WWII in real time


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RealTimeWWII photo

British codebreakers have learned from cracked Enigma signals of planned huge German assault on Moscow- but know that informing Soviets risks revealing to the Germans that their most secret codes have been compromised.

Despite Hitler’s decision to avoid frontal assault on Leningrad, Luftwaffe have launched a massive bombing raid on encircled city; approximately 1000 Soviet civilians killed. https://t.co/rK3JWcNiLd RealTimeWWII photo

Japanese Naval College have finished its annual war games, this year planning a "hypothetical" surprise attack on US Naval base of Pearl Harbor.

"At night the surrounding ring is clear to see, illuminated by fires that light up the horizon, which here & there give the sky a wonderful yellow hue."

Soviet military journalist Yury Krymov, trapped in Ukraine, is writing a last letter to his wife: "All around, wherever you look there are German tanks or machine gun nests... it's our fourth day, within this circle of fire."

East of Kiev, 10,000s of Red Army soldiers still resist in tattered pockets, fighting without food & sometimes without bullets- just knives against the Wehrmacht.

Germans now occupying ravaged Kiev; Nazi SS murder squads are combing city for Jews & Communists, to "liquidate the Bolshevik menace". https://t.co/7VzO0z035z RealTimeWWII photo

Paris is the City of Light no more: stung by recent wave of sabotage, Nazi occupiers have ordered a curfew from 9pm-5am; any French found on streets will be arrested. https://t.co/x9iHMBNHF5 RealTimeWWII photo

British potato drive aims to save badly-needed cargo space by reducing food imports. Britons urged to sing pro-tato ditties:
"Potatoes new. Potatoes old
Potato (in a salad) cold
Enjoy them all including chips
Remembering spuds don’t come in ships" https://t.co/E3V9yyp2px
RealTimeWWII photo

As food grows scarcer in UK, Britons are being urged to eat more potatoes; government suggests recipes like mashed-potato sandwiches. https://t.co/ukaQqGqFTr RealTimeWWII photo

Luftwaffe using incendiary bombs to flush Red Army out of hiding in Russian forests; one German soldier: "That unique smell, sweet & acrid- the burnt flesh of men & horses."

With the capture of Kiev, Axis forces have crushed Red Army opposition from Baltic to Black Sea; next target is Moscow. New York Times map: https://t.co/tQTniVIuhP RealTimeWWII photo

Reza Shah, King of Iran, has been forced to abdicate the throne in favour of his son, at demand of British & Soviet invaders- despite threatening to shoot the general who suggested he surrender. https://t.co/EUrvjercTg RealTimeWWII photo

Kiev, the "Jewel of the Ukraine", is now a shattered shell, booby-trapped with thousands of landmines in bitter last act by Soviets. https://t.co/ayms8HtvCN RealTimeWWII photo

Over 500,000 Red Army troops have been trapped in the "cauldron" around Kiev- largest encirclement in military history. Wehrmacht: "Their annihilation is now in progress."

For six weeks, German bombs & artillery have smashed Kiev; Stalin's orders to trapped defenders: "Stand fast, hold out, & if need be, die." https://t.co/I9p149MXg8 RealTimeWWII photo

German troops have broken into surrounded city of Kiev- Red Army defenders, trapped by encirclement of Wehrmacht's panzers, are fighting a bitter last stand. https://t.co/FoPzWoLiIp RealTimeWWII photo

What cartoonist Theodor Geisel- better known by pen-name "Dr. Seuss"- thinks of those who argue that Jewish Americans are dragging USA to war with Germany: https://t.co/zdjqwhGOCC RealTimeWWII photo

Lindbergh: Jews, the British & Roosevelt must stop pushing US to war in Europe: "We are on the verge of war, but it is not yet too late to stay out."

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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