The 1000lbs device – half of which was made of high explosive – was found on land in France owned by carmaker Renault in Boulogne-Billancourt. It was originally dropped 69 years ago in a hugely successful mission involving a then record 223 aircraft who did everything possible to avoid killing civilians.

Military experts worked from around 8am to noon to diffuse it, with the all clear being given early in the afternoon. Men, women and children were led from their homes in the morning by some 400 policemen.

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