Bomb disposal

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Bomb disposal is the process by which hazardous explosive devices are rendered safe. Bomb disposal is an all encompassing term to describe the separate, but interrelated functions in the following fields:

  • Military:
    • Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD)
    • Improvised Explosive Device Disposal (IEDD)
  • Public safety:
    • Public Safety Bomb Disposal (PSBD)
    • Bomb Squad



Early bomb squads

The New York City Police Department established its first bomb squad in 1903. Known as the "Italian Squad", its primary mission was to deal with dynamite bombs used by the Mafia to intimidate immigrant Italian merchants and residents. It would later be known as the "Anarchist Squad" and the "Radical Squad".[2]

World War I and the interwar period

Bomb Disposal became a formalised practice in the first World War. The swift mass production of munitions led to many manufacturing defects, and a large proportion of shells fired by both sides were found to be "duds".[3] These were hazardous to attacker and defender alike. In response, the British dedicated a section of Ordnance Examiners from the Royal Army Ordnance Corps to handle the growing problem.

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