WWII in real time


Goebbel's diary: "We sent neutral journalists & Polish intellectuals to the spot where they [the Polish bodies] were found. Their reports now reaching us from ahead are gruesome... We shall be able to live on it for a couple of weeks.”

German minister Goebbels is delighted by discovery of mass graves of Poles murdered by Poles in Katyn Forest; gloats at creating "anti-Bolshevik propaganda on a grand style."

Nazis occupiers of France announce evacuation of all children & non-working civilians in Atlantic ports of Le Havre, Dieppe, Cherbourg, St Malo & Brest, fleeing increasingly heavy Allied bombing.

Furious Sikorski visits 10 Downing Street. Churchill: "He told me he had proofs that the Soviets had murdered the 15,000 Polish officers... had a wealth of evidence. I said, 'If they are dead nothing you can do will bring them back.'" https://t.co/GTIPgyaFuQ RealTimeWWII photo

Stalin told General Sikorski, leader of Polish free govt. in London, that the USSR had "lost track" of his officers amidst the chaos of Soviet occupation of Poland followed by German invasion. https://t.co/PvtgwmWWvw RealTimeWWII photo

News of mass graves of murdered Polish officers, found near Smolensk, has been published by the Germans. Anti-Nazi Polish government-in-exile, based in London, is demanding explanations from the Soviet government.

8 days after crash of his plane Lady Be Good in the Libyan desert, US Army Lt. Robert Toner writes final entry in his journal: "No help yet, very cold nite". He & his 8 fellow aircrew have perished deep in the Saharan sands.

Nazis denouncing the killings of Poles by Soviet secret police, NKVD, as "typical Bolshevik brutality"- Germans claim they have found 10,000 corpses, with identification as Polish officers. https://t.co/FHw4ZXm4lD RealTimeWWII photo

Nazi Germany announces grisly discover in the territory of the USSR: the bodies of thousands of Polish officers & intellectuals, apparently murdered by Soviets & dumped in mass graves around Katyn forest. https://t.co/F7YmbQ3D8l RealTimeWWII photo

As well as borrowing historically high levels of debt, British government are urging population to buy war bonds; essentially lending savings money to Treasury for the duration of war. https://t.co/1x8CUfY23D RealTimeWWII photo

On UK Budget Day, Chancellor of the Exchequer announces war is now costing Britain £15 million a day, up from £5 million three years ago. British government will increase taxes & borrowing to cover unprecedented annual deficit of £2,848,614,000.

Göring, head of Luftwaffe, is widely mocked in Germany. 3 years ago he announced: “No enemy bomber can reach the Ruhr. If one reaches the Ruhr, my name is not Göring. You can call me Meyer [a common German name].” Berliners call air-raid sirens “Meyer’s trumpets”.

As Allied bombing campaign on German homeland mounts, Reichsmarschall Göring has decreed all adult Germans must now work as air raid wardens, fire-watching & enforcing blackout at night. https://t.co/nTH2Grl2tR RealTimeWWII photo

British troops have captured the town of Sfax, a Tunisian port facing Sicily. Watch Allied forces greeted by Tunisians & French as they arrive: https://t.co/FZ814tgzut

Lady Be Good, an American B-24 "Liberator" plane, has been lost over the Sahara Desert returning from a bombing mission. 8 of the 9 crew survived the crash, but have been stranded with only a single canteen of water, given up for dead by US military. https://t.co/4KKIOQcSCL RealTimeWWII photo

Axis forces in North Africa now trapped on the narrow Tunis peninsula, with Allied armies closing in, and bombers cutting off sea rescue. https://t.co/hCMx8CSmv6 RealTimeWWII photo

Silk has run out in Britain- all precious, imported supplies are reserved to make parachutes. Women now paint their legs with gravy browning, to fake wearing stockings: https://t.co/YFjnq6kJM3 RealTimeWWII photo

Germans Otto & Elise Hampel have been executed by the German government, guillotined for "high treason". Their crime was distributing 200 postcards denouncing the Nazi regime as killers of workers & urging non-cooperation. https://t.co/JtjILzY8uB RealTimeWWII photo

British & American armies have met in North Africa below Djebel Chemsi (1 on map), while breakthrough on the defensive Mareth Line has left nothing but open plains before Allied forces in southern Tunisia; Axis now have their backs to the sea. https://t.co/acLFXj5cKJ RealTimeWWII photo

British & American soldiers now meet in the Tunisian desert, completing encirclement of Axis in North Africa- British have fought west from Egypt, Americans east from Morocco: https://t.co/Jmz5aKaSqs 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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