FS Cassiopée Detonates Second World War German Bomb

May 7, 2020 (Google Translation) – On April 28, 2020, the tripartite mine hunter (CMT) Cassiopée discovered a German bottom mine dating from the Second World War at 8.5 nautical miles (about 16km) off Courseulles-sur-Mer (14).

This LMB type munition, released by aircraft and with magneto-acoustic influence, was detected by sonar and then identified by the mine clearance divers of the Cassiopée CMT at 34 meters depth.

German mines such as the LMB were equipped with many devices, including a hydrostatic system which, coupled with a clock, would cause the mine to explode if it fell to the ground or into shallow water. The ammunition was therefore potentially usable as an aviation bomb.

This ammunition was checked on May 3, 2020 by the mine hunter’s demining divers, for a TNT equivalent of 830kg. The particularly low traffic in the area and the favorable weather conditions made it possible to backfire in optimal conditions.

The tripartite mine hunter (CMT) Cassiopée has been deployed in the Seine bay since April 17, 2020, as part of securing metropolitan maritime approaches and in particular monitoring access to the main commercial ports, in order to guarantee there permanently free movement of maritime traffic. He had already carried out two foreman operations off Le Havre on April 22, 2020.

The French Navy acts daily to secure the French coast and the seabed. All of its mine action resources (dedicated vessels such as tripartite mine hunters and groups of mine-clearing divers) regularly conduct operations aimed at detecting, neutralizing or destroying unexploded ordnance at sea or on French beaches.

In the English Channel and North Sea in 2019, the joint action of the group of mine-clearing divers from the English Channel and mine hunters from the French Navy made it possible to destroy 1,786 historic devices (at sea and on the foreshore), which represented 19 tonnes (19,100 kg) of TNT equivalent.

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