News, WW2

Massive WW2 Croatian Naval Mine Destroyed

Croatian authorities destroyed an anti-ship naval mine dating all the way back to World War Two. The said bomb was found buried in the seabed of a northern Adriatic Sea port near Croatia. 

The Croatian Ministry of Internal Affairs released a video following the supervised blast. The footage shows a massive underwater explosion, sending water hundreds of feet into the air. Had the bomb not been properly disposed of, the damage to any ship in its blast radius would have been tremendous.

The Blast

The local authorities in the port of Rijeka rang emergency sirens on Sunday morning to commemorate the operation. However, before the operation could begin, authorities had to implement proper safety protocols.

Read More: Historian has to Sell Full Sized Spitfire Replica he Built in his Garden

The residents near the vicinity received special treatment. According to CGTNEurope, as many as 500 were evacuated prior to the explosion.  Moreover, maritime traffic reached a standstill to secure the area during the removal.

The bomb was said to have as much as 1,500 pounds of explosive material within.

Sea Mine
The WW2 mine was dragged into deeper water where a Croatian team detonated the bomb.

According to officials, the mine was found too close to the City. Of course, it needed to be moved further away before any controlled detonation. That is where a team of fearless divers came in.

Careful Planning

Another video by Croatian Police shows the mine at the bottom of the sea being strapped up by divers. They strapped it up and moved it to a safe distance.  

In addition, Police Officer, Nenad Krasny, explained the Croatian mine posed a significant threat because of the sheer amount of explosives it contained. According to his report, 24 people took part in the operation.

Krasny ensured that the authorities took due care during the removal process “because anything else would be too dangerous for the citizens and infrastructure.” 

Read More: Soviet Torpedo Boat Discovered After 78 years

The operation was led by Civil Protection Headquarters in Rijeka in collaboration with police and other agencies, as per official reports. 

The Croatian mine explosion occurred about a month after a World War Two bomb exploded in Great Yarmouth, England. The operation in Croatia was a success. Everything went according to the plan. However, things were not as favourable during the bomb disposal operation in Great Yarmouth.

The operation ended in an “unplanned” detonation.

The Great Yarmouth Explosion

A 250 kilogram World War Two bomb exploded unexpectedly in Great Yarmouth, England, in February 2023. The authorities were in the process of disarming the bomb when things went sour.

Fortunately, there were no casualties, no one was hurt, and no significant damage was done to nearby infrastructure. 

Read More: WWII Ammunition Dump Explodes in Berlin’s Grunewald Forest

Authorities of Norfolk declared the explosion a ‘major incident.’ Army specialists were trying to disarm the bomb by creating a slow burn of the explosives, burning off the material inside. The bomb defusal itself was not without risk, something the operatives had duly warned about.

The quote from the bomb disposal team was something of an understatement. “The bomb in Great Yarmouth has detonated.”

The bomb exploded, but reminded us about the importance of public safety. No matter how advanced defusal equipment is or how trained an operative is, the risk involved is never equal to zero. Understandably, public safety comes first. 

Read More WW2 Bomb ‘unexpectedly’ Exploded in Great Yarmouth

Decades have gone by since the end of the Second World War. Yet, every other day we are reminded of the horror that was an everyday reality back then. Unexploded World War Two ordnance continues to pose a threat, even today. 

Anti-Ship Naval Mines

An anti-ship naval mine is packed with explosives. These are strategically placed in the sea, harbours and estuaries to destroy, or at least damage, unsuspecting ships or submarines. Mines are deposited and left until they are triggered by an approaching vessel. 

A German contact sea-mine being deployed from the The Minelayer Hansestadt Danzig.

Naval mines hamper enemy vessels and their movement. But the allies face the same threat. For that reason, international law requires signatory nations to declare mine locations to avoid unwanted accidents. 

Read More: Mine Craft: Turning Bombs into Furniture – How did That Happen?

During World War Two, the U-Boat fleets dominated the naval battles in the Atlantic. Consequently, nations at war started using contact mines. In World War II, Germany produced a total of 1,162 U-boats, out of which 785 were destroyed by the war’s end.