WWII in real time

Allied landings at Anzio, Italy, intended to threaten the German rear, have instead become bogged down. Beachhead is surrounded & contained by German defences- after capturing just a few miles of beach. https://t.co/8YD27HXG0h RealTimeWWII photo
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

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.

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