WWII in real time

Royal Navy warships HMS Ladybird, Terror & Aphis are bombarding Italian forces on the shore- ready for a frontal assault by Allied tanks. https://t.co/t6UH7lA8aN RealTimeWWII photo

Allied troops continuing breakneck advance in Egypt; they've encircled the Italian fortress of Sidi Barrani, cutting off any reinforcement.

Allies in Egypt have taken 4000 prisoners in 12 hours- many of them Libyans forcibly enlisted by Italian occupiers, eager to surrender. https://t.co/fO2HbAT887 RealTimeWWII photo

Secretly, Japanese Admiral Yamamoto has been told to plan for war against the USA. He predicts: "I shall run wild for 6 months or a year- but I have no confidence after that."

Japan's Foreign Minister, Matsuoka, announcing Japan has no quarrel with USA or UK if all nations "mind their own business."

Among Italian dead from Allied surprise attack in Egypt is a General, Pietro Maletti- shot down while personally manning a machine-gun.

Operation Compass begins with an early victory: Indian & British troops have captured two fortified Italian camps in Egypt, killing or capturing 3000 soldiers. https://t.co/YMyQm3iJHZ RealTimeWWII photo

Wavell's 30,000 troops- & 265 British Matilda tanks- will strike from the Egyptian desert at dawn, hoping to blindside Italians who are guarding the Mediterranean coast road. https://t.co/9YjtCR0tJh RealTimeWWII photo

Canadian Parliament has just passed a 25% "luxury tax" on all consumer products & banned import of US-made products not related to war effort.

British commander in Egypt, General Wavell, is holding an officers' party tonight at the Cairo Turf Club- to make Italian spies think he has no plans for tomorrow.

30,000 Allied troops in Egyptian desert finally told they are not on an exercise. Tomorrow they attack Italian forts: huge raid, codenamed Compass.

British War Cabinet are discussing blockading Ireland with the Royal Navy & cutting off all Irish exports for 6 months- "economic warfare" to force Ireland away from neutrality.

Spanish dictator Franco has, after months of deliberation, refused Hitler's military alliance; planned joint German-Spanish attack on Gibraltar cancelled.

Churchill to Roosevelt: Risk of German invasion of Britain "has receded; in its place, an equal danger: steady & increasing diminution of sea tonnage" by German U-boats.

As the year draws to a close UK PM Winston Churchill writes to US President Roosevelt, reviewing "prospects for 1941" & tacitly begging for more American aid: https://t.co/tal1sLcctA

Allied forces hiding in no-man's land of the Egyptian desert; windscreens removed from vehicles so no Italian reconnaissance will spot tell-tale sun-glare. https://t.co/0WHvKI8X3r RealTimeWWII photo

In Egypt, 30,000 British & Commonwealth troops are advancing deep into the desert- ready for a surprise attack on Italian invaders. https://t.co/p2zZ9kI2L0 RealTimeWWII photo

German occupiers of Poland release propaganda photos boasting of their oppression of Jews: Nazis shown rounding up "Jewish criminals" in Lublin. https://t.co/uSeAqHiMIL RealTimeWWII photo

Marshal Badoglio has resigned from the Italian General Staff, taking blame for Italian disasters in Greece (although he warned Mussolini not to invade).

British government has denied American please to allow food aid to be delivered to occupied France; naval blockade will not be lifted, even if Europe starves.

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










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