Battlefield Archaeology: Italian relics found in a Greek island

Contact, WW2 in Greece, WW2 Wrecks

By Pierre Kosmidis

Inert bomb fuses have been found by local researchers in a Greek island, which saw fierce fighting during World War 2 and has been occupied by Italian and German forces.

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Those bomb fuses, which were used during WW2 by Italian aircraft, were found buried in a shallow pit, in the proximity of an airfield which was used during the war.

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It appears that those Italian fuses were for either the incendiary, or the antipersonnel version of those bombs used by the Regia Aeronautica (Italian Royal Air Force).

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The pump itself has two parts. The upper one contained Thermite, a flammable aluminum alloy, with the fuse and a small explosive charge. The lower half is another cylindrical container of the same dimensions but made of steel and filled with flammable liquid.

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Dozens of these small bombs were loaded into tubes on the aircraft and the safety pin was removed on the ground. They were dropped in large quantities on the target.

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The antipersonnel version only has the upper half, made of thin steel with a steel spiral inside to produce more shrapnel. The fuse is identical in both, and weighs around 2 kilograms.

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