WWII in real time

Leningrad has been encircled, with supplies of food severely restricted, under German assault & artillery barrage, for 924 days. Over a million Soviet civilians have died during one of the longest sieges in history. https://t.co/yszbjQ91ig RealTimeWWII photo
Red Army have decisively broken the German lines around the city of Leningrad. Jubilant Leningrad defenders greet Soviet forces who have cracked Axis blockade. More on the city's liberation: https://t.co/torDTASoKr https://t.co/A6EOuZuhpQ RealTimeWWII photo
British landing craft LST-422 has hit a German mine off Anzio beach, Italy, ripping a 50 metre hole in her hull & setting the ship's fuel supply alight. 483 Allied troops, mostly asleep alongside vehicles in lower decks, have died, trapped in the sinking, burning vessel. https://t.co/uZTqMJNUFN RealTimeWWII photo
From the Allied beachhead at Anzio, Italy, BBC reporter Wynford Vaughan-Thomas broadcasts on radio as a German air raid strikes British forces. Listen now: https://t.co/B14n6HmAeH
Red Army troops have driven German Army back from the outskirts of Leningrad, breaking nearly 900 days of siege & starvation. https://t.co/mOFbXHpNZl RealTimeWWII photo
Allied forces are pouring into the beachheads at Anzio, Italy, almost unopposed by Germans. One American reconnaissance jeep even briefly reached outskirts of Rome- but Allies are fortifying Anzio rather than moving forward to take advantage of surprise. https://t.co/850aTBLam8 RealTimeWWII photo
Allied landings at Anzio, Italy, completely surprise the Germans: 36,000 men now ashore, just 13 killed seizing beaches. https://t.co/Cs8MWY4Q1o RealTimeWWII photo
Hoping to break the stalemate in southern Italy, Allied forces are making an amphibious landing on beach at Anzio, north of the main German "Winter line" of defences. They hope to catch Axis from north & south. https://t.co/HQbsxpI4lY RealTimeWWII photo
“Kinabalu Guerrillas”, many armed with only melee weapons, arrows & blowdarts, managed to seize three towns in Borneo & kill ~90 Japanese occupiers. Leader Albert Kwok eventually surrendered after Japanese began indiscriminate killing of civilians. More: https://t.co/etJ2KqbTbb https://t.co/0NQnLU1RAe RealTimeWWII photo
On Japanese-occupied North Borneo, a three-month long revolt by a multi-ethnic resistance movement has been brutally crushed. Japanese Kenpeitai police have murdered 176 suspected rebels, mostly local civilians, by bayoneting, beheading, & burying alive in mass graves. https://t.co/lfSRdjfhWg RealTimeWWII photo
Newly released Alfred Hitchcock film "Lifeboat" is in cinemas now, telling story of survivors adrift in the Atlantic after their ship is torpedoed by a German U-boat- who discover one of the submarine's crew is with them: https://t.co/9bxAksp1l8
As fresh waves of US infantrymen approach Rapido, trying to cross freezing river, one of them, Lt. J.E. Phillips observes: "Ground became spongy- we found it was dead GIs, stacked sometimes six feet high. German fire raked the boats midstream- my men yelled, shot or drowning".
US 36th Infantry Division are trying to bridge Rapido river- both banks & cliffs heavily mined- under German artillery & machine-gun fire. https://t.co/90DlnMFYOX RealTimeWWII photo
As Allies attack at the Axis defensive lines at Monte Cassino, American troops have been ordered to make a "diversionary" frontal assault on Germans over River Rapido. https://t.co/hSRJLi3Jl4 RealTimeWWII photo
Australian government has introduced meat rationing, allowing no more than one kilo of beef per week per person. Fish, sausages, chicken, ham & rabbits are not rationed. https://t.co/tqtnNY59SQ RealTimeWWII photo
Soviet newspaper Pravda reports that American & British diplomats have met with Nazi authorities in Spain to negotiate a separate peace with the Western Allies. UK & USA, confused, deny rumoured discussions ever took place.
Morgenthau warns Roosevelt that American officials tasked with saving Jewish refugees are committing "gross procrastination... even willful attempts to prevent action from being taken to rescue Jews from Hitler." https://t.co/42jTU02eXE
US Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau reports to President Roosevelt that Hitler is massacring Jews- & State Department does nothing: "One of the greatest crimes in history, the slaughter of the Jewish people in Europe, is continuing unabated..." https://t.co/GfV7Tk4ijN RealTimeWWII photo
Allied troops in Italy have begun an assault on the Axis Winter Line, through mountain valleys overlooked by historic Monte Cassino abbey. https://t.co/m4qa1ShW71 RealTimeWWII photo
"Road of Life" built into besieged Leningrad over the frozen Lake Ladoga to funnel vital supplies is now ferrying Red Army into they city; 1,241,000 Soviet troops are attacking 74,000 encircling Germans. https://t.co/2XOmDQFmjY RealTimeWWII photo

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Our Twitter Feed

Donate

Help Preserve The Bunker