WWII in real time

Allied landings at Anzio, Italy, intended to threaten the German rear, have instead become bogged down. Beachhead is surrounded & contained by German defences- after capturing just a few miles of beach. https://t.co/8YD27HXG0h RealTimeWWII photo
Leningrad has been encircled, with supplies of food severely restricted, under German assault & artillery barrage, for 924 days. Over a million Soviet civilians have died during one of the longest sieges in history. https://t.co/yszbjQ91ig RealTimeWWII photo
Red Army have decisively broken the German lines around the city of Leningrad. Jubilant Leningrad defenders greet Soviet forces who have cracked Axis blockade. More on the city's liberation: https://t.co/torDTASoKr https://t.co/A6EOuZuhpQ RealTimeWWII photo
British landing craft LST-422 has hit a German mine off Anzio beach, Italy, ripping a 50 metre hole in her hull & setting the ship's fuel supply alight. 483 Allied troops, mostly asleep alongside vehicles in lower decks, have died, trapped in the sinking, burning vessel. https://t.co/uZTqMJNUFN RealTimeWWII photo
From the Allied beachhead at Anzio, Italy, BBC reporter Wynford Vaughan-Thomas broadcasts on radio as a German air raid strikes British forces. Listen now: https://t.co/B14n6HmAeH
Red Army troops have driven German Army back from the outskirts of Leningrad, breaking nearly 900 days of siege & starvation. https://t.co/mOFbXHpNZl RealTimeWWII photo
Allied forces are pouring into the beachheads at Anzio, Italy, almost unopposed by Germans. One American reconnaissance jeep even briefly reached outskirts of Rome- but Allies are fortifying Anzio rather than moving forward to take advantage of surprise. https://t.co/850aTBLam8 RealTimeWWII photo
Allied landings at Anzio, Italy, completely surprise the Germans: 36,000 men now ashore, just 13 killed seizing beaches. https://t.co/Cs8MWY4Q1o RealTimeWWII photo
Hoping to break the stalemate in southern Italy, Allied forces are making an amphibious landing on beach at Anzio, north of the main German "Winter line" of defences. They hope to catch Axis from north & south. https://t.co/HQbsxpI4lY RealTimeWWII photo
“Kinabalu Guerrillas”, many armed with only melee weapons, arrows & blowdarts, managed to seize three towns in Borneo & kill ~90 Japanese occupiers. Leader Albert Kwok eventually surrendered after Japanese began indiscriminate killing of civilians. More: https://t.co/etJ2KqbTbb https://t.co/0NQnLU1RAe RealTimeWWII photo
On Japanese-occupied North Borneo, a three-month long revolt by a multi-ethnic resistance movement has been brutally crushed. Japanese Kenpeitai police have murdered 176 suspected rebels, mostly local civilians, by bayoneting, beheading, & burying alive in mass graves. https://t.co/lfSRdjfhWg RealTimeWWII photo
Newly released Alfred Hitchcock film "Lifeboat" is in cinemas now, telling story of survivors adrift in the Atlantic after their ship is torpedoed by a German U-boat- who discover one of the submarine's crew is with them: https://t.co/9bxAksp1l8
As fresh waves of US infantrymen approach Rapido, trying to cross freezing river, one of them, Lt. J.E. Phillips observes: "Ground became spongy- we found it was dead GIs, stacked sometimes six feet high. German fire raked the boats midstream- my men yelled, shot or drowning".
US 36th Infantry Division are trying to bridge Rapido river- both banks & cliffs heavily mined- under German artillery & machine-gun fire. https://t.co/90DlnMFYOX RealTimeWWII photo
As Allies attack at the Axis defensive lines at Monte Cassino, American troops have been ordered to make a "diversionary" frontal assault on Germans over River Rapido. https://t.co/hSRJLi3Jl4 RealTimeWWII photo
Australian government has introduced meat rationing, allowing no more than one kilo of beef per week per person. Fish, sausages, chicken, ham & rabbits are not rationed. https://t.co/tqtnNY59SQ RealTimeWWII photo
Soviet newspaper Pravda reports that American & British diplomats have met with Nazi authorities in Spain to negotiate a separate peace with the Western Allies. UK & USA, confused, deny rumoured discussions ever took place.
Morgenthau warns Roosevelt that American officials tasked with saving Jewish refugees are committing "gross procrastination... even willful attempts to prevent action from being taken to rescue Jews from Hitler." https://t.co/42jTU02eXE
US Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau reports to President Roosevelt that Hitler is massacring Jews- & State Department does nothing: "One of the greatest crimes in history, the slaughter of the Jewish people in Europe, is continuing unabated..." https://t.co/GfV7Tk4ijN RealTimeWWII photo
Allied troops in Italy have begun an assault on the Axis Winter Line, through mountain valleys overlooked by historic Monte Cassino abbey. https://t.co/m4qa1ShW71 RealTimeWWII photo

