Things almost went from zero-to-100 real fast for construction workers and Volkswagen AG employees when crews taking on renovations at the company’s HQ in Wolfsburg discovered a 551-pound dud bomb from World War II. It was found to be located 18-feet underground from where many of Volkswagen’s employees moved about to make Jettas, Golfs, Passats, and so-on after some unidentified “pieces of metal” were spotted sticking out of the ground during some excavation processes.
Once they were identified as dud bombs, authorities, including the German police-based bomb squad team, were called in to diffuse the devices while around 690 people, both workers and nearby inhabitants of the local neighborhood were evacuated as a safety precaution.
Speaking to local German news outlets, a spokesperson for the bomb disposal team said that finding bombs in the ground from World War II is not an uncommon experience for German citizens, especially when you consider how many bombs were dropped by Allied forces during World War II. Many of them, like the one discovered recently, managed to withstand their initial impact, as well as time, without being detonated and thus, were left to be long forgotten.
After further searching the area, crews later found four additional sites where dud bombs were located throughout Volkswagen AG’s grounds. Within a few days however, all of the bombs were safely diffused without incident.
During the troubled times of World War II, Volkswagen was heavily contracted by Nazi regime to produce not only Hitler’s vision of the “People’s Car,” the KdF Wagen, which later became the Beetle, but militarized vehicles for the German forces, such as the Schwimmwagen and the Kübelwagen.
Because Volkswagen played such a crucial role, supplying the German army with important vehicles, the Allies had no problem marking the area as a priority target and thus, bombing the city to oblivion. As a result, finding these dud bombs throughout the German landscape remains and is expected to be a common occurence.
Volkswagen said that regular production will not be affected by these dud bomb discoveries.
– By: Chris Chin