WWII in real time

German city of Kassel has been devastated by Royal Air Force bombing raid, with over 1800 tons of bombs causing a vast firestorm. https://t.co/D4lJQAwquO RealTimeWWII photo
The first exchange of prisoners of war between UK & Germany has begun in Sweden: most of the 4340 Allied troops released today have been captives for over 3 years. Over 3000 are seriously ill, & are being swapped for German PoWs in similar condition.
17 Allied countries have formed a new body, the United Nations War Crimes Commission, to investigate reports of Axis atrocities. https://t.co/kX5xmfhvGX RealTimeWWII photo
After pursuing retreating Axis forces across Ukraine, Red Army have reached the Dnieper river- Russians are at the gates of Kiev. https://t.co/iLMrqlmLhy RealTimeWWII photo
~110,000 people, 16,000 of them Allied prisoners of war, have died laying 258 miles of track across the Thai-Burmese border: horrific conditions including brutality from Japanese guards, sickness, & starvation. https://t.co/VRGajWc3yo RealTimeWWII photo
Japanese occupiers have opened a new railway linking Burma to Thailand, built in three years of breakneck construction by conscripted labourers & Allied prisoners of war, who call it the “Death Railway”. https://t.co/r4Ws4NAhEa RealTimeWWII photo
On Hitler’s orders, German police in Rome have arrested 1,259 Jewish Italians, for deportation to death camps in Reich. Most of the city’s 8000 Jews have fled into hiding, forewarned by friendly Italian officials.
Nazi propaganda brands those Italians who have chosen to join fight against Germans "fratricides" (kin-slayers) & shows Americans & British laughing at them. Germans still occupy most of Italy & keep over 1 million disarmed Italian soldiers as prisoners. https://t.co/C7T9Mm2UyN RealTimeWWII photo
Sobibor prisoners must cross two barbed-wire fences & run across a minefield to flee the camp, under machine-gun fire from SS & collaborator guards. ~300 Jewish escapees die in the attempt, ~150 remain behind. Just over a hundred escape into surrounding forest.
As SS begin to miss the dead officers, inmates begin their breakout, inspired by inmate Alexander Pechersky, a Jewish Soviet commissar: "Our day has come. Most of the Germans are dead. Let's die with honour. Remember, if anyone survives, he must tell the world what happened!" https://t.co/7w4nsBGfHY RealTimeWWII photo
Sobibor conspirators spend afternoon killing SS officers, incl. acting Commandant Johann Niemann. Camp's head tailor, a prisoner, asked SS-Untersturmführer to remove his pistol, to try on a leather jacket taken from a murdered Jew. Other inmates then slew the Nazi with an axe. https://t.co/JUfy5hDk6p RealTimeWWII photo
Sobibor will soon be closed; slave labourers know they will be killed, from labels found sewn inside clothes of Jewish "Sonderkommandos" of other camps: "We worked at Bełżec for one year and did not know where we would be sent next… Be aware you will be killed also! Avenge us!"
Sobibor is the fourth most deadly Nazi death camp: ~200,000 people have been killed here in last 18 months, with almost all Jewish inmates gassed on arrival. 600 are kept as slave labour, worked to death while helping to maintain camp & dispose of corpses. https://t.co/Ri4NHgPByP RealTimeWWII photo
Prisoners of Sobibor extermination camp, in German-occupied Poland, have rebelled against their Nazi guards, killing 11 SS men & staging a breakout. 300 inmates have rushed the camp wire under machine-gun fire. https://t.co/yhAaz2ilqs RealTimeWWII photo
Mussolini, now the puppet dictator of northern Italy, "rules" from small town of Salò, with a few loyal Italian troops, unable to command German forces occupying most of the country. https://t.co/wlWZMyxXC0 RealTimeWWII photo
Italian troops who have escaped capture by Germans will now march alongside Allied armies to recapture their country from the Nazis: https://t.co/RJJjlcrONw RealTimeWWII photo
One month after surrendering to Allied forces, government of Italy has switched sides & declared war on Nazi Germany, its former Axis partner. https://t.co/7JNBsVWkV0 RealTimeWWII photo
Portugal has agreed to permit bases for British warships & planes in the Azores, off Atlantic coast of Africa; despite officially being neutral between Axis & Allies, Portuguese government references 570-year-old treaty with UK, signed in 1373, to justify military bases. https://t.co/roFQbBE4R4 RealTimeWWII photo
Nazis struck on Jewish New Year, assuming Danish Jews would be praying at home. SS raids across Copenhagen have arrested ~400 people, but 1000s are in hiding or have already escaped. 90% of Denmark's Jewish population are safe. https://t.co/ZKmjCJaMgY RealTimeWWII photo
Thousands of Danish Jews have now fled to neutral Sweden to avoid arrest by the Nazis, hidden from German occupiers & smuggled out of country on fishing boats by their fellow Danes. https://t.co/hLMKYGFXEW 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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