WWII in real time


Cigarette company taking advantage of American military buildup to advertise "Army Man's Favorite Cigarette- the Camel": https://t.co/y3zPTb1l49 RealTimeWWII photo

Freezing temperatures in USSR bring one advantage to Germans: Russian roads, until now rivers of mud thanks to heavy rains, have frozen & become usable for Wehrmacht advance. https://t.co/bGpBEeqzBE RealTimeWWII photo

Mueller: To avoid public scenes, "Russians unable to withstand a short walk to the camp shall be executed on the spot." https://t.co/iTGD9ZRbjX RealTimeWWII photo

Gestapo chief Heinrich Mueller complains: "5-10% of Soviet prisoners collapse dead marching to concentration camps." It is impossible to prevent German civilians from noticing the deaths.

Winter gear is finally being issued to German troops in the USSR; due to shortages of previously "unneeded" equipment, just one greatcoat issued to each Wehrmacht artillery team- of four men.

Today is Polish Independence day. 23 years after becoming an independent state, Poland is now totally occupied by Nazi Germany. 150 Polish prisoners have been murdered in concentration camp of Auschwitz: https://t.co/jz9Q60t7Cd
RealTimeWWII photo
Auschwitz Memorial @AuschwitzMuseum
11 November 1941 | On the Polish Independence Day the Germans carried out the first execution by shooting in the yard of Block 11 of the #Auschwitz camp. Most probably 151 people were shot in the back of their heads - almost all of them Poles. #11listopada 1/5 https://t.co/C9HmI7FKyo

Sgt. York, US war hero: "There are those who ask me & other veterans of World War Number One, 'What did it get you?' The thing they forget is that liberty & freedom & democracy are so very precious that you do not fight to win them once and stop." https://t.co/gdAlnbZzvK RealTimeWWII photo

As USA marks Armistice Day, President Roosevelt: this year, Americans can "measure our indebtedness to those who died" to defeat the tyranny that has now swept across Europe: https://t.co/71n0asjfoR https://t.co/zt8ZI7qXil RealTimeWWII photo

Mass Observation survey notes many Britons claim Armistice Day "has lost its meaning", ignore two minutes' silence; one First World War veteran says: "I was terribly disappointed it was not observed. It belongs to the last war, not this one."

After 14 years planning & construction, the Australian War Memorial has opened in Canberra. 2 years ago it was changed from commemorating the First World War to remembrance of all Australian war dead, as it became clear that the "war to end all wars" hadn't. https://t.co/Cd0OONJH7U RealTimeWWII photo

"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them."
Please be silent for the next 2 minutes.

Today is Armistice Day- commemorating the end of the "Great War" 23 years ago today. Memorials have been scaled back in UK this year, so as not to hamper war effort.

Churchill announces that "should the USA become involved in war with Japan, the British declaration of war will follow within the hour."

In Changteh, China, Japanese planes are dropping wheat, rice, & cotton on civilian towns- all infested with fleas carrying the bubonic plague, cultivated by Japanese army scientists.

Special Japanese envoy Saburo Kurusu offers to withdraw Imperial Army from "most of China" if USA lifts sanctions; Americans instead demands Japan "totally eschew conquest."

As Japanese diplomats attempt last-ditch negotiations in Washington, Japanese Army mobilizes for simultaneous strikes on Malaya & Philippines. Japanese foreign office has been given deadline of 30 November to avert war.

New York Times claims "Tokyo is readying for some war; the Japanese are fanatic & gloomy, the city grim & thought-controlled."

Patricia Agnew, wife of Force K's Captain, hears of her husband's victory on the wireless: "I was so amazed I dropped several stitches in my knitting." https://t.co/yC9zvWdojn RealTimeWWII photo

Force K have sunk 2 Italian destroyers, crippled a third, smashed 9 merchant ships & set a tanker ablaze- without a single British casualty. https://t.co/RWuQ0LuqZo RealTimeWWII photo

From an officer aboard British destroyer HMS Penelope: "Our quarry never saw us coming. Italian merchant ships burst into flames as soon as we hit them- all too easy."

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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