Army's most precarious job

Accession Number F01828
Collection type Film
Measurement 4 min 12 sec
Object type Actuality footage
Physical description 35mm/b&w/silent
Place made North Africa: Libya
Access Open
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain


Bomb disposal in the Western Desert. Royal Engineers bomb disposal unit receive a report that a UXB (unexploded bomb) has been dropped in a certain camp area. The bomb disposal officer is sent to investigate. Upon arrival at the scene the first procedure is to ascertain of the bomb may be exploded in the location. In this case it has fallen in a camp area and must be removed. Sappers arrive but it is the officer's responsibility to examine the bomb and to ascertain if it is safe for recovery. Two men are detached to dig out the bomb; no more men than are absolutely necessary are permitted to enter the area. The bomb fuse is uncovered and carefully inspected to ascertain its type and how it may be successfully dealt with. In this case it was found that the fuse known as a "rheinmetal" electric fuse could be safely discharged. For this purpose a home made two pin discharger is being used. The fuse must be withdrawn by remote control and anti-withdrawal devices placed under the fuse. This is done by a long lead of string. When the fuse is extracted the bomb can be handled with safety, this 500-pounder is hoisted from its position with the sappers' break-down vehicles. The bomb is transported to a safe area and dumped into a trench. Sticks of gelignite are placed alongside and these are fired by a electric exploder. It is work that certainly has a tremendous kick in it. So long as you don't get this kick.

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