Since the Canadian pipe bombs are known to be potentially hazardous, a cordon and evacuation plan was implemented while trying to minimise disruption but maximise public safety.

Lt Cdr Campbell

The idea was to detonate the pipe bombs if Germans stormed, or even occupied, the air station. The explosions would render the entire base and its infrastructure useless – and take the Nazi attackers with them.

According to official records more than 250 sections of pipe bomb – each about 18 metres long and containing 55kg of explosive (slightly more than a modern Stingray torpedo) – were laid around Daedalus.

The mines should have been removed at the end of World War 2, but many at the Lee-on-the-Solent base were evidently forgotten because 20 were found during construction work on the site a decade ago.

“As Canadian pipe bombs are known to be potentially hazardous, a cordon and evacuation plan was implemented while trying to minimise disruption but maximise public safety,” explained Lt Cdr Campbell, Officer in Charge of SDU2 and team leader for this delicate operation.

He said his divers had worked “safely and quickly in order to restore normality, re-open the roads and allow evacuated residents to return home.”

Mine Clearance Diver

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