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Bomb Disposal and the British Casualties of WW2 by Chris Ransted



Here is a brilliant book compiled by an individual who has researched  and investigated incidents relating to Bomb Disposal during WW2 and afterwards. The text is comprehensive and reflecting the enthusiasm and dedication the author has for this part of the war effort.

The book details the early days of EOD in Britain during the Blitz, giving accounts of numerous incidents where an unexploded bomb or parachute mine was worked on (in some cases earning those men involved the George Cross or George Medal). It covers in some detail the Bomb Disposal casualties and mentions BD casualties from all three services - Royal Engineers, RAF and Royal Navy and even three civilians killed while researching methods of dealing with UXBs.
      Listed in Annexes at the back are casualty details including the names, ranks, unit and date of death of some 580 or so men (mostly Royal Engineers) and one woman, who were killed while serving with Bomb Disposal in WWII and in its immediate aftermath. Many of those listed are cross-referenced to the names of other personnel from the same unit, killed on the same day/same incident, making it a useful research tool for medal collectors, military historians, or those with an interest in Home Front / Bombs & their fuse(s) /Air Raid / UXB related matters or family tree and genealogy enthusiasts.
     The book has nine chapters covering a multitude of things from digging down to UXBs to the casualties incurred on the UK's own minefields and Bomb Disposal in the foreign theatres. At the end there is a list that gives the titles and authors of some 45 other books published over the years, some going back to the early '50's, that are about or make mention of WW2 Bomb Disposal - again as an aid to those folk who want to read up more on the subject
     Size is A5, softback, black and white,  133 pages, 30 photos/plates.

Bomb Disposal was work that was done by some of the bravest men in this country and abroad, men who went about the work with great diligence that has not been truly acknowledged. The casualties were many, Chris Ransted has compiled a listing of all known casualties from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Civilian walks of life. He points out that the list is not a complete one and is a "work in progress" approach but nonetheless he has in my view done a brilliant job getting this much information into one volume.

The stories tell the harrowing tales of bomb defusing, with tragedies and maiming an accepted part of the job by the men who worked in Bomb Disposal. I found it a compelling and "could not put it down" read!

I have always felt that Bomb Disposal deserved a campaign medal specifically for the work they did but like the concept of a medal for the men of Bomber Command, successive Governments have fought shy of honouring these brave people who gave so much to society and the war effort during the war years.

Chris Ransted is to be congratulated for this book which is an excellent work and deserves a much wider audience and would make an excellent gift for birthday or Xmas for anyone interested in the history of WW2.

If you wish to buy one you can contact him at:

Peter Garwood