World War II Rockets Discovered in Belgian Municipality

Editorial Team
credit: 100objectskent

Brussels (Brussels Morning) – Two World War II rockets were found in Neuville, Belgium. Deminers ensured safety due to their instability. Separately, Belgium designated 14 WWII shipwrecks as cultural heritage, protecting them from disturbances.

What were the World War II rockets found in Belgium?

Two rockets dating from World War Two were found in a Walloon municipality. Residents in the municipality of Neuville had been working on earthworks when they came across the relics concealed in the ground. “I think they were mortar rockets, which are still common in our region,” a policeman said. The finding of such objects is relatively common given the many conflicts that took place in the province of Stavelot between 1944 and 1945.

Deminers were called to the location as soon as the rockets were discovered “due to noticed instability”. No other special measures were taken, according to the police.

How does Belgium protect historical shipwrecks?

In March, Belgium also awarded cultural heritage position to 14 shipwrecks dating from the Second World War following research performed by the Flemish Marine Institute. There are around 280 shipwrecks on the North Sea bed, according to the Mobility Ministry. Two-thirds of these artefacts date from both the First and Second World Wars.

How many WWII shipwrecks were recognized as heritage?

“Over 55 wrecks, each over a century old, have been recognised as underwater cultural heritage,” said Director General of Navigation Peter Claeyssens. “Today, 14 Second World War wreckages have been added to the list,” including ships Bourrasque, Gracie Fields, HMS Grafton and Vorpostenboot V-1302.

The Ministry stressed that any shipwreck over 100 years old has been automatically identified as cultural heritage since 2021. “More recent ships can also be determined if they have important historical and/or ecological value,” the public body added in a statement.

When a shipwreck obtains protected status, it is marked as such on official maritime charts and “no items can be carried to the surface by divers,” the Ministry clarified. “Various nearby activities are also prohibited, such as dredging, anchoring or trawler fishing, as they could harm the wreck.” “These shipwrecks are essential reminders of a dark chapter in our history. These special pieces of heritage must be properly covered to preserve them for future generations,” Claeyssens concluded.

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