WWII in real time


Stalin & his generals, still convinced Germans will strike again at Moscow this summer, are keeping many Red Army divisions in reserve in the north as south falters before new Axis assault.

German forces have reached the outskirts of the city of Voronezh, daring panzer assault capturing the still intact bridge over the river Devitsa, which Red Army failed to destroy.

American FBI has announced the capture of eight Nazi spies, smuggled into USA by German submarine to conduct campaign of sabotage & terror bombings. They do not announce infiltrators were caught after being betrayed by leader George Dasch. https://t.co/pTD96Ly1hJ RealTimeWWII photo

British troops at El Alamein mock the officers in Cairo:
"We never left the Nile
Or past the Sphinx's smile
We fought our war in the hotel bar
& they gave us the Africa Star."

As war rages in the desert near El Alamein, front-line Allied troops suffering in Egyptian sands are angry at their staff officers: "bludgers & skivers fighting Cairo's bars & brothels". https://t.co/vywufC1iXE RealTimeWWII photo

Axis forces in the USSR have reached the river Don, near target city of Voronezh, south of Moscow: German summer offensive is smashing past Red Army who are intent on defending Moscow. Hungarian soldier stands on the Don bank: https://t.co/tWxw99Z36h RealTimeWWII photo

Japanese occupied Alaskan islands of Kiska & Attu without resistance- now Growler has torpedoed 2 ships, killing 200. https://t.co/XMEVUlNiF2 RealTimeWWII photo

US Navy is belatedly striking back at Japanese invaders of Alaska: submarine USS Growler torpedoes 3 Japanese destroyers off Aleutian Islands.

Amongst Dutch Jews summoned for Nazi deportation is Margot Frank, 16; her family, like many in Amsterdam, plan to go into hiding to escape the German occupiers. https://t.co/tBalEOYupT RealTimeWWII photo

First thousand Dutch Jews being deported by Nazis are given a short list of objects to take with them, maintaining lie of German "labour camps". Many will be killed as soon as they arrive, rest imprisoned in brutal concentration camps. https://t.co/nXE7fBdF7R RealTimeWWII photo

Dutch government & police are cooperating to enforce the Nazi's deportation orders; most Dutch Jews comply with German round-ups, expecting to return home after the war. https://t.co/lHYTyoEx8r RealTimeWWII photo

Nazi occupiers of Netherlands are ordering 1000s of Dutch Jews to report for deportation to "work camps" in Germany. https://t.co/piwXVgWd0W RealTimeWWII photo

On Independence Day, President makes a grim address to USA. Roosevelt says: "Not for 166 years... has this anniversary come in times so dangerous to everything for which it stands." https://t.co/AI1aPEdECa

German General Von Manstein claims that Russian soldiers will suicidally kill themselves with grenades rather than surrender: "Asiatics have contempt for all life, even their own."

Most Soviet soldiers fight to the bitter death. Only the top Red Army commanders have been able to escape Sevastopol by submarine. NKVD are massacring German prisoners to prevent them from rejoining Axis ranks.

Sevastopol has fallen. After two months of brutal, relentless Axis assault, Soviet defenders of shattered port surrender. https://t.co/T4i4PnXimc RealTimeWWII photo

Huge Chrysler-built "Victory sirens" have been installed along East Coast to warn American cities of any approaching bombers; loudest siren ever, audible 25 miles away. https://t.co/FAnuVVdjge RealTimeWWII photo

400 air raid sirens are wailing across New York: city is marking Fourth of July with mass drills for bombing preparedness. https://t.co/jo5GBv28n9 RealTimeWWII photo

Today is 4th July, American Independence day & a holiday in USA- but many workers refuse to stop production, & businesses remain open to aid the war effort. https://t.co/zBnaMeO4pn RealTimeWWII photo

Allies at El Alamein have counter-attacked, catching exhausted & overstretched Axis forces off guard; 2000 Italians taken prisoner. https://t.co/g4o7Ia7HkZ 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.

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 ….

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