WWII in real time


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RealTimeWWII photo

British codebreakers have learned from cracked Enigma signals of planned huge German assault on Moscow- but know that informing Soviets risks revealing to the Germans that their most secret codes have been compromised.

Despite Hitler’s decision to avoid frontal assault on Leningrad, Luftwaffe have launched a massive bombing raid on encircled city; approximately 1000 Soviet civilians killed. https://t.co/rK3JWcNiLd RealTimeWWII photo

Japanese Naval College have finished its annual war games, this year planning a "hypothetical" surprise attack on US Naval base of Pearl Harbor.

"At night the surrounding ring is clear to see, illuminated by fires that light up the horizon, which here & there give the sky a wonderful yellow hue."

Soviet military journalist Yury Krymov, trapped in Ukraine, is writing a last letter to his wife: "All around, wherever you look there are German tanks or machine gun nests... it's our fourth day, within this circle of fire."

East of Kiev, 10,000s of Red Army soldiers still resist in tattered pockets, fighting without food & sometimes without bullets- just knives against the Wehrmacht.

Germans now occupying ravaged Kiev; Nazi SS murder squads are combing city for Jews & Communists, to "liquidate the Bolshevik menace". https://t.co/7VzO0z035z RealTimeWWII photo

Paris is the City of Light no more: stung by recent wave of sabotage, Nazi occupiers have ordered a curfew from 9pm-5am; any French found on streets will be arrested. https://t.co/x9iHMBNHF5 RealTimeWWII photo

British potato drive aims to save badly-needed cargo space by reducing food imports. Britons urged to sing pro-tato ditties:
"Potatoes new. Potatoes old
Potato (in a salad) cold
Enjoy them all including chips
Remembering spuds don’t come in ships" https://t.co/E3V9yyp2px
RealTimeWWII photo

As food grows scarcer in UK, Britons are being urged to eat more potatoes; government suggests recipes like mashed-potato sandwiches. https://t.co/ukaQqGqFTr RealTimeWWII photo

Luftwaffe using incendiary bombs to flush Red Army out of hiding in Russian forests; one German soldier: "That unique smell, sweet & acrid- the burnt flesh of men & horses."

With the capture of Kiev, Axis forces have crushed Red Army opposition from Baltic to Black Sea; next target is Moscow. New York Times map: https://t.co/tQTniVIuhP RealTimeWWII photo

Reza Shah, King of Iran, has been forced to abdicate the throne in favour of his son, at demand of British & Soviet invaders- despite threatening to shoot the general who suggested he surrender. https://t.co/EUrvjercTg RealTimeWWII photo

Kiev, the "Jewel of the Ukraine", is now a shattered shell, booby-trapped with thousands of landmines in bitter last act by Soviets. https://t.co/ayms8HtvCN RealTimeWWII photo

Over 500,000 Red Army troops have been trapped in the "cauldron" around Kiev- largest encirclement in military history. Wehrmacht: "Their annihilation is now in progress."

For six weeks, German bombs & artillery have smashed Kiev; Stalin's orders to trapped defenders: "Stand fast, hold out, & if need be, die." https://t.co/I9p149MXg8 RealTimeWWII photo

German troops have broken into surrounded city of Kiev- Red Army defenders, trapped by encirclement of Wehrmacht's panzers, are fighting a bitter last stand. https://t.co/FoPzWoLiIp RealTimeWWII photo

What cartoonist Theodor Geisel- better known by pen-name "Dr. Seuss"- thinks of those who argue that Jewish Americans are dragging USA to war with Germany: https://t.co/zdjqwhGOCC RealTimeWWII photo

Lindbergh: Jews, the British & Roosevelt must stop pushing US to war in Europe: "We are on the verge of war, but it is not yet too late to stay out."

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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