WWII in real time

In Normandy, counterattack by German II SS Panzer Corps has failed to crack open Allied lines near Caen; calling Berlin to report failed offensive, General Gerd Von Rundstedt (L) is asked: “What shall we do?" Rundstedt replies: "Make peace, you fools! What else can you do?" https://t.co/dx3N2JFpvr RealTimeWWII photo
In 25 days since D-Day landings in Normandy, Allies have disembarked nearly 630,000 men, 177,000 vehicles and 600,000 tons of equipment. 37,034 Americans & 24,698 British & Canadians are dead, injured, or taken prisoner in fighting so far. https://t.co/13Crert6Ci RealTimeWWII photo
In Normandy, Allied forces rely on enormous advantage in airpower & artillery to continue their advance. Near Villers Bocage, 266 British Avro Lancaster planes carpet a road junction with 1,100 tons of bombs to deny movement of German panzers. https://t.co/oYxM0Ba4Ba RealTimeWWII photo
Red Army's Operation Bagration assault is cutting deep into Axis forces on the Eastern Front; Soviet pincers now threatening to recapture Minsk, held by Germans for last three years: https://t.co/tgTPh6iVlX RealTimeWWII photo
Germans aim to crush the "Scottish Corridor" west of Caen, where British VIII Corps spearheaded by 15th Scottish Infantry Division threatens a breakthrough. Piecemeal attacks by SS-Pankerkorps fail to drive Allies back. (H/T @ReassessHistory) https://t.co/p209gxOyax RealTimeWWII photo
British in Normandy are facing 3 formidable SS panzer divisions, with heavy losses; ammo lorry explodes after direct mortar hit: https://t.co/BHuEc2UOXH RealTimeWWII photo
British offensive in Normandy aimed at capturing city of Caen, Operation Epsom, has been beaten to halt by Germans. https://t.co/iBC5TcbWbJ RealTimeWWII photo
Cherbourg has fallen, with German defenders surrendering to assault by American troops, but vital port installations have been wrecked by Wehrmacht before they could be seized by Allies. https://t.co/2hSkl3I5wk RealTimeWWII photo
British General Montgomery: "Montebourg & Valognes have been 'liberated' in the best 21st Army Group style, ie. they are both completely destroyed!" https://t.co/h6aykvu1oe RealTimeWWII photo
Faced with a tangle of German bunkers & defensive lines in Normandy, Allied troops are relying on massive artillery barrages to "soften" French towns prior to assault. https://t.co/FpSwfVdJ6Z RealTimeWWII photo
US troops are fighting way into Cherbourg, approaching harbour; panicked Germans starting to destroy port facilities: https://t.co/5eyD0gUYnL RealTimeWWII photo
Allied assault on Cherbourg has begun with bombardment by UK & US Navy; large warships in duel with German coastal guns, while smaller ships provide focused fire support for American infantry assaulting French port. https://t.co/ZO2fIHCtcU RealTimeWWII photo
French Resistance are calling on Nazi-occupied nation to rise up, unite with Allies & crush fascism "between the hammer & the anvil". https://t.co/po2fg7CXLz RealTimeWWII photo
Red Army summer offensive, Operation Bagration, is smashing German lines in north-east Europe, from Poland to the Baltic coast. New York Times map shows enormous Soviet advances of the last year: https://t.co/YSTSwnYQLV RealTimeWWII photo
Polish troops of the 1st Armoured Division in UK, ready to head to France- one of Free Europe forces fighting for Allies. https://t.co/zZDL5ZY4ES RealTimeWWII photo
Allied troops have reached the outskirts of Cherbourg, a vital Normandy port that Hitler has ordered Germans should defend to the last man. https://t.co/o6IbV2ppLQ RealTimeWWII photo
Across western France, Resistance fighters are uniting with advancing Allied troops, sabotaging & attacking German occupiers. https://t.co/Lp55RQigSY RealTimeWWII photo
Weeks of military deception by Soviets have left Germans expecting an attack in south, through Ukraine; instead, Operation Bagration (named after Russian general who fought Napoleon) aims to crush Axis Army Group Centre, stationed around Poland. https://t.co/62SFE71fxO RealTimeWWII photo
After colossal overnight artillery barrage, the largest so far in history, over 1.6 million Red Army troops are advancing into east Poland & Belorussia, dwarfing scale of Allied landings in France on D-Day. https://t.co/LpFOHtcgmO RealTimeWWII photo
Three years to the day after Germany launched an invasion of the USSR, Red Army have begun Operation Bagration: a huge offensive in east Europe, aimed at enveloping & crushing German Army Group Centre. https://t.co/KGb3t6jlyf 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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