WWII in real time

U-boats forced to crash-dive, fleeing US bombs- leaving 100s of survivors from Laconia adrift in Atlantic. http://t.co/6EfIHcR1aX

American B-24 "Liberator" bomber, spotting Axis subs, their decks crammed with British & Italian survivors of wrecked ship, attacks U-boats.

German sub U-156 scrambles to save Laconia's survivors, loading 100s on deck & radioing Axis ships for rescue mission http://t.co/tG8ZsPZWZA

German U-boat has torpedoed & sunk British troopship Laconia, over 2500 onboard- 1793 are Italian prisoners of war. http://t.co/NmG7TTev4S

Allied Operations Bigamy & Nicety were simultaneous landings on Axis-controlled ports of Tobruk & Benghazi- but commandos bloodily repulsed.

Bunker 13 – RAF Blakelaw

RAF Blakelaw was a WW2 Royal Air Force Fighter command station based at what is now Kenton Bar in Newcastle Upon Tyne.

Map with waves

It’s location was chosen before September 1938 and a temporary surface station was brought into use by July 1939 to coincide with the formation of 13 group which controlled fighters north of the Humber and throughout Scotland.

The permanent underground bunker was completed and became fully operational on December 3rd 1939 at 23:59hrs.

Although the site is now surrounded by new houses the Bunker still exists and is listed grade II

 The Bunker formed part of the revolutionary air defence system devised by Dowding.

This comprised an integrated air defence system which included:

  • Radar (whose potential Dowding was among the first to appreciate).

  • Human observers (including the Royal Observer Corps), who filled crucial gaps in what radar was capable of detecting at the time (the early radar systems, for example, did not provide good information on the altitude of incoming German aircraft),

  • Raid plotting

  • Radio control of aircraft.

    The whole network was tied together, in many cases, by dedicated phone links buried sufficiently deeply to provide protection against bombing. The network had its apex (and Dowding his own headquarters) at RAF Bentley Priory, a converted country house on the outskirts of London.

 

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Bunker13 Ltd is currently unable to arrange visits to the bunker.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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