Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Another 450kg Bomb Found in Wan Chai

A bomb disposal officer looks at the second bomb found this afternoon
This afternoon it was deja-vu all over again in Wan Chai -- a second World War II bomb the same size as the one found on the weekend, was found 10 metres from the first one.

People had to be evacuated from the area again, resulting in shops, restaurants, offices and hotels clearing out for the rest of the afternoon and evening.

Americans dropped bombs around Victoria Harbour in 1945
However this one, near the intersection of Tonnochy Road and Convention Avenue will be harder for bomb disposal experts to diffuse because the fuse mechanism is severely damaged and is in a harder to reach location.

In the meantime historians have surmised the American-made AN-M65 explosives were likely dropped by American warplanes during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong, which was from January 1942 to August 1945.

Military historian Dave Macri believes the bombs landed close together because of a "dive bombing tactic" that was widely used by US Navy aircraft during the war. A squadron of six to 10 bombers would dive down towards the target, descending quickly from 10,000 feet to 2,000 feet and dumping the bombs when they were at their lowest point.

The University of Hong Kong professor said, "One [bomber] would come in, and would immediately be followed by another one," which may explain why the two explosive devices were found so close to each other.

The US Air Force strikes at Kowloon docks in 1944
By dropping the bombs at a lower altitude, the pilots could identify their targets more accurately and have more success at blowing them up, Macri said.

During World War II, Victoria Harbour was heavily bombed by US forces who were trying to destroy Japanese military shipping and docking facilities, while Admiralty was another major target because the British Royal Naval base was taken over by the Japanese, according to Kwong Chi-man, a history professor at Baptist University.

It just makes you wonder -- how many other bombs are lying underground?!


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