WWII in real time


Surcouf, prize of General de Gaulle's Free French Navy, has disappeared with all 130 crew in the Caribbean, after freighter sailed away from collision. It may have been subsequently mistaken for a German U-boat & bombed by American planes. https://t.co/mHTZeoeYXq RealTimeWWII photo

The world's largest submarine, the French "undersea cruiser" Surcouf, has sunk near Panama, after a crash with an American freighter in the middle of the night. https://t.co/kt08h2xF5Y RealTimeWWII photo

In Burma, Japanese invaders have smashed through Allied defenses on the Bilin River; British are evacuating the heavily bombed capital of Rangoon.

The first Japanese military plane is flying over Sydney: taking off from a submarine, pilot Nobuo Fujita surveys the Australian city for potential bombing. https://t.co/Z4laPjZorq RealTimeWWII photo

Victorious Japanese troops marching into Singapore greeted by looting; they've shot 500 Chinese citizens "to set an example & restore order."

Before beginning massacre of Bangka Island, Japanese soldiers rape & sexually assault the Australian nurses: https://t.co/WtDUR98iS4

Vivian: "A bullet got me in the left loin, went straight through me & out at the front. The force knocked me into the water & there I lay." Feigning death until Japanese leave, she crawls into junge, lone survivor of the Bangka Island Massacre: https://t.co/CY8ht0KTbq

With the women waist-deep in surf, Japanese start to machine-gun them. Nurse Vivian Bullwinkel: "They just swept the line- girls fell one after another." https://t.co/uEtmoQHsur RealTimeWWII photo

23 female nurses, shipwrecked on Bangka Island, try to surrender; Japanese soldiers order them to walk into the sea at gunpoint. Matron, Irene Drummond, calls: "Chin up, girls. I'm proud of you & I love you all." https://t.co/xE2zZDE9c8 RealTimeWWII photo

Although fighting is over in Singapore, deaths continue; Japanese have shot over 100 wounded survivors from bombed hospital ship Vyner Brooke.

Nazi U-boats strike the Caribbean: 7 German submarines have attached Dutch island of Aruba, near Venezuela, shelling oil refineries & sinking tankers. https://t.co/hySNJCZLmM RealTimeWWII photo

Japan's new Prime Minister, General Tojo, gives speech to the National Diet, celebrating Japanese victories in Malaya & Philippines & promising "new order of coexistence & co-prosperity on ethical principles in Greater East Asia".

Thanks to unlocking Kriegsmarine Enigma ciphers, British code breakers at Bletchley Park have been able to crack secret German signals to their submarines within days; the new "Shark" code destroys years of work.

Terrible blow for UK intelligence: German U-boats have begun using a new, more complex version of the Enigma code, impenetrable to their cryptanalysis.

In his first radio broadcast for 6 months, Churchill announces horrifying loss of Singapore & surrender of its garrison; "heavy & far-reaching defeat... our worst since Dunkirk."

Eyewitness Lt. Moore: “Japanese led small groups [of wounded patients] out of sight; ensuing yells & screams, coupled on one occasion with a Jap returning wiping blood from his bayonet, left little doubt as to the men’s fate.“ https://t.co/ZhbnGES749

Before ceasefire took effect in Singapore, Japanese troops stormed the city's Alexandra Hospital & began a murderous rampage, bayoneting 320 doctors & wounded men.

~85,000 British, Indian, Australian & Malay troops have been captured by the Japanese at Singapore; it's the largest surrender in British history. https://t.co/yN9sb72cyu RealTimeWWII photo

Under a white flag & Union Jack, General Percival is crossing to Japanese lines to surrender his troops & city of Singapore. https://t.co/q8CAo8EdKD RealTimeWWII photo

General Percival has given up futile defence of Singapore; he's asked Japanese for armistice. They're demanding he beg for surrender personally.

The Preservation Group

The preservation group was formed around April 2008 from like minded people who had a genuine interest in saving the former Fighter Command Headquarters, a building that is now Grade II listed.

The name of the group was a very important aspect and various names were discussed. The name had to reflect the type of project we were involved in. Bunker Thirteen seemed to stand out and was quite significant in respect that 13 Group Fighter Command was based here in Newcastle and of course it is an underground bunker.

For the past few years, Bunker Thirteen have been searching intensively for veterans that served in or around the HQ. We got lucky – we found five, two of whom have been our inspiration. We are still actively searching for more veterans who served in the Bunker HQ during the years 1939 -1946.

In those past fewyears also, we have gathered a large following of supporters, ranging from ordinary people to large historical establishments such as Yorkshire Air Museum, Beamish Open Air Museum, Historical Branch of the RAF, Battle of Britain Sector Operations Room at RAF Uxbridge as well as various Aircrew Associations and Royal Air Force Associations from as far as the tip of Scotland down to North Devon.

Bunker Thirteen is going from strength to strength and has now become a company limited by guarantee.

4 Responses to The Preservation Group

  • ben walker says:

    hi, great to see the bunker on news tonight, i am a sign maker based in gateshead and would like to offer my sign and prop making service to the benefit of the bunkers restoration,
    i make everything from vinyl graphics right through to 3d built, cnc machined lettering & engravings.
    hope i can help.

    • colin anderson says:

      Hi Ben,
      although we are still at a very early stage with regards to restoration what you offer could be very useful. We have a meeting on Wednesday night and we’ll be in touch properly soon after that.
      Cheers
      Colin Anerson
      Bnker 13

  • Saw the bunker on the TV and wondered if the Battlefields Trust could be of any use to you. Too little mention is made of the RAF,s defence of the NE. I am sure that members of the Trust will show great interest in this very worthwhile project. Please get in touch at the above email address.

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