WWII in real time

41 ago
Luftwaffe now parachuting magnetic mines into the Thames Estuary. British minesweeping vessel HMS Mastiff was sunk by one today, killing 6 people. https://t.co/HdWnkqHQFh RealTimeWWII photo
1 hour ago
Dr. Besson: "I drifted for 4 hours. Then I saw a rope trailing from a British destroyer. I caught hold of it with my teeth & clung to it. Using my good arm I gradually hauled myself up. I was too weak to shout for help." His family have drowned.
2 hours ago
Dr. William Besson was aboard SS Simon Bolivar when it struck a mine this weekend. His spine damaged & arm broken in the explosion, he dived into the sea to try & save his son.
2 hours ago
4 more ships sunk today by mines in UK coastal waters, bringing weekend death-toll to 140. Germany denies mine-laying in shipping channels. https://t.co/wLvYf18NrI RealTimeWWII photo
5 hours ago
British Ministry of Agriculture has launched a new campaign, "Dig For Victory", to encourage growing food in gardens, parks & wasteland, to stave off threat of German U-boats. https://t.co/iPDHEx6y68 RealTimeWWII photo
5 hours ago
Playing fields of Eton (one of UK's oldest & most expensive schools) ploughed today as part of British "Grow-More-Food" programme to cope with wartime shortages. https://t.co/TWyGwFto92 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.

 

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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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