3 Million Tons of Munitions in the North Sea

For those with an interest in EOD, the attached link is a French documentary describing the 3 million tons of munitions including chemical munitions that have been dumped in the North Sea. Even if you don’t speak French there are some quite impressive pictures.


3 milliards is 3 billion tons …

Thanks for the correction, my error, French not my strongpoint.


Also add another giant amount for the Baltic Sea.

Before the Belgian coast there’s a bank called Paardenmarkt. Prohibition of fishing and anchoring. Only God and the devil know what’s lying underneath.


The British disposed of a similar
Quantity as well…besides various artillery shells, also tons of US made .303 ammo which had deteriorating powder or splitting cases ( they also offloaded millions of rounds to Portugal and the Baltic States.) …by 1927, Portugal was salvaging the bullets for loading into AE 1927 and 1928
Doc AV

Additional background reading Re-Canada at:


To what I saw so far all countries with access to the sea were dumping more or less ammunition there.
In civilized countries thsi is a no-go today but I am sure thet plenty are still doing it.
And this is as good as open burning or open detonation.


I found the following article published by a German TV station.
I think it is interesting because it gives some numbers on how much was dumped after WW1 and 2.
it also refers to how much of the wallthickness will be coroded within one year and how much time will be left to “solve” this problem.

Unfortunately only available in German. But not that big problem with any translation programm…



Does the quantity 3 billion tons in the French documentary really make sense? I’m not sure of the total quantity of munitions produced during WWII by all powers, but billions of tons dumped in one spot seems orders of magnitude too high. Could this be media embellishment?

The quote below shows a much smaller number for artillery ammunition production:

“From Pearl Harbor to V-J Day the Industry-Ordnance team furnished to the Army and 43 foreign nations 47 billion rounds of small arms ammunition, approximately 11 million tons of artillery ammunition, more than 12 million rifles and carbines, approximately 750,000 artillery pieces and 3/2 million military vehicles.” - Lt. Gen. Levin H. Campbell, Jr., Chief of Ordnance from 1942 to 1946

Source: https://www.nraila.org/articles/20030520/the-great-arsenal-of-democracy

I realize that the quote may not include naval munitions. But even if this is the case, billions of tons does not seem possible.

Another data point is steel-making capacity:

“By 1939 the United States, outproducing its nearest competitor by
four times, had reached an annual steel capacity of 75,000,000 tons.”

Source (page 35):

So I don’t think the world’s steel-making capacity was even high enough to produce billions of tons of munitions during WWII. It would take 40X the entire annual capacity of the US just to produce 3 billion tons of munitions (and nothing else like ships, tanks, etc.).

The article posted above by Desperado makes more sense (1.6 million tons, not billions).

Not only in the Nord and Ostsee.
This was happening this Monday About 4 PM in a field in Germany
The 500 pound bomb had a chemical fuse.
Still works after 76 years

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