WWII in real time


Cigarette company taking advantage of American military buildup to advertise "Army Man's Favorite Cigarette- the Camel": https://t.co/y3zPTb1l49 RealTimeWWII photo

Freezing temperatures in USSR bring one advantage to Germans: Russian roads, until now rivers of mud thanks to heavy rains, have frozen & become usable for Wehrmacht advance. https://t.co/bGpBEeqzBE RealTimeWWII photo

Mueller: To avoid public scenes, "Russians unable to withstand a short walk to the camp shall be executed on the spot." https://t.co/iTGD9ZRbjX RealTimeWWII photo

Gestapo chief Heinrich Mueller complains: "5-10% of Soviet prisoners collapse dead marching to concentration camps." It is impossible to prevent German civilians from noticing the deaths.

Winter gear is finally being issued to German troops in the USSR; due to shortages of previously "unneeded" equipment, just one greatcoat issued to each Wehrmacht artillery team- of four men.

Today is Polish Independence day. 23 years after becoming an independent state, Poland is now totally occupied by Nazi Germany. 150 Polish prisoners have been murdered in concentration camp of Auschwitz: https://t.co/jz9Q60t7Cd
RealTimeWWII photo
Auschwitz Memorial @AuschwitzMuseum
11 November 1941 | On the Polish Independence Day the Germans carried out the first execution by shooting in the yard of Block 11 of the #Auschwitz camp. Most probably 151 people were shot in the back of their heads - almost all of them Poles. #11listopada 1/5 https://t.co/C9HmI7FKyo

Sgt. York, US war hero: "There are those who ask me & other veterans of World War Number One, 'What did it get you?' The thing they forget is that liberty & freedom & democracy are so very precious that you do not fight to win them once and stop." https://t.co/gdAlnbZzvK RealTimeWWII photo

As USA marks Armistice Day, President Roosevelt: this year, Americans can "measure our indebtedness to those who died" to defeat the tyranny that has now swept across Europe: https://t.co/71n0asjfoR https://t.co/zt8ZI7qXil RealTimeWWII photo

Mass Observation survey notes many Britons claim Armistice Day "has lost its meaning", ignore two minutes' silence; one First World War veteran says: "I was terribly disappointed it was not observed. It belongs to the last war, not this one."

After 14 years planning & construction, the Australian War Memorial has opened in Canberra. 2 years ago it was changed from commemorating the First World War to remembrance of all Australian war dead, as it became clear that the "war to end all wars" hadn't. https://t.co/Cd0OONJH7U RealTimeWWII photo

"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them."
Please be silent for the next 2 minutes.

Today is Armistice Day- commemorating the end of the "Great War" 23 years ago today. Memorials have been scaled back in UK this year, so as not to hamper war effort.

Churchill announces that "should the USA become involved in war with Japan, the British declaration of war will follow within the hour."

In Changteh, China, Japanese planes are dropping wheat, rice, & cotton on civilian towns- all infested with fleas carrying the bubonic plague, cultivated by Japanese army scientists.

Special Japanese envoy Saburo Kurusu offers to withdraw Imperial Army from "most of China" if USA lifts sanctions; Americans instead demands Japan "totally eschew conquest."

As Japanese diplomats attempt last-ditch negotiations in Washington, Japanese Army mobilizes for simultaneous strikes on Malaya & Philippines. Japanese foreign office has been given deadline of 30 November to avert war.

New York Times claims "Tokyo is readying for some war; the Japanese are fanatic & gloomy, the city grim & thought-controlled."

Patricia Agnew, wife of Force K's Captain, hears of her husband's victory on the wireless: "I was so amazed I dropped several stitches in my knitting." https://t.co/yC9zvWdojn RealTimeWWII photo

Force K have sunk 2 Italian destroyers, crippled a third, smashed 9 merchant ships & set a tanker ablaze- without a single British casualty. https://t.co/RWuQ0LuqZo RealTimeWWII photo

From an officer aboard British destroyer HMS Penelope: "Our quarry never saw us coming. Italian merchant ships burst into flames as soon as we hit them- all too easy."

