Luftwaffe Parachute Mine Trawled up off Essex Coast

A 2,000lb German parachute mine has been trawled up by a fisherman off the Essex coast. The huge munition – used against both land and naval targets by the Luftwaffe during WWII – was towed to a safe area off Mersea where it was destroyed in a controlled explosion by an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team.

Originally designed for naval use, parachute mines were ultimately deployed both onshore and offshore by the Luftwaffe. Dropped on land, the mines caused massive, widespread blast damage, engineered to explode shortly before impacting the ground. Their cylindrical shape meant that they rarely penetrated the ground to any significant depth and most post-WWII finds have either been at sea or in reservoirs and lakes.

Official records indicate that more than 520No. parachute mines fell on Essex during WWII, with the number of those falling offshore likely to be similarly high.