Explosives experts unearth huge stash of WWII ammunition

02-12-2010

A stretch of forestland in South Bohemia has been closed to the public after a hunter stumbled across a stash of WWII ammunition there a week ago. The original find of a single grenade led to the discovery of what is now believed to be over 3 tons of ammunition buried underground.

Photo: CTKPhoto: CTK News of the biggest find of WWII ammunition in decades was successfully kept under wraps for more than a week as the country’s best bomb disposal experts were called to the site. By the end of the week they had dug up one and a half tons of explosives –mostly anti-missile artillery grenades and anti-aircraft ammunition for Flak guns. Another two tons of it are still believed to be buried in what can only be described as swampland. The present adverse weather conditions are making the task even more difficult – the countryside is buried under piles of snow and the swampland is covered by a layer of thin ice. The experts work in small teams –using metal detectors to locate the ammunition, feeling for it with their hands and then carefully extracting it from the mud. Ladislav Zagiba is the head of the operation.

“These men are the best explosives experts the military has. As you can see they are working in extremely difficult conditions –they are waist deep in mud and water and the weather is freezing so we make sure they get a break every few hours and are replaced by fresh teams. As far as we can tell there’s another two and a half tons of ammunition down there.”

Photo: CTKPhoto: CTK According to the CTK news agency the enormous stash of German and Hungarian-made anti-aircraft ammunition was buried here by US soldiers at the end of the WWII. Experts say that the reason why it was not discovered sooner is the adverse terrain which is inappropriate for walks. Even now the police will not disclose where exactly the site is located – saying only that it is in the vicinity of Český Krumlov. And despite the bad weather the teams are working from dawn till dusk to clear the area for fear that amateurs might set out to search for buried ammunition on their own.

02-12-2010