WWII in real time

Enemy Airmen’s Act inspired by “Doolittle Raid”, American bombing of Tokyo in April, which has left Japanese govt. furious & embarrassed. Under new law, US airmen captured after that raid can now be executed. https://t.co/No7VkAQwAF RealTimeWWII photo

Japanese military continue to enthusiastically use bombing, especially against Chinese who lack effective air defences. Japanese bombs have killed 10,000s of Chinese civilians, incl. this raid on Shanghai railway station 5 years ago: https://t.co/8tJm7VvzFm RealTimeWWII photo

Japan has passed a new law, the Enemy Airmen’s Act, declaring it a war crime to bomb Japanese-held territory: Allied air crew captured by Japanese can be tried & executed as “violators of the laws of war”.

Japanese soldiers on Tulagi tried to swim miles to next island rather than surrender. Allies take just 20 prisoners from the island- mostly conscripted Korean builders.

In 3 days of brutal battle, 3000 US Marines have taken small islands of Tulagi, Gavutu & Tanambogo- garrison of 886 Japanese fought almost to the last man.

Allied assault on Solomon Islands advances- US Marines & Australian soldiers have captured Tulagi & reinforced Guadacanal beachhead: https://t.co/NyFDTmXOTP RealTimeWWII photo

Survival of Malta may depend of Pedestal reaching the island. Hermann Göring has ordered Luftwaffe to: "operate with no other thought in mind than the destruction of the British convoy. Its destruction... is of decisive importance."

"Operation Pedestal" is inflicting a dreadful cost on Allied ships: one aircraft carrier, HMS Eagle, has been sunk, 2 more carriers badly damaged, & other escorts & merchant ships sunk with 100s of deaths. https://t.co/rs4SZpYVoN RealTimeWWII photo

British making a major attempt to transport desperately needed supplies to besieged island of Malta: 50 Allied ships, including 4 aircraft carriers & an oil tanker, are daring German & Italian warships, bombers, & submarines. https://t.co/FmgOo8CTPK RealTimeWWII photo

German "Brandenburgers" dressed as NKVD, arrest deserters, direct traffic jams & move key Soviet units away from defending Maikop's oil wells.

Captain Baron Adrian von Fölkersam leads 62 disguised Russian-speaking Germans & Baltic volunteers in a secret raid to save oil fields from Soviet sabotage. https://t.co/OhqwRoeDFN RealTimeWWII photo

German commandos, disguised as NKVD men, infiltrate Soviet lines ahead of the Wehrmacht's advance- ordering Red Army not to sabotage oil wells- "Stalin's orders".

After weeks of punishing advance into Caucasus, German panzers have reached Maikop, gateway to the vast Soviet oilfields. https://t.co/8OlNREvk76 RealTimeWWII photo

Claiming that campaign for Indian independence "threatens open revolt", forces of the British Raj have imprisoned Gandhi, Nehru & all Indian Congress Party leaders. https://t.co/QwlarQbf4G RealTimeWWII photo

Harshly reacting to Gandhi's demand to "Quit India", British authorities in India have arrested without charge hundreds of independence campaigners in a dawn raid.

With Churchill's first choice for new commander of the Eight Army in Egypt, General Gott, dead in a plane crash, Churchill appoints a relatively unknown officer, Bernard Montgomery: https://t.co/2SWsPcYbVu RealTimeWWII photo

Churchill has flown to Egypt to visit Allied troops- & to sack Allied commanders for not attacking Rommel aggressively enough. https://t.co/r06NjX9rra RealTimeWWII photo

3 American & 1 Australian cruisers have been sunk by Japanese bombers off Solomon Islands- but Allied invasion force was already ashore & fighting inland.

60,000 Allied troops have stormed ashore on the south Pacific islands of Guadalcanal, Tulagi & Florida, outnumbering Japanese defenders by 2-1. https://t.co/bMmGxEfbZl RealTimeWWII photo

Japanese airforce counterattack off Guadacanal island, bombers have slipped below American antiaircraft fire to ravage Allied fleet. https://t.co/r2vK5C2BYJ 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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