WWII in real time


Soviet troops are flooding across Caucasus, encircling Italian & Hungarian armies & isolating Germans in Stalingrad. https://t.co/geZfMS8ZCH RealTimeWWII photo

US President on Allies' "unconditional surrender" demand: "It does not mean the destruction of the population of Germany, Italy, or Japan, but it does mean the destruction of the philosophies in those countries which are based on conquest & the subjugation of other people."

President Roosevelt, eager to keep Stalin happy, has overruled a hesitant Churchill by ruling out any negotiated peace with German & Japan.

After a week's conference in Casablanca, Allied leaders, led by President Roosevelt & Prime Minister Churchill, have announced that they demand "unconditional surrender" from the Axis powers. https://t.co/r7uufXMzKD RealTimeWWII photo

“Stalingrad is conquered!”German Ministry of Propaganda orders the destruction of never-issued posters produced six months ago, in anticipation of Axis victory at Stalingrad. https://t.co/Hc5nG2dZ0Q RealTimeWWII photo

German newspapers have started to print pessimistic news about the situation on the Eastern Front, describing Stalingrad as a “defensive battle”. Nazi columnist Karl Megerle writes: “For the first time in this war, Germany faces reverses of a certain importance."

At Allied war council in Casablanca, US President Roosevelt meets Sultan Mohammed V of Morocco, asking: “Why does Morocco, inhabited by Moroccans, belong to France?” Promises: “When we've won the war,” USA will not “further imperialistic ambitions.” https://t.co/3eWH4x3veC RealTimeWWII photo

8th Army have travelled 1400 miles from El Alamein to Tripoli in last 80 days, along rocky single coast road, carrying almost all water & fuel with them. Men carry 50lbs of food each, plus weekly ratio of 50 cigarettes & 2 packs of matches. https://t.co/QtzMy7DYIZ RealTimeWWII photo

Mussolini’s dream of a new Roman Empire stretching across North Africa is dead. Little is left but vanity monuments: like “Marble Arch” in the Libyan desert, 31-metre triumphal arch in Roman Travertine stone. https://t.co/YxbfL6bepa RealTimeWWII photo

British 8th Army are parading in Tripoli, after Italian governor surrendered the city, & the colony of Libya, to the Allies. Fascist Italy’s North African empire is dead. https://t.co/MtUEPZh5If RealTimeWWII photo

Papua is the first definitive Allied victory against the Japanese on land. Battle has raged in the territory for 6 months, with 2000 Australians & 600 dead, & 13,000 Japanese dead or taken prisoner. https://t.co/isWbz9QvWz RealTimeWWII photo

Japanese troops have finally been driven from the island of Papua; Australian & US forces have captured Sanananda, where last remnants of Japanese army, starving & disease-ridden, held a network of bunkers. https://t.co/I5b0K14Gf1 RealTimeWWII photo

Nazis are meticulous in recording numbers of victims arriving at death camps, partly for accounting purposes: SS pays German Railways a third class fare for every prisoner transported via the Holocaust trains. Children under four travel free.

British cryptanalysts do not realise significance of report: telegram refers to “special treatment”, not killing, & lists death camps only by initial: L (Lublin), B (Bełżec), S (Sobibor), T (Treblinka). Evidence of genocide of the Jews of Poland is filed in secret UK archives.

British codebreakers at Bletchley Park have deciphered an intercepted message to Himmler, head of the SS: the “Höfle telegram” contains detailed statistics on number of Jewish victims killed in 4 Nazi concentration camps last year. 1,274,166 people were murdered. https://t.co/qnJU6kyCJ6 RealTimeWWII photo

Sandhurst Road School, in London, has been hit by 500-kilo German bomb during a daylight Luftwaffe "terror raid". 38 children & 6 teachers have been killed, 60 more injured- many buried under rubble for hours while desperate parents clawed at the ruins. https://t.co/TJIHw9cCTu RealTimeWWII photo

German authorities have called in Wehrmacht troops to crush the outbreak of armed Jewish resistance in ghetto in Nazi-occupied Warsaw; in face of Jewish fighters equipped with pistols & burning bottles of gasoline, SS have fallen back.

US bombers have hit a Japanese convoy off the coast of Burma, sinking transport ship Nichimei Maru. Americans are unaware 985 Dutch prisoners are onboard, over 50 of whom die to Allied air strike. https://t.co/wg6Svejgdx RealTimeWWII photo

Japanese forces are preparing to evacuate from Guadalcanal, after repeated offensives have failed to break American positions on the island; New York Times map shows the growing Allied strength in the Pacific: https://t.co/oeAKXsQZ6i RealTimeWWII photo

In retaliation for bombing of Berlin by RAF, 118 Luftwaffe planes are raiding London for the first time in 2 years, diverting desperately needed aircraft from the Eastern Front. 23 Londoners were killed by falling shrapnel from British anti-aircraft guns.

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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