I never watched it first time around.
My question is! did we booby trap any of our bombs, as they did, in order to catch out the German bomb disposal squad?Knowing the Nazi's I suspect they would have used prisoners to do the job.
I know nowt about bomb disposal only that I wouldn't have the bottle for such a career.
Also reading "Eight men Down" the story of a Bomb disposal officer in Ireland,Iraq etc.
Makes me sweat just reading it.
They truly are men/women of immense courage, I am in awe of them as I am for all our Forces out there.
 
#2
seafarer1939 said:
Watched this on DVD from Amazon,great cheap buy and a decent series as I never watched it first time around.
My question is! did we booby trap any of our bombs, as they did, in order to catch out the German bomb disposal squad? Knowing the Nazi's I suspect they would have used prisoners to do the job.
I know nowt about bomb disposal only that I wouldn't have the bottle for such a career.
Also reading "Eight men Down" the story of a Bomb disposal officer in Ireland,Iraq etc.
Makes me sweat just reading it.
They truly are men/women of immense courage, I am in awe of them as I am for all our Forces out there.
Interesting questions that deserve proper answers. From 'Designed to Kill - Bomb Disposal from World War I to the Falklands' by Maj Arthur Hogben RE:

Annex D - German Bomb Disposal said:
...During the war little thought was given to German bomb disposal personnel other than to make Allied bombs as difficult as possible to deal with by fitting anti-disturbance, long-delay and anti-removal fuzes...

Whereas in Great Britain most bomb disposal within the towns and cities was carried out by the Army with the Navy and Royal Air Force being responsible for their special areas of interest, in Germany the main bomb disposal service was provided by the Luftwaffe. Like the Royal Air Force, the Luftwaffe made their armourers (Feuerwerker) responsible for bomb disposal...

The fully qualified men were officers or Oberfeuerwerker (senior non-commissioned officers). There were also Munitionsverwalter who were equivalent to the Royal Air Force Corporal Armourers and could only do operational bomb disposal if they had attended a special course and obtained a 'Sprengerlaubnis' (explosives certificate)...

Thus, initially, the German bomb disposal operator was generally better qualified than his counterpart in Great Britain. He certainly was in 1939 when, it must be remembered, none of the British forces received any formal training in bomb disposal and there was still some doubt as to whether a threat actually existed...

In Germany the basic bomb disposal team was the Sprengkommando consisting of a leader (and officer or Oberfeuerwerker) and three or four Feuerwerker. When digging or other labour intensive work was required it was done by convicts from civil prisons or German political prisoners from the concentration camps. Towards the end of the war authority was given for members of the German Army undergoing punishment to be used also. Prisoners-of-war were never used for this type of work, although in the occupied countries local nationals were used. It is difficult to determine whether they were forced labour or paid volunteers. Certainly many of these nationals continued with bomb disposal in their own countries after the war.

Although the Feuerwerker was well trained and an elite dedicated body of men, the use of prisoners or unwilling workers must have put an additional strain upon the morale of the force. Yet this is denied by feuerwerkers who were involved at the time. They claim that relationships between the Luftwaffe members and the political prisoners were especially close and mutually supportive. Two instances tend to support this contention. The first occurred at Mainz when Oberfeuerwerker Kurt Engelhard was punished for having allowed five political prisoners to work unguarded on a farm preparing vegetables for the rest of the group to eat. The second instance concerns Hauptmann (Captain) Heinz Schweizer of the Luftwaffe, who towards the end of the war received information that the SS were going to execute certain political prisoners. He, together with his assistant Oberleutnant Werdelmann (an army officer) went immediately to the camp and, on the grounds that he needed a large work force to clear very quickly a number of unexploded bombs, managed to secure the release of the endangered prisoners to his custody. He took the prisoners to his headquarters at Kalkum in the Ruhr Valley and later hid them until the arrival of the American Army.

It is equally true that many Feuerwerkers did not like working with criminal prisoners. It is interesting to note that at bomb disposal reunions held in Germany after the war many ex-political prisoners attended and were made welcome, whereas the ex-criminal prisoners did not attend, nor were they invited. Whatever the full story, the use of prisoners was, of course, a military necessity to save uniformed manpower and in this respect was successful. At the height of the Allied bombing of Germany it was estimated that the Luftwaffe deployed 600 officers and 1,800 senior non-commissioned officers on active bomb disposal throughout Germany and the occupied territories. At the height of the blitz the Royal Engineers had just under 10,000 men deployed throughout Great Britain, a large proportion of whom were junior ranks involved in the less technical tasks...

Luftwaffe Bomb Disposal Officer at work
 
#3
I remember reading a book or watching a film a long time ago of bomb disposal guys in Germany after the war --all volunteers clearing ordnance from buildings etc .

They pooled their money and it was a last man standing takes the pot set up . Good story line anyway.


G.
 
#4
Greenie said:
I remember reading a book or watching a film a long time ago of bomb disposal guys in Germany after the war -- all volunteers clearing ordnance from buildings etc .

They pooled their money and it was a last man standing takes the pot set up. Good story line anyway.

G.
Such last-man-standing schemes are known as 'tontines' but I'm not familiar with the story you describe.
 
#5
Greenie said:
I remember reading a book or watching a film a long time ago of bomb disposal guys in Germany after the war --all volunteers clearing ordnance from buildings etc .

They pooled their money and it was a last man standing takes the pot set up . Good story line anyway.


G.
I think the film you mean is. " Ten seconds to hell " ( the phoenix) 1959
 

Similar threads

Latest Threads

New Posts

Top