WWII in real time

Admiral Cunningham, Royal Navy commander in Mediterranean: "Taranto has freed our hands- I hope now to shake those damned Eye-Ties up a bit."

British bombers have returned to Taranto to try & finish off Italian fleet- but Italian ships have fled to better-defended Naples for fear of the Fleet Air Arm.

Italian defenders at Taranto didn't see the British planes coming- swooping low, they've torpedoed 3 battleships & bombs have set harbour on fire. https://t.co/9SDN6F1Qtc RealTimeWWII photo

21 planes of the British Fleet Air Arm carry out "Operation Judgement": torpedo raid on Italian fleet at Taranto. British are using obsolete Fairey Swordfish biplanes: they expect heavy losses https://t.co/r6aoHlcU7w RealTimeWWII photo

Guardian newspaper records a day of "private ceremonies of remembrance" across Britain; large Armistice Day services mostly called off for fear of bombing: https://t.co/LQmwGbdDVY

Armistice Day commemoration in USA marred by huge blizzard in the Midwest, killing 145 people, leaving 20-foot snowdrifts & freezing ducks onto surface of Lake Michigan. https://t.co/Pj7IoNoYTH RealTimeWWII photo

Watch muted Armistice Day commemorations in London- British, Australian, New Zealand, Indian & other troops mark 22 years since end of the First World War, in the midst of a second one. https://t.co/rz8vUMajUG

A shop window display in Ontario, Canada, uses Armistice Day to mark the two World Wars: 1914—1918 and 1939—? https://t.co/poHmnWhWLu RealTimeWWII photo

Armistice Day services in London have been interrupted by air raid sirens; German bombers attacked at 11am, during the two minutes' silence.

"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them."
Please be silent for two minutes.

Some Parisian protesters carry two fishing rods- "deux gaules" in French- which they brandish while shouting "Long live" then a brief silence for "De Gaulle".

Today is Armistice Day, in remembrance of the end of the Great War. Nazi authorities are violently suppressing commemorations in German-occupied France, as students & veterans attempt to lay wreaths at the Arc de Triomphe. https://t.co/ijTyyjzkxC RealTimeWWII photo

Nazi-friendly Vichy French regime denounce "traitor de Gaulle" as a "killer of Frenchmen"- his planes & ships are bombarding Vichy troops in African colony of Gabon.

Occupying Nazi authorities in Belgium have banned observance of Armistice Day tomorrow; no celebration of victory over Germany 22 years ago.

British air raid warden Mary Couchman shields three children (including her son) during a German bombing attack. Photographer says she's a brave woman: "Oh, it was nothing. Someone had to look after the children." https://t.co/bR5TN62P6K RealTimeWWII photo

Wright: "I'd redesign London to be vast, clean. Slums & ugliness that would have taken centuries to overcome have been blasted away in days."

American architect Frank Lloyd Wright: "I wouldn't say the bombing of Europe is a blessing- but at least it will give the architects a chance to start again."

New York Times: Earthquake in "Nazi-dominated Romania proves 'General Fate' is supporting Britain & Greece- the Axis war machine may run dry of oil."

A huge earthquake has hit Romania- over 600 people are dead, 200 in Bucharest where the Carlton Block, tallest building in city, has collapsed. Nazi-occupied Ploiești oil fields are on fire. https://t.co/jWi9pbNRbn RealTimeWWII photo

French colony of Gabon has been invaded by Free French forces loyal to General de Gaulle- fierce fighting around capital city of Libreville. https://t.co/DioxmM4VAN RealTimeWWII photo

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.



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


Look North visit 2015

Lights! Camera! Action!

Lights! Camera! Action!

See the results of the filming here










Our Twitter Feed


Help Preserve The Bunker