Kaboom! The seven unexploded World War II bombs found in London

24,000 tonnes of explosives were dropped on London during the Blitz

Just how many bombs were dropped on the capital during the Blitz? The honest answer is that it’s impossible to know, according to Imperial War Museum historian Matt Brosnan.

The most definitive answer we have is that “Luftwaffe dropped 24,000 tonnes of high explosives on London in 85 major raids” during the war.

But even 70 years after the Blitz, we hear of unexploded bombs being unearthed from London’s nooks and crannies.

While no one knows how many unexploded bombs London has embedded in its soil, here are the ones unearthed in the past few years:

1. Bermondsey

When: March 2015

Bermondsey bomb

Hundreds of families were ordered to evacuate their homes in Bermondsey after army experts prepared to defuse a huge World War II bomb uncovered by builders in a Bermondsey housing estate.

Residents living within 200 metres of the half-ton bomb were ordered to leave their homes by 8am.

An evacuation notice sent to residents at the time read: “The Army Disposal team have advised that if the bomb explodes, buildings in the 200-metre zone will be significantly damaged and those close to the bomb will be destroyed.

According to official World War II records, Bermondsey was one of the most heavily bombed areas of Britain with 709 civilians killed and thousands injured during the Blitz.

 

2. Wembley

When: May 2015

WEmbley bomb

A 110lb (50kg) bomb, dropped during Nazi air raids in the early 1940s, was discovered by builders near Wembley Stadium in May 2015.

This led to 300 homes and the studio where Britain’s Got Talent being evacuated as army experts tried to diffuse the bomb.

 

3. Plaistow

When: January 2016

Plaistow bomb

Residents were evacuated from their homes after an unexploded World War II bomb was found on Grange Road, Plaistow on 13 January, 2016.

The device found was small compared with previous ones unearthed in London.

 

4. Spitalfields

When: September 2015

Spitalfields Market had to be evacuated after an unexploded bomb was discovered in a nearby construction site.

Several businesses were forced to temporarily close on the day as specialists removed the bomb from the site.

 

5. Bethnal Green

When: August 2015

Bethnal Green bomb

Discovery of a 250kg (500lb) unexploded bomb led to evacuation of 150 people in Bethnal Green on 10 August, 2015. A majority of them had to be put up in a school hall for the night.

The bomb was found by builders in the basement of a house they were renovating.

A 200-metre exclusion zone was set up around the property at the corner of Temple Street and Old Bethnal Green Road in Tower Hamlets so that army experts could diffuse the bomb.

 

6. White City

When: July 2015

 

Police officers safely removed an unexploded World War II bomb, approximately 13.5 inches in length and around six inches wide, in White City on 8 July 2015.

An exclusion zone of 400 metres was put in place by bomb disposal experts.

 

7. Olympic Park

When: September 2014

Fans pose for pictures at the Olympic Park, London, on the final day of the London 2012 Olympics

Fans pose for pictures at the Olympic Park, London, on the final day of the London 2012 Olympics

London’s Olympic Park was evacuated on 15 September, 2014 after an unexploded bomb was found at the park’s International Broadcast Centre.

Following the discovery, bomb disposal experts ordered people to evacuate the nearby buildings and schools.

 

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