...Which I'm sharing because this one made me stop after reading it, just thinking how amazing it was that no one else found these particular explosives in any more dramatic way.
17% in, the author is being shown a storage facility for some of the explosives - as well as a testing site for current French weaponry. (He's the first journalist that's ever been allowed there.)
On the ground near the steel door is a sea mine, round and metal, bigger than a large beach ball. "Let's start here," Teller says, pointing. "This is a magnetic German water mine from the Second World War. Two years ago [this book was published in 1996], we found 220 of these anchored in the Atlantic. They were a minimum of twelve feet under water, off the coast of Bordeaux, chained to the sea floor. Our divers had to deactivate them under water. It is amazing that, in all the years since World War II, no one ran a deep-draft ship through the mine field. A miracle."
Teller lifts his hands in the air as if holding an invisible softball. "Here's how these work," he says. "Inside each mine is a thick lining of explosive, like TNT. At the center of the ball, a magnetic detonator sits on a small trampoline. If a boat strikes a mine, or the metal of a ship's hull gets close enough to attract the detonator's magnetic charge, the detonator is thrown against the explosive - kaboom!" Teller smiles. "It's a very simple idea. And since these mines are generally deep beneath the sea, there's no worry about waves - sea action - jostling the detonator. These mines stay hidden and are very effective."
Again, explosives from WWII. Just hanging around waiting to be jostled - or anything metal to pass nearby - and then they explode. As was planned decades ago when they were placed there.