Unexploded 500 lb bomb

An unexploded 500 lb bomb caused the evacuation of 10,000 Bologna residents today.

When builders encountered the weapon they called in the armed forces to neutralise the threat. 

The operation to defuse the ordnance is unlikely to have been an easy job. Eight full hours were required to remove the detonator and confirm the bomb as safe. Eventually it was removed from the construction site, allowing the cordon to be lifted.

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What was the bomb and why was it found here?

The shape and weight of this bomb indicates it is one of the RAF’s 500 lb GP high explosive bombs. Note, the tail assembly is missing, as is usually the case with UXB finds.

Bologna was heavily bombed by the RAF and USAAF air forces during April 1945, as a precursor to ground attack. Air bombardment was almost always standard procedure prior to a ground offensive during World War II.

09Apr photo1 World War II unexploded bomb causes mass evacuation in Italy
RAF ground crew loading 500 lb GP bombs onto a a Short Stirling bomber during WWII

Bologna is just one of many towns and cities across the country that were raised to the ground by allied bombers. Consequently, Italy faces a large UXB threat similar to that of the U.K, which was frequently raided by Germany.

A similar incident occurred last month when another unexploded 500 lb bomb required the evacuation of 23,000 people from Italy’s seaside town of Fano.