The Allies bombed the living crap out of Germany in World War II, and some of those bombs are still around:
About one-tenth of Hanover’s population will be evacuated from their homes on Sunday as officials work to diffuse multiple Second World War bombs — the second biggest operation in post-war German history.
Is that like “defuse”?
Experts were able to confirm the existence of five unexploded Second World War bombs out of 13 possible locations within the Lower Saxon capital, the fire department said on Thursday. Seven care and elderly homes are among the buildings to be evacuated, along with a clinic, and a Continental tire plant.
The largest evacuation since the Second World War took place in Augsburg on Christmas Eve last year when 54,000 people had to leave their homes after a 3.8 tonne British-made bomb was found during construction work.
The Germans, sensibly, are playing this out without resorting to drama:
Evacuations will begin at 9am and the city says it expects all affected residents to be able to return home in the evening. Locals are also advised to take any necessary items, such as medication, along with them, and to turn off electrical and gas appliances before leaving.
The sheer volume of bombs dropped on Hanover is startling:
Hanover was often a target by Allied forces during the Second World War, with the most severe attack launched on October 9th 1943 where 261,000 bombs were dropped onto the city, killing 1,245 people and leaving 250,000 homeless.
Continental, the tire manufacturer, has been operating in Hanover since 1871. (No, they weren’t making tires then.)