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

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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