News Letter

Highs and Lows of 2010

A bad winter in 2009 saw the bunker suffering an influx of water which threatened the Operations Room floor, the only wooden floor in the whole complex. Luckily contractors were quick enough to dry the bunker out. November/December of 2010 saw an abundance of heavy snow and with access to the bunker off limits to everyone; it is unknown what lies within. guardhouse

The early part of 2010 started slowly for Bunker Thirteen as we had expected. We have now become used to such periods of little or no activity, but in the meantime members of Bunker Thirteen continued to drum up support and locate existing veterans who served in 13 Group Headquarters.
A boost to our list of supporters came from the Newcastle branch of the Royal Air Force Association and we had some interest in our project from 617 Squadron.
Bunker Thirteen became close associates of Blyth Battery Volunteers who invited us back to their events on a regular basis.
May 2011 will see Bunker Thirteen back at Blyth and also back to our biggest supporter’s event for the second year running. Yorkshire Air Museum at Elvington Air Field has supported Bunker Thirteen since day one, back in 2008 when we first started out and Ian Reed and his staff still continue to do so.

2010 saw Bunker Thirteen’s first appearance at Yorkshire Air Museum followed closely by Blyth Battery. It was also our first attempt at fund raising, which started slowly but as we met more and more people, the fund raising improved.

uxbridge 1

Invites emerged from various sources such as the Old Hartley Heritage Fair, Shiremoor Library and Blyth Social Club, where we spoke to local History groups and gathered a generous following. When Bunker Thirteen wasn’t attending events, negotiations and meetings were on going with Taylor Wimpy as to the future of the Bunker. The local residents also expressed an interest in the future of the bunker and how it would benefit them.
2010 also saw Bunker Thirteen on a fact finding mission to the 11 Group bunker at RAF Uxbridge. Also attending were the owners of the 1940’s UK Radio, Shaun & Lynda Moncaster. Video and audio recordings were made around the Battle of Britain Ops Room as well as with WAAF Rita Spence.

 

service1
September saw the bunker receiving its first recognition in the way of a Remembrance Service conducted by Rev. Ronald Black. 617 Squadron were going to attend. They asked us if we would want a fly-past but 617 were told it wasn’t worth their while as the service was only to last fifteen minutes. However they did say that they would try and make it next time, if and when we erect a memorial stone to 13 Group Fighter Command. The Lord Mayor of Newcastle upon Tyne attended the service along with veterans from the Royal Air Force Association. Bunker Thirteen’s own two WAAFs, Rita Spence and Catherine (Kitty) Brightwell also attended and were given the honour of laying the wreath. Radio Newcastle attended during the afternoon and interviewed members of Bunker Thirteen, journalists and photographers from Newcastle’s Evening Chronicle attended the service.
A contingent from 733 Squadron (Newcastle Airport) Sqn formed the guard of Honour, led by Warrant Officer Phil Greenwood.

rita
2010 also saw the return of WAAF Rita Spence to the former 13 Group Fighter Command Headquarters after she left in 1943 on another posting. She was joined by her daughter Judith and son in law John, along with representatives from Taylor Wimpy and their management company. Rita visited areas inside the headquarters that she would have never been allowed to see during her time there. She spoke briefly about her time in the headquarters and said that it was a privilege to return.
Plans were in progress for a top producer from the BBC to make a documentary with Rita and fellow WAAF Kitty Brightwell inside of the headquarters but alas, tragedy struck. Rita had to have an operation and sadly, she passed away leaving a huge sense of loss, both for her family and for Bunker Thirteen.
Her funeral was held at a Crematorium in South Shields, attended by her family and representatives from the Newcastle Branch of the WAAFs Association and Bunker Thirteen. Her coffin was draped in a Union Jack.
Nearing the end of 2010 saw yet another slow period with no activity at all but still, behind the scenes, support for the bunker project was looked for.
Out of the blue, one person emerged that was quite enthusiastic about the bunker project. The only professional, female band leader in the UK, with a massive following, Debbie Curtis was only too keen to lend her support and to help in any way that she could. John from Bunker Thirteen continues to converse with her on a regular basis and mentioned that Bunker Thirteen would like to involve a celebrity as a patron but the search had been fruitless so far. Debbie had said that she may help on that score but so far nothing has happened yet – but confidence is high. bandleader

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