WWII in real time


Cigarette company taking advantage of American military buildup to advertise "Army Man's Favorite Cigarette- the Camel": https://t.co/y3zPTb1l49 RealTimeWWII photo

Freezing temperatures in USSR bring one advantage to Germans: Russian roads, until now rivers of mud thanks to heavy rains, have frozen & become usable for Wehrmacht advance. https://t.co/bGpBEeqzBE RealTimeWWII photo

Mueller: To avoid public scenes, "Russians unable to withstand a short walk to the camp shall be executed on the spot." https://t.co/iTGD9ZRbjX RealTimeWWII photo

Gestapo chief Heinrich Mueller complains: "5-10% of Soviet prisoners collapse dead marching to concentration camps." It is impossible to prevent German civilians from noticing the deaths.

Winter gear is finally being issued to German troops in the USSR; due to shortages of previously "unneeded" equipment, just one greatcoat issued to each Wehrmacht artillery team- of four men.

Today is Polish Independence day. 23 years after becoming an independent state, Poland is now totally occupied by Nazi Germany. 150 Polish prisoners have been murdered in concentration camp of Auschwitz: https://t.co/jz9Q60t7Cd
RealTimeWWII photo
Auschwitz Memorial @AuschwitzMuseum
11 November 1941 | On the Polish Independence Day the Germans carried out the first execution by shooting in the yard of Block 11 of the #Auschwitz camp. Most probably 151 people were shot in the back of their heads - almost all of them Poles. #11listopada 1/5 https://t.co/C9HmI7FKyo

Sgt. York, US war hero: "There are those who ask me & other veterans of World War Number One, 'What did it get you?' The thing they forget is that liberty & freedom & democracy are so very precious that you do not fight to win them once and stop." https://t.co/gdAlnbZzvK RealTimeWWII photo

As USA marks Armistice Day, President Roosevelt: this year, Americans can "measure our indebtedness to those who died" to defeat the tyranny that has now swept across Europe: https://t.co/71n0asjfoR https://t.co/zt8ZI7qXil RealTimeWWII photo

Mass Observation survey notes many Britons claim Armistice Day "has lost its meaning", ignore two minutes' silence; one First World War veteran says: "I was terribly disappointed it was not observed. It belongs to the last war, not this one."

After 14 years planning & construction, the Australian War Memorial has opened in Canberra. 2 years ago it was changed from commemorating the First World War to remembrance of all Australian war dead, as it became clear that the "war to end all wars" hadn't. https://t.co/Cd0OONJH7U RealTimeWWII photo

"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them."
Please be silent for the next 2 minutes.

Today is Armistice Day- commemorating the end of the "Great War" 23 years ago today. Memorials have been scaled back in UK this year, so as not to hamper war effort.

Churchill announces that "should the USA become involved in war with Japan, the British declaration of war will follow within the hour."

In Changteh, China, Japanese planes are dropping wheat, rice, & cotton on civilian towns- all infested with fleas carrying the bubonic plague, cultivated by Japanese army scientists.

Special Japanese envoy Saburo Kurusu offers to withdraw Imperial Army from "most of China" if USA lifts sanctions; Americans instead demands Japan "totally eschew conquest."

As Japanese diplomats attempt last-ditch negotiations in Washington, Japanese Army mobilizes for simultaneous strikes on Malaya & Philippines. Japanese foreign office has been given deadline of 30 November to avert war.

New York Times claims "Tokyo is readying for some war; the Japanese are fanatic & gloomy, the city grim & thought-controlled."

Patricia Agnew, wife of Force K's Captain, hears of her husband's victory on the wireless: "I was so amazed I dropped several stitches in my knitting." https://t.co/yC9zvWdojn RealTimeWWII photo

Force K have sunk 2 Italian destroyers, crippled a third, smashed 9 merchant ships & set a tanker ablaze- without a single British casualty. https://t.co/RWuQ0LuqZo RealTimeWWII photo

From an officer aboard British destroyer HMS Penelope: "Our quarry never saw us coming. Italian merchant ships burst into flames as soon as we hit them- all too easy."

Cold War Use

The life-span of the Regional War Rooms appears to have been quite short, though details are unknown. By the time that most of the purpose-built structures were nearing completion in 1955-6, the advent of nuclear weapons had led to an enormous change in the perception of the threat posed by the Soviet Union, and the needs of Civil Defence. The threat now was of complete breakdown of central government with the Regional War Rooms being superseded by Regional Seats of Government (RSG), fully autonomous regional command centres, hardened against nuclear attack.
Some of the purpose built Regional War Rooms were adapted as RSG’s, but this was not the case with Kenton Bar which did not have the room for expansion required for the increased number of staff. The exact date of closure of the regional war room is uncertain although it is thought that most of these facilities had been supplanted by RSG’s by around 1960.

After its use as a war room ceased it was used as a training centre for RSG and later Sub Regional Control staff in Region 1. The presence of materials related to Exercise ARCADE (ROC run exercise) confirms the continued use of the bunker. Sub regional control units were on a smaller scale than RSG’s meaning the Kenton Bunker could have been used. However; it was deemed too near the City centre target area for use as War HQ for the Newcastle Sub Region, remaining dormant with occasional staff training until about 1965, after that date it was used for storage for the government offices on site.

In 1968 it was considered for use as a temporary Sub Regional Control until a purpose built one could be built in Hexham however nothing came of this. It remained in use until the stand down of Civil Defence in 1968 after which date it was retained on care and maintenance as the County Borough War HQ. In the 1971 Home Defence Review it was still officially performing this role and in 1974 it was transferred to Tyne & Wear County council. The newly formed Newcastle District Council officially designated it as their war HQ but nothing was done to it due to the Council’s extreme left wing policy on Civil Defence and their refusal to pay rent to the Home Office. They instead used the sub basement of Sunderland Civic Centre letting Kenton Bunker remain dormant. Later in 1982 the Sub Control in Heaton was designated as Main War HQ.
In 1986 Tyne and Wear County was abolished and the newly formed Tyne and Wear Fire and Civil Defence Authority wanted to turn the filter room into a modern emergency centre, a scheme that was halted by the end of the cold war in 1989.

One Response to Cold War Use

  • keith ward says:

    hi,

    please see subbrit.org website for full history of Newcastle civil defence..
    the main Newcastle County Borough control was in Blakelaw filter room from c1962 until 68 , we visited in 2007 and council unweleded it for us , see website for pics etc..
    in 1974 Kenton was designated as new Tyne and Wear County control but they refused to do anything and as you say used Sunderland instead.
    the sub control at Heaton a surface blockhouse of 1954 was allocated to district council who demolished it in 1985 to stop its use as mega left wing..
    I have stacks of info on Tyneside cd , Durham county had bunkers like Heaton at Jarrow , Whickham and used old WW2 bunker in Gateshead park for Gateshead County borough , whole area got priority money in 50s at target but Kenton like other war rooms remained out of use after 65 ….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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

Our Twitter Feed

Donate

Help Preserve The Bunker