Live Torpedo Found on Somerset Beach

A low tide exposed an unexploded torpedo on the beach near Weston-super-Mare, prompting an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) operation. A 1.5km exclusion zone was enforced and local airspace temporarily closed as the device was destroyed in a controlled explosion.

The importance of the sea lanes around the UK meant that they were regularly patrolled by German submarines and surface ships that fired torpedoes.  There are no records of the total numbers of these that were fired and torpedoes were also occasionally dropped from aircraft attacking shipping.

In WWI, torpedoes were not very reliable and those that missed their target would have sunk to the seabed with a live warhead once their propellant had been exhausted.  Similarly in WWII, whilst the reliability was better, aiming remained difficult.

British submarines and vessels also experimented with torpedoes in their coastal waters throughout both World Wars.