WWII in real time


Soviet troops are flooding across Caucasus, encircling Italian & Hungarian armies & isolating Germans in Stalingrad. https://t.co/geZfMS8ZCH RealTimeWWII photo

US President on Allies' "unconditional surrender" demand: "It does not mean the destruction of the population of Germany, Italy, or Japan, but it does mean the destruction of the philosophies in those countries which are based on conquest & the subjugation of other people."

President Roosevelt, eager to keep Stalin happy, has overruled a hesitant Churchill by ruling out any negotiated peace with German & Japan.

After a week's conference in Casablanca, Allied leaders, led by President Roosevelt & Prime Minister Churchill, have announced that they demand "unconditional surrender" from the Axis powers. https://t.co/r7uufXMzKD RealTimeWWII photo

“Stalingrad is conquered!”German Ministry of Propaganda orders the destruction of never-issued posters produced six months ago, in anticipation of Axis victory at Stalingrad. https://t.co/Hc5nG2dZ0Q RealTimeWWII photo

German newspapers have started to print pessimistic news about the situation on the Eastern Front, describing Stalingrad as a “defensive battle”. Nazi columnist Karl Megerle writes: “For the first time in this war, Germany faces reverses of a certain importance."

At Allied war council in Casablanca, US President Roosevelt meets Sultan Mohammed V of Morocco, asking: “Why does Morocco, inhabited by Moroccans, belong to France?” Promises: “When we've won the war,” USA will not “further imperialistic ambitions.” https://t.co/3eWH4x3veC RealTimeWWII photo

8th Army have travelled 1400 miles from El Alamein to Tripoli in last 80 days, along rocky single coast road, carrying almost all water & fuel with them. Men carry 50lbs of food each, plus weekly ratio of 50 cigarettes & 2 packs of matches. https://t.co/QtzMy7DYIZ RealTimeWWII photo

Mussolini’s dream of a new Roman Empire stretching across North Africa is dead. Little is left but vanity monuments: like “Marble Arch” in the Libyan desert, 31-metre triumphal arch in Roman Travertine stone. https://t.co/YxbfL6bepa RealTimeWWII photo

British 8th Army are parading in Tripoli, after Italian governor surrendered the city, & the colony of Libya, to the Allies. Fascist Italy’s North African empire is dead. https://t.co/MtUEPZh5If RealTimeWWII photo

Papua is the first definitive Allied victory against the Japanese on land. Battle has raged in the territory for 6 months, with 2000 Australians & 600 dead, & 13,000 Japanese dead or taken prisoner. https://t.co/isWbz9QvWz RealTimeWWII photo

Japanese troops have finally been driven from the island of Papua; Australian & US forces have captured Sanananda, where last remnants of Japanese army, starving & disease-ridden, held a network of bunkers. https://t.co/I5b0K14Gf1 RealTimeWWII photo

Nazis are meticulous in recording numbers of victims arriving at death camps, partly for accounting purposes: SS pays German Railways a third class fare for every prisoner transported via the Holocaust trains. Children under four travel free.

British cryptanalysts do not realise significance of report: telegram refers to “special treatment”, not killing, & lists death camps only by initial: L (Lublin), B (Bełżec), S (Sobibor), T (Treblinka). Evidence of genocide of the Jews of Poland is filed in secret UK archives.

British codebreakers at Bletchley Park have deciphered an intercepted message to Himmler, head of the SS: the “Höfle telegram” contains detailed statistics on number of Jewish victims killed in 4 Nazi concentration camps last year. 1,274,166 people were murdered. https://t.co/qnJU6kyCJ6 RealTimeWWII photo

Sandhurst Road School, in London, has been hit by 500-kilo German bomb during a daylight Luftwaffe "terror raid". 38 children & 6 teachers have been killed, 60 more injured- many buried under rubble for hours while desperate parents clawed at the ruins. https://t.co/TJIHw9cCTu RealTimeWWII photo

German authorities have called in Wehrmacht troops to crush the outbreak of armed Jewish resistance in ghetto in Nazi-occupied Warsaw; in face of Jewish fighters equipped with pistols & burning bottles of gasoline, SS have fallen back.

US bombers have hit a Japanese convoy off the coast of Burma, sinking transport ship Nichimei Maru. Americans are unaware 985 Dutch prisoners are onboard, over 50 of whom die to Allied air strike. https://t.co/wg6Svejgdx RealTimeWWII photo

Japanese forces are preparing to evacuate from Guadalcanal, after repeated offensives have failed to break American positions on the island; New York Times map shows the growing Allied strength in the Pacific: https://t.co/oeAKXsQZ6i RealTimeWWII photo

In retaliation for bombing of Berlin by RAF, 118 Luftwaffe planes are raiding London for the first time in 2 years, diverting desperately needed aircraft from the Eastern Front. 23 Londoners were killed by falling shrapnel from British anti-aircraft guns.

History

The bunker was built in 1938 – 1939 at what was Kenton Quarry, and under the Dowding System of air defence became the headquarters of No 13 Group Fighter Command, which stretched from Humberside to The north of Scotland, including Northern Ireland.

Commanded by Air Vice-Marshal Richard Saul, the bunker was a typical MOD design of the time, with everything centred around a two storey high operations room complete with curved glass observation posts above a plotting table. There was also a plant room that enabled the circulating air to be filtered, and indeed the ventilation system is still intact.

The bunkers’ day in history came on the 15th August 1940 when around midday the controller sitting high above the plotting table realised that the north east coast was under attack by a cavalcade of German fighter bombers from Luftflotte 5. Scrambling fighters from sector airfields around the North east and further afield, the Germans were sufficiently repulsed and never mounted a daylight attack again over the north east.

Around the end of 1940, bunkers known as Group Filter Rooms were built near each Group HQ bunker to filter out the important information. So the site at Kenton Bar had a sister bunker built (of different layout) at what are now the Blakelaw flats just off Blakelaw Road. The Filter bunker  housed the local Sea Cadets and was thought for many years to be the 13 Group HQ. It is now mothballed and the entrances sealed

When the decision was taken to build the filter bunker, the area that 13 Group covered was reduced, and No 14 Group was formed at Inverness to cover the area north of Montrose. In 1943, the bunker was decommissioned as 13 Group HQ, with No 12 Group taking over responsibility for the area. For the rest of the war it was used for teleprinter and communications work.

uk map with groups1

After the famous Yalta Conference (attended by Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt) in February 1945, the political and geographic map of Europe was changed considerably. The Cold War had begun.

The bunker was used for civil defence meetings at this time in case of Nuclear attack, though I doubt that it would have protected the occupants completely.

The Department of Social Security buildings were built in 1948-49 and Demolished in 2005. They have been replaced by a housing estate.

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