Whilst gardening in Pensford, two local residents discovered a 79 year old 1kg incendiary bomb.

The inert tail section of a second 1kg incendiary accompanied the full bomb, indicating another tailless bomb might be lurking nearby.

Even the shallowest ground works can encounter bombs such as these. Weighing in at just 1kg, incendiary sub-munitions could only achieve limited penetration in soft ground.

1kg german incendiary bomb
A royal logistic corps eod engineer holding the incendiary bomb

What is a 1kg German incendiary bomb?

This device is a small WWII-era bomb with a magnesium alloy body and incendiary fill containing a chemical called thermite. As it struck the ground, a percussion charge would ignite the thermite and the bomb.

The standard B1E type accounted for the majority of bomb loads, however some included a small explosive with a delay fuse. The inclusion of these models acted as a deterrence to anyone attempting to extinguish the bomb before it could fully ignite.

The incendiary component within the bomb burns aggressively at over 1,000°C, creating a significant burn hazard. As such, all models of these bombs should be considered dangerous, not just the explosive type.

Between 1940 and 1944 more than a million of these 1kg devices were dropped on Britain by Luftwaffe aircraft. They were dispersed by cluster bomb containers, holding up to 620 of the deadly sub-munitions.

As a result, the most commonly encountered unexploded Luftwaffe bombs in the UK are the 1kg incendiary type. You can learn more about UXO contamination in the UK on our blog here.

German 1kg incendiary bomb
German wwii 1kg incendiaries packed in a cluster bomb

Assessing UXO risks

Brimstone remains the only Ministry of Defence assured explosive ordnance clearance and conventional munitions disposal contractor in the UK. If you have a new or upcoming construction project and you want to get your site accessed for UXO risks, reach out to our dedicated commercial team.

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