WWII in real time

Japanese attempts to reinforce Rabaul's air defences through ring of Allied airfields & naval blockade have lost 200-300 irreplaceable Japanese planes & experienced pilots. American bombers now use the Japanese fortress for target practice, opposed only by few anti-aircraft guns. https://t.co/gShg8mEtW7 RealTimeWWII photo
Capture of Admiralty Islands means that Japanese fortress of Rabaul, in eastern Papua New Guinea, is now surrounded by ring of Allied airbases & isolated by sea & land- turning a 100,000-strong Japanese garrison into prisoners without a shot. https://t.co/0DLRGQ3TfE RealTimeWWII photo
Allied forces capture strategic Admiralty Islands in South Pacific after 80 days of fighting, completely isolating major Japanese base at Rabaul. Audacious landings caught 4000-strong Admiralty garrison off-guard; just 75 Japanese taken prisoner. https://t.co/8WH6zp1Lvw RealTimeWWII photo
4 months of battle have left Monte Cassini monastery a ruined shell: wrecked by Allied bombs & artillery, Germans occupied rubble & have repelled 3 separate assaults. At last, Allied 5th Army have captured the heights, raising a Polish flat over the ruins. https://t.co/dRs1llCX3u RealTimeWWII photo
Since the beginning of May, Red Army have captured Sevastopol & Allied forces in Italy have launched a colossal assault on the fortified Gustav Line. Otherwise, fronts are static across Europe, as armies in Britain prepare for "D-Day" assault on France. https://t.co/Y2Xq3cCvVk RealTimeWWII photo
Allied assault has finally taken the Italian town of Cassino, driving German defenders back to fortified "Hitler line". https://t.co/7ievgdtZFG RealTimeWWII photo
American newspapers now openly speak of imminent "D-Day", planned Allied invasion of France, predicting a major breakthrough in the war this summer. New York Times tracks 30 days of bombing over occupied Europe in preparation for landing: https://t.co/lm4kbLxDij RealTimeWWII photo
Smashing against the German Gustav line of fortifications with overwhelming force, Allied forces in Italy are finally gaining ground at Monte Cassino. https://t.co/xMR39Tm4lJ RealTimeWWII photo
Allied air forces are carrying out heavy bombing raids on northern French coast, softening German “Atlantic Wall” defences from planned amphibious invasion. Bombers are particularly heavy over Calais, which Germans presume is intended initial landing point for “D-Day”. https://t.co/L2RcHGYH0R RealTimeWWII photo
Female Soviet partisans- guerrilla soldiers who fight behind German lines- celebrate Red Army reconquest of the Crimea: https://t.co/d4PUw6bGkv RealTimeWWII photo
Teja & Totila transports, crammed with Romanian & German soldiers fleeing Red Army assault on Sevastopol, have been hit by Soviet bombers mid-voyage. At least 8000 people are dead in one of the greatest maritime disasters in history.
German disaster in the Black Sea as Germans desperately evacuate from the Crimea: transport ships Teja & Totila, evacuating 10,000 Axis troops from Sevastopol, sunk by Soviets. https://t.co/LhcBI6AYgN RealTimeWWII photo
"Jane's OK- she's not at Anzio": Allied troops on Anzio front, Italy, are instructed to cover up to avoid mosquito bites & possible malaria. A British soldier appreciates the warning sign: https://t.co/2U5dYnl9HA RealTimeWWII photo
German General Erwin Jaenecke boasted: "At Sevastopol stands the 17th Army, & there the Soviets will bleed to death." Hitler refused permission to evacuate from Crimea; now 96,700 Axis troops killed, 36,000 captured by victorious Red Army. https://t.co/i5SH7CZni5 RealTimeWWII photo
Red Army have re-conquered Sevastopol, after 2 years of German occupation. Soviet flag once more flies over city: https://t.co/dMdBtBEyFi RealTimeWWII photo
Red Army artillery have begun a massive bombardment of Sevastopol, last German stronghold in the Crimea. Soviets plan a massive assault to take the city, which Hitler has ordered defended to the death. https://t.co/zoVdlwe1ZY RealTimeWWII photo
"Glory to the liberators of Ukraine! Death to the Nazi invaders!" As Red Army troops sweep up to the Romanian border, Soviet propaganda celebrates Germans being forced from southern USSR: https://t.co/eWj0FB28Gb RealTimeWWII photo
Bombing raids smash rail hubs in the Balkans: as Red Army advances into northern Romania, Allied bombing raids are targeting Axis logistics, with mass raids of Liberator & Flying Fortress bombers trying to cut off German re-supply. https://t.co/WVxaXC6UVu RealTimeWWII photo
Gandhi has been freed due to ill-health, with British afraid he'll become a martyr if he dies in prison; he's fasting, urging Indians not to aid war & to non-violently resist until British Raj promises independence. https://t.co/kDPKMLql0L RealTimeWWII photo
British colonial authorities have released 75-year-old Indian independence campaigner Mohandas Gandhi from prison; he's been in captivity for two years for "opposing war effort" by urging Indians not to cooperate with British until they "Quit India". https://t.co/Tb9UdVsWpQ 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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