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Four World War II-era rifle grenades were found by workers near Building 541 on Tower Barracks, Grafenwoehr, Germany, on April 14, 2021. The unexploded ordnance was removed without incident.
Four World War II-era rifle grenades were found by workers near Building 541 on Tower Barracks, Grafenwoehr, Germany, on April 14, 2021. The unexploded ordnance was removed without incident. (Immanuel Johnson/Stars and Stripes)

GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — A section of the Army’s largest training base in Europe was closed off Wednesday after World War II-era rifle grenades were discovered by workers digging a trench near a building, officials said.

U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria tweeted that unexploded ordnance had been found near Building 541 at Grafenwoehr’s Tower Barracks and advised people to stay away from the area until further notice.

“One of the buildings in the area is under renovation and a trench was being dug in the area in conjunction with this when the (unexploded ordnance) was found,” said Don Wrenn, a USAG Bavaria spokesman.

The four rifle grenades were later removed from the site, Wrenn said.

Rifle grenades were used by many combatants in WWII to fill a tactical gap between hand grenades and mortars. They were also frequently used by infantry as an anti-tank weapon.

Decades after WWII, finding unexploded war ordnance is still a frequent occurrence in Germany.

The last incident unexploded ordnance found at Grafenwoehr was in the railyard area outside of Gate 3 in September, Wrenn said.

In 2015, a 500-pound aerial bomb was found and defused near the new elementary school on the base.

johnson.immanuel@stripes.comTwitter: Manny_Stripes

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