Posts Tagged ‘forces’

British Second World War bomb forces evacuation in Germany

September 9th, 2014

Germany is still littered with unexploded ordnance from the Second World War. The Allies dropped 2.7m tons of bombs on Germany between 1940 and 1944.

Estimates vary on how many failed to go off, but unexploded bombs are found almost weekly in Germany, and on average 2,000 tons of unexploded ordnance are found each year.

In January, a construction worker was killed when his mechanical digger accidentally triggered a bomb buried beneath a building site in western Germany.

Three bomb disposal workers were killed in 2010 when a bomb went off before they could defuse it, and in 2006 an autobahn construction worker was killed when his bulldozer hit an unexploded bomb.

In Germany’s largest ever peacetime evacuation, more than 45,000 people had to be cleared from Koblenz in 2011 after falling water levels on the Rhine revealed two massive unexploded RAF bombs.

In 2012, a 500-pound American bomb discovered in Munich was deemed too unsafe to move, and had to be detonated in situ.

The resulting explosion shattered windows over a wide area and caused structural damage to several homes.


World War Two

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D-Day facts: how the allied forces assembled the largest seaborne operation in history

June 3rd, 2014

It was the biggest seaborne invasion the world has ever seen – and behind it was a gargantuan feat of logistics.

Operation Overlord, the code name for the successful mission to push back the German forces occupying western Europe during World War Two, was set in motion with the Normandy beach landings on 6 June 1944. Known as D-Day, the landings marked a devisive moment in the course of a war that had raged since 1939.

The operation, which took 288 days of planning and lasted 85 days, involved 6,939 ships during the D-Day landings, which were manned by 195,700 naval personnel. Landing on the French coast were a total of 156,115 allied troops, including 73,000 from the US and 61,715 from Britain.

Alongside them marched 100,000 fictional soldiers of the First US Army Group – a fake force simulated by only 400 men with radios.

The ghost army was part of another numbers game: the extensive deception of Operation Bodyguard, a collaboration between Bletchley Park mathematicians and the erratic double agents of the British spy system.

The Germans were so thoroughly convinced that Normandy was only a feint that it took seven weeks for Hitler to finally release reinforcements.

But by that time the Allies had poured at least 900,000 men into the Normandy battlezone.

An estimated 10,000 men lost their lives on D-Day, however the operation was a critical turning point for the allied forces, as 11 months later Germany surrendered.


World War Two

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