The village crier went round the streets of Langschied (West Germany) yesterday shouting orders to the 1,200 inhabitants to leave their houses or stay in the cellars next Tuesday [Jan 6], when experts will try to defuse the 12,000lb British “Dam Buster” bomb found in the nearby reservoir.
A fleet of ambulances has been organised to take the old and sick and the small children to nearby hospitals or schools.
The rusty 10ft bomb was found when the reservoir was drained just before Christmas so that repairs could be made to the 200ft high earthwork dam which was damaged in a 1944 raid.
A Royal Air Force expert, aided by a German, will tackle the tricky job of defusing.
As particular care will need to be taken in moving the bomb, they plan to build a small railway track to get it out of the reservoir.
It’s expected that the bomb will be detonated in an open space later.
An Air Force spokesman said the bomb was the biggest found “live” in Germany since the war.
One villager said: “We were quite happy before, but now we know the thing is there it is better to get rid of it.”