WWII in real time


Stalin & his generals, still convinced Germans will strike again at Moscow this summer, are keeping many Red Army divisions in reserve in the north as south falters before new Axis assault.

German forces have reached the outskirts of the city of Voronezh, daring panzer assault capturing the still intact bridge over the river Devitsa, which Red Army failed to destroy.

American FBI has announced the capture of eight Nazi spies, smuggled into USA by German submarine to conduct campaign of sabotage & terror bombings. They do not announce infiltrators were caught after being betrayed by leader George Dasch. https://t.co/pTD96Ly1hJ RealTimeWWII photo

British troops at El Alamein mock the officers in Cairo:
"We never left the Nile
Or past the Sphinx's smile
We fought our war in the hotel bar
& they gave us the Africa Star."

As war rages in the desert near El Alamein, front-line Allied troops suffering in Egyptian sands are angry at their staff officers: "bludgers & skivers fighting Cairo's bars & brothels". https://t.co/vywufC1iXE RealTimeWWII photo

Axis forces in the USSR have reached the river Don, near target city of Voronezh, south of Moscow: German summer offensive is smashing past Red Army who are intent on defending Moscow. Hungarian soldier stands on the Don bank: https://t.co/tWxw99Z36h RealTimeWWII photo

Japanese occupied Alaskan islands of Kiska & Attu without resistance- now Growler has torpedoed 2 ships, killing 200. https://t.co/XMEVUlNiF2 RealTimeWWII photo

US Navy is belatedly striking back at Japanese invaders of Alaska: submarine USS Growler torpedoes 3 Japanese destroyers off Aleutian Islands.

Amongst Dutch Jews summoned for Nazi deportation is Margot Frank, 16; her family, like many in Amsterdam, plan to go into hiding to escape the German occupiers. https://t.co/tBalEOYupT RealTimeWWII photo

First thousand Dutch Jews being deported by Nazis are given a short list of objects to take with them, maintaining lie of German "labour camps". Many will be killed as soon as they arrive, rest imprisoned in brutal concentration camps. https://t.co/nXE7fBdF7R RealTimeWWII photo

Dutch government & police are cooperating to enforce the Nazi's deportation orders; most Dutch Jews comply with German round-ups, expecting to return home after the war. https://t.co/lHYTyoEx8r RealTimeWWII photo

Nazi occupiers of Netherlands are ordering 1000s of Dutch Jews to report for deportation to "work camps" in Germany. https://t.co/piwXVgWd0W RealTimeWWII photo

On Independence Day, President makes a grim address to USA. Roosevelt says: "Not for 166 years... has this anniversary come in times so dangerous to everything for which it stands." https://t.co/AI1aPEdECa

German General Von Manstein claims that Russian soldiers will suicidally kill themselves with grenades rather than surrender: "Asiatics have contempt for all life, even their own."

Most Soviet soldiers fight to the bitter death. Only the top Red Army commanders have been able to escape Sevastopol by submarine. NKVD are massacring German prisoners to prevent them from rejoining Axis ranks.

Sevastopol has fallen. After two months of brutal, relentless Axis assault, Soviet defenders of shattered port surrender. https://t.co/T4i4PnXimc RealTimeWWII photo

Huge Chrysler-built "Victory sirens" have been installed along East Coast to warn American cities of any approaching bombers; loudest siren ever, audible 25 miles away. https://t.co/FAnuVVdjge RealTimeWWII photo

400 air raid sirens are wailing across New York: city is marking Fourth of July with mass drills for bombing preparedness. https://t.co/jo5GBv28n9 RealTimeWWII photo

Today is 4th July, American Independence day & a holiday in USA- but many workers refuse to stop production, & businesses remain open to aid the war effort. https://t.co/zBnaMeO4pn RealTimeWWII photo

Allies at El Alamein have counter-attacked, catching exhausted & overstretched Axis forces off guard; 2000 Italians taken prisoner. https://t.co/g4o7Ia7HkZ RealTimeWWII photo

Blakelaw Filter Room

This facility was somewhat smaller than the Group Headquarters, but built to a similar pattern.
Filter rooms were the nerve centres of the UK radar system and vital to the success of Fighter and Bomber Command headquarters throughout the country. Information from Radar Stations, airfields, aircraft and ROC posts were directed into the Filter Room. From here, a dedicated and hard working team of RAF personnel collated all of the information to provide an as accurate as possible air picture to be passed onto the Operations Room where, commanders could direct aircraft resources.

The work done by the WAAF plotters of the Filter Room, the Movement Liaison Officers and the Filter Officers who were responsible for calculating and rectifying the position, and identifying the hundreds of tracks of hostile and friendly aircraft leaving and approaching the coasts of the British Isles, was vital. Working conditions were difficult; ventilation and heating were poor. Personnel had two fifteen minute periods when possible during the watch for a refreshment break. The food available varied considerably. Sandwiches of marmite and raw cabbage were a popular snack!
The requirement for the Filter Officers to have quick reactions was patently obvious. They had to sort out the correct position of the aircraft from the various overlapping Radar station plots which covered the same aircraft responses. They needed to estimate both height and number of aircraft, as well as direction from information given, having intimate knowledge of the siteing of the Radar stations involved and judging their accuracy. All of this had to be done with great speed as the aircraft themselves were constantly moving on to new positions. It was found that male Filterers, mostly well over thirty years of age were far too slow during periods of intense activity and they had to be removed from the table!
For the displayed information to be of value to the Operations Room, it had to be as up-to-date as possible. This meant that in times of the greatest activity, a Filter Officer must estimate and display accurate information on up to fifty different tracks within a minute. The mental stress and physical strain were intense under these conditions and when the personnel came off watch, whether officer or airman, tension was invariably high. Quite often however tired, sleep was impossible.
On the whole, it was amazing how few buckled under the strain. They all realised the importance of their work and it took a really major illness to prevent them from appearing for duty. However, subsequently, time has taken its toll of some amongst that small group. There have been instances of suicide, of recourse to alcohol in later years and bouts of deep depression. This is not to be wondered at when one considers that whilst filtering the tracks of the bomber squadrons on operations over Germany or plotting fighter sorties against incoming hostiles, these young women knew that their own husbands or sweethearts were amongst the aircrews. They would count with trepidation the numbers of the returning Allied aircraft.
The mixture of backgrounds amongst the members of the Filter Room officers was vast. Most of the senior male officers hailed from the Stock Market where they worked as brokers. It was an inspiration on the part of the RAF to choose these men for the positions as Controllers and Movement Liaison Officers. All personnel involved had to have quick reactions, good mathematical ability and be physically very energetic. The women chosen ranged from psychology or science students, young actresses, county debutantes, and grammar school high flyers to daughters of famous people – novelists, painters, musicians and vicars. But they were all dedicated to their work.
At approximately the same time another underground bunker was constructed. The communications bunker. All communications from airfield squadrons, aircraft and group headquarters were relayed through here before branching off into either the Filter room or direct into the Operations bunker. (The location of the Communications bunker is not known)

Information from http://www.websitedcm.com/bunker/filterroom.htm

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