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collection of three original wartime instructional films about the hazards
faced – and the methods employed – in the identification, reporting and
defusing of a whole range of German unexploded bombs in a variety of
challenging locations on the British Home Front. The stakes were high –
civilians feared for their lives and their homes and one false move by the bomb
disposal men could result in instant death and widespread destruction.
(1941, 58 minutes) An investigation into the complexities of the tasks facing
ARP wardens and wartime bomb disposal squads in their reconnaissance,
reporting, prioritising and categorising of home front UXB incidents. How they
look for traces of blast and examine the bomb’s crater to discern whether it is
a UXB scenario. We see the variety of German bombs extant in 1941 and how to
identify them by the parts that might be found at a bomb site – tail fins, tail
drums, cones, kopf rings, carrying bands and lugs. The further complications of
the variety of fuses – impact, instant, delay action, booby trap, anti-handling
– are also investigated in the context of defusing them with due regard to the
civilian populations of the cities of wartime Britain.
Of Bomb Disposal (1942, 108 minutes) A previously unrelased feature length
dramatised documentary in which a bomb disposal squad headed by “Mr
Ambrose” tackle a number of UXB scenarios in differing London locations –
a 1000Kg bomb in Victoria Park, a 50Kg bomb in Richmond Park and a very
delicate operation defusing a bomb lodged near the foundations of a factory
crucial to the war effort. The intricacies of shaft and trench construction are
shown and there’s a fascinating look at the tools of fuse neutralisation by
means of the ‘clockstopper’ – a heavy duty electromagnet and the ‘steriliser’ –
a steam generator that melts out the main charge.
Bomb (1944, 2 minutes) A recognition film about the anti-personnel ‘butterfly
bomb’ explaining how to idenitfy them with or without their wings and the
procedures to follow on discovering them including the sandbagging technique.
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