|From:||Lenny Siegel <email@example.com>|
|Date:||Fri, 11 Mar 2011 12:14:09 -0800 (PST)|
|Subject:||[CPEO-MEF] MUNITIONS, GLOBAL: "Germany's Bomb Problem"|
Germany's Bomb Problem Outside Berlin, a building boom hits a snag: unexploded ordnance. By JOSHUA HAMMER The Atlantic April 2011Deep in a pine forest in the German state of Brandenburg, 30 miles south of Berlin, a team of explosives experts gathers around a large rusted cylinder half-buried in the earth. "You're looking at a French- made, 220-millimeter artillery shell," says Ralf Kirschnick, a German army veteran who served in Bosnia, Croatia, and Somalia in the 1990s. "The fuse is highly unstable," he says calmly. "The slightest movement could set it off."
Though Kirschnick retired from the military a decade ago, he hasn't lost his appetite for conflict zones. These days, the rangy, balding 45-year-old works for the Kampfmittelbeseitigungsdienst (KMBD), or War Ordnance Disposal Service, a division of the Brandenburg state government focused on digging up and deactivating unexploded bombs, mines, and other World War II–era munitions. This morning, Kirschnick and his team are passing metal detectors over the soft ground outside Wünsdorf, an important site in one of the war's last major battles. In late April 1945, the Red Army attacked remnants of the Wehrmacht's Ninth Army and SS battalions, slaughtering tens of thousands of troops with tank, artillery, and small-arms fire before smashing through the German lines. Armaments abandoned in this part of the woods lay undisturbed until last autumn, when the local forestry department called in the KMBD to sweep the area for a new timber- harvesting project. Standing over a pit dug by his team, Kirschnick pointed out the morning's finds: grenades, a rusted carbine with a gleaming brass-jacketed bullet still in the chamber, a tiny sidearm. The artillery shell, he says, must have been captured from the French army during the First World War and deployed during this desperate last stand near Berlin.
... For the entire article, seehttp://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/04/germanys-bomb- problem/8406/
-- Lenny Siegel Executive Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight a project of the Pacific Studies Center 278-A Hope St., Mountain View, CA 94041 Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545 Fax: 650/961-8918 <firstname.lastname@example.org> http://www.cpeo.org _______________________________________________ Military mailing list Military@lists.cpeo.org http://lists.cpeo.org/listinfo.cgi/military-cpeo.org
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