WWII in real time

On US CBS radio, reporter Edward R. Murrow gives a broadcast describing a bombing raid over Berlin, which he witnessed last night from an RAF Lancaster Bomber: "Orchestrated Hell." Listen now: https://t.co/IlxE08zPuu
At least 1000 Allied sailors & troops are dead, & 1000 more Italian civilians, after spectacular success of Luftwaffe bombing at Bari. Those fished from the water, covered in sulfur-mustard oil, are not treated: only officers who knew of secret Allied chemical weapons are dead. https://t.co/bpDAa8s7ZD RealTimeWWII photo
John Henry contains 2000 mustard gas bombs from the American chemical weapons supply, sent to Italy to threaten retaliation if Germans use poison gas. Now, devastating explosion has spread corrosive, lethal chemicals across Bari, exposing 100s of survivors from Luftwaffe bombing. https://t.co/3t8EV8qdDM RealTimeWWII photo
Luftwaffe have launched a major bombing raid on Allied vessels at port of Bari, sinking 27 cargo ships supplying the Allied invasion of Italy. One of the wrecked ships, SS John Harvey, is secretly carrying 70 tons of mustard gas, which has spilled into harbour. https://t.co/TLGwODXEzr RealTimeWWII photo
Churchill storms off from dinner table- then: "Stalin & Molotov, both grinning broadly, clapped me on shoulders, claiming they were joking."
Churchill: "After the labours of the conference, there was a good deal of gaiety, & many toasts were proposed. Stalin indulged in teasing me." Stalin: "50,000 Germans- Hitler's top officers- must be shot." Churchill objects. Roosevelt: "Let's compromise- we'll only shoot 49,000."
At the Allied war conference in Tehran, Iran, Winston Churchill has celebrated his 69th birthday at a party with Stalin and Roosevelt. https://t.co/0PXukWG2t4 RealTimeWWII photo
German soldiers are astonished to see a black man in RAF uniform: “Why are you here? We’re not fighting Africa.” Johnny Smythe responds: “Sierra Leone is part of the British Empire and I’m fighting for my king.” Read more: https://t.co/3ItSzihY84 https://t.co/5tRswCRSYu RealTimeWWII photo
As RAF bombing raids on Germany continue, among the airmen shot down is Johnny Smythe, a Krio plane navigator from Sierra Leone. After parachuting from his wrecked bomber, wounded in the ribs & groin, he has been captured by Germans. https://t.co/7QwKwprWSv RealTimeWWII photo
This November is "Food Fights for Freedom" month in USA- celebrating rationing & sending food overseas for war effort. Americans are urged not to waste food, especially around Thanksgiving holiday. https://t.co/VOXwXCxPlA RealTimeWWII photo
Red Army troops have surged beyond Kiev into Ukraine- they're now approaching borders of Nazi-occupied Poland, & have recaptured the city of Gomel (2). New York Times map shows the continuing Soviet success: https://t.co/LZNZueV95u RealTimeWWII photo
First ever meeting of war leaders from "Big Three" Allies in Iran- Stalin demands USA & UK open a "second front" in Western Europe & wants extra territory given to the USSR after the war.
Josef Stalin, Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill are secretly meeting in Tehran, Iran, to debate Allied war strategy. https://t.co/JsFGurQ413 RealTimeWWII photo
A third consecutive night of bombing by the Royal Air Force has caused terrible damage to Berlin, including gutting the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. Bomber Command head Arthur Harris claims raids will continue “until the heart of Nazi Germany ceases to beat.” https://t.co/YN6fB4eYsj RealTimeWWII photo
Scattered across Tarawa's island in bunkers & dugouts, Japanese fought to the death- just 148 prisoners taken by the Americans, 127 of them conscripted Korean labourers. 4690 killed. https://t.co/KXGkOoZMo5 RealTimeWWII photo
After 4 days bloody fighting against entrenched Japanese, US Marines have finally captured atoll of Tarawa, in South Pacific. Fighting ashore, Americans suffered 1009 killed, 2101 wounded- worst casualties of any island assault so far. https://t.co/LpW9nOZNX9 RealTimeWWII photo
American aircraft carrier USS Liscome Bay has been sunk by a Japanese torpedo, in the worst US carrier disaster ever. A lone enemy submarine slipped past screening warships & missile hit the Liscome’s bomb magazine, causing a colossal explosion. Ship sunk in 23 minutes, 644 dead. https://t.co/AhXjBV3Qn5 RealTimeWWII photo
Conference of Allied leaders has begun in Cairo, with US President Roosevelt, UK Prime Minister Churchill, & Chinese Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek. Code named “Sextant”, talks in Egypt focus on what to do after the expected defeat of Japanese forces in Pacific. https://t.co/te4Kz3JB0h RealTimeWWII photo
RAF’s “Battle of Berlin” continues with another 800-bomber raid on German capital, causing terrible damage to districts of Tiergarten & Hansaviertel. Dry weather allows British incendiary bombs to unleash firestorms raging across city. https://t.co/d3tKF4jiFt
US Marines have to try & wade 500 yards across coral reefs in face of Japanese fire to assault Tarawa- with armoured landing vehicles stuck in the lagoon, & lighter “LVT”s shot to pieces. Of 5000 Marines who landed in first 24 hours, 1500 are dead or badly wounded. https://t.co/QapdK1aaXj RealTimeWWII photo

Bunker 13 – RAF Blakelaw

Feb 2021

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

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Lights! Camera! Action!

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