German citizens in Ahlbach were unpleasantly surprised at 4 AM one day earlier this week as they were awakened by an explosion. Police were called to inspect the crater. Fox News reports:
…It “almost certainly” was a 550-pound dud.
“With the former railway depot, we were quite a bomb target at the end of the Second World War,” city spokesman Johannes Laubach told the German news website Hessenschau. “We can be glad that the farmer was not in the field.”
Undiscovered bombs can often explode without outside forces acting on them, experts say, as their detonators decompose over time.
Unexploded ordinance remains scattered across Europe from World War II, including at the bottom of lakes and rivers, not to mention scattered weapons caches buried by spies and commandos during the Cold War. Over the last two years, police defused leftover munitions from WW2 in Hanover, Berlin, and Frankfurt.