The “torpedo” became tangled up in the nets of a fishing trawler whilst off the Devon coast, near Brixham. A Royal Navy explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) team arrived to deal with the unexploded ordnance (UXO).
The item was towed out to sea where it was destroyed in a controlled explosion. The size of the resulting water plume suggests it contained a large explosive charge.
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Torpedo or mine?
The EOD team did not identify the weapon. Originally reported as a torpedo by the fishermen, images of the item suggest it is more likely to have been a German WWII mine.
Long cylindrical WWII sea mines looked more like a bomb than a sea mine; a typically spherical design. The reason for this is in its method of delivery. The mine was actually designed to be dropped from an aircraft, rather than pushed off the back of a warship.
The weapon in question may have been an air-delivered LMB magnetic influence mine. It would have weighed approximately 2,116 lbs (960 kg), 1,554 lbs of which is high explosive charge; a huge warhead.
Mines such as this represent the largest German explosive hazard still encountered in Britain today. Note, many LMB mines were adapted to be dropped on urban areas during the Blitz. In this role, the British dubbed them ‘land mines’.