The Preservation Group

About us and our Plans

Bunker 13 initially met in 2007/8. We are a group of like-minded people who formed a group together to protect the bunker as it is an extremely important historic building having significant roles in WW2 and used during the Cold War also. The bunker was and is at risk as a vacant building. A target for vandals and other criminal activity. Our challenge was to find a new use for the bunker that preserved and celebrated its past while having a minimal effect on the residents living around the bunker.

We have devised a plan which we think will work for all concerned as it will relieve the residents from the burden of being responsible for the maintenance of an empty Grade 2 listed building which they cannot use. While ensuring the bunker is preserved for future generations having a new active role educating and enriching lives with the bunker experience. No one who has visited the bunker even in its current empty state leaves feeling anything other than enthralled and amazed it still exists and is sitting empty wasting away.

The project has many challenges.

1)The bunkers position in the centre of a residential development.

2)The buildings condition which, although good for a war time structure that has been neglected for many years,  will need a lot of restoration work and updating to make it safe and usable again for access by the general public.

3) Restoration costs a lot of money so making the aims and objectives of the project fit the criteria necessary to be eligible for funding by various funding sources such as Heritage Lottery, Historic England, Architectural Heritage Trust etc.

4) Untangling the mine field of ownership / lease of the building which is extremely complex due to Taylor Wimpey who built the housing development having set up a framework which created a means to fund maintenance on the bunker in perpetuity tying the residents financially to the bunker.

For the bunker to be eligible for the sort of level of funding required to restore the building it has to have a new purpose and be an asset serving the community once more. A chance encounter outside the front of the bunker with a group of youths early in the formation of Bunker 13 sparked the idea of the bunker being an Educational resource. The group had entered the Central Grange estate intent on breaking into the bunker to use the building as a play den as they had done on a number of occasions previously while the development was still an active building site. We were confronted by the gang who asked various questions about the building which informed us that we had in front of us the perpetrators of numerous break ins to the bunker. However when we spent time with them educating them of the buildings original use and importance the gangs attitude changed from hostility at our re-securing the building to one of genuine interest asking if they could help in the restoration and from that day forward the break ins stopped.

Our plan is to open the bunker as an educational resource to teach children about various different aspects of WW2 and the Cold War as the bunker had a use in both era’s informing of the bunkers history and the wars in general making it invaluable to schools as these eras are part of the national curriculum. This qualifies the building for multi streams of funding. The next problem is how to do this when the building is in the centre of a residential development. Our plan is set out below in order.

  1. Obtain funding for initial phase of feasibility studies/building surveys to quantify costs and to obtain a lease/freehold value for the bunker.
  2. Negotiate lease or freehold of the bunker.
  3. Restore and fit out the bunker for educational visits and occasional public visits.

Maintaining the Residential Environment

All of the plans to restore and repurpose the bunker have to be done with the residents of Central Grange in mind and involved to ensure we keep impact on them to a minimum while benefiting the residents by removing the financial burden of the bunker from their shoulders. To do this logistics and planning are key and however our plans are simple.

  1. All access to the bunker will only be by in advance pre booking. No one will be admitted without prior booking to stop unwanted foot fall of people onto Central Grange.
  2. All access to the bunker and Central Grange will be via the bunker bus. Which will drop off outside the bunker no loitering straight into the bunker. Whilst in the bunker the bus will leave site only returning at the pre set time to pick up visitors directly after their time-controlled visit. The bus then leaves site. We estimate 3 bus tours per day maximum.
  3. In the main this will be during school term time and only between the hours of 9.00am >4.00pm. Minimising the impact of the bunker being active.

The above plans will mean that even if you live in front of the bunker entrance you will not see activity involving people entering the bunker if your working hours are 9am>5pm.

To also enhance the appearance of the bunker we will ensure the guard houses are painted and well maintained the current temporary but aesthetically ugly security grills will be a thing of the past and we will sympathetically plant shrubs to mask the disused mast bases behind the main guard house. We will also remove the cattle fencing around the various air vents, make sure they are properly maintained and find a better way to protect them which is pleasing on the eye if possible.

We will always consult with the residents and make changes where required.

Bunker 13 

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