WWII in real time

British Royal Navy ships have completed Operation Pedestal: dangerous convoy carrying desperately-needed food & fuel to Malta through a gauntlet of Axis warships. They've taken terrible losses en-route. https://t.co/TDam8OwTxK RealTimeWWII photo

Enemy Airmen’s Act inspired by “Doolittle Raid”, American bombing of Tokyo in April, which has left Japanese govt. furious & embarrassed. Under new law, US airmen captured after that raid can now be executed. https://t.co/No7VkAQwAF RealTimeWWII photo

Japanese military continue to enthusiastically use bombing, especially against Chinese who lack effective air defences. Japanese bombs have killed 10,000s of Chinese civilians, incl. this raid on Shanghai railway station 5 years ago: https://t.co/8tJm7VvzFm RealTimeWWII photo

Japan has passed a new law, the Enemy Airmen’s Act, declaring it a war crime to bomb Japanese-held territory: Allied air crew captured by Japanese can be tried & executed as “violators of the laws of war”.

Japanese soldiers on Tulagi tried to swim miles to next island rather than surrender. Allies take just 20 prisoners from the island- mostly conscripted Korean builders.

In 3 days of brutal battle, 3000 US Marines have taken small islands of Tulagi, Gavutu & Tanambogo- garrison of 886 Japanese fought almost to the last man.

Allied assault on Solomon Islands advances- US Marines & Australian soldiers have captured Tulagi & reinforced Guadacanal beachhead: https://t.co/NyFDTmXOTP RealTimeWWII photo

Survival of Malta may depend of Pedestal reaching the island. Hermann Göring has ordered Luftwaffe to: "operate with no other thought in mind than the destruction of the British convoy. Its destruction... is of decisive importance."

"Operation Pedestal" is inflicting a dreadful cost on Allied ships: one aircraft carrier, HMS Eagle, has been sunk, 2 more carriers badly damaged, & other escorts & merchant ships sunk with 100s of deaths. https://t.co/rs4SZpYVoN RealTimeWWII photo

British making a major attempt to transport desperately needed supplies to besieged island of Malta: 50 Allied ships, including 4 aircraft carriers & an oil tanker, are daring German & Italian warships, bombers, & submarines. https://t.co/FmgOo8CTPK RealTimeWWII photo

German "Brandenburgers" dressed as NKVD, arrest deserters, direct traffic jams & move key Soviet units away from defending Maikop's oil wells.

Captain Baron Adrian von Fölkersam leads 62 disguised Russian-speaking Germans & Baltic volunteers in a secret raid to save oil fields from Soviet sabotage. https://t.co/OhqwRoeDFN RealTimeWWII photo

German commandos, disguised as NKVD men, infiltrate Soviet lines ahead of the Wehrmacht's advance- ordering Red Army not to sabotage oil wells- "Stalin's orders".

After weeks of punishing advance into Caucasus, German panzers have reached Maikop, gateway to the vast Soviet oilfields. https://t.co/8OlNREvk76 RealTimeWWII photo

Claiming that campaign for Indian independence "threatens open revolt", forces of the British Raj have imprisoned Gandhi, Nehru & all Indian Congress Party leaders. https://t.co/QwlarQbf4G RealTimeWWII photo

Harshly reacting to Gandhi's demand to "Quit India", British authorities in India have arrested without charge hundreds of independence campaigners in a dawn raid.

With Churchill's first choice for new commander of the Eight Army in Egypt, General Gott, dead in a plane crash, Churchill appoints a relatively unknown officer, Bernard Montgomery: https://t.co/2SWsPcYbVu RealTimeWWII photo

Churchill has flown to Egypt to visit Allied troops- & to sack Allied commanders for not attacking Rommel aggressively enough. https://t.co/r06NjX9rra RealTimeWWII photo

3 American & 1 Australian cruisers have been sunk by Japanese bombers off Solomon Islands- but Allied invasion force was already ashore & fighting inland.

60,000 Allied troops have stormed ashore on the south Pacific islands of Guadalcanal, Tulagi & Florida, outnumbering Japanese defenders by 2-1. https://t.co/bMmGxEfbZl RealTimeWWII photo

Bunker 13 – RAF Blakelaw

July 2020

See News page for announcement!

Letter of Support from RAF Museum Received.

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!

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