WWII in real time


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RealTimeWWII photo

British codebreakers have learned from cracked Enigma signals of planned huge German assault on Moscow- but know that informing Soviets risks revealing to the Germans that their most secret codes have been compromised.

Despite Hitler’s decision to avoid frontal assault on Leningrad, Luftwaffe have launched a massive bombing raid on encircled city; approximately 1000 Soviet civilians killed. https://t.co/rK3JWcNiLd RealTimeWWII photo

Japanese Naval College have finished its annual war games, this year planning a "hypothetical" surprise attack on US Naval base of Pearl Harbor.

"At night the surrounding ring is clear to see, illuminated by fires that light up the horizon, which here & there give the sky a wonderful yellow hue."

Soviet military journalist Yury Krymov, trapped in Ukraine, is writing a last letter to his wife: "All around, wherever you look there are German tanks or machine gun nests... it's our fourth day, within this circle of fire."

East of Kiev, 10,000s of Red Army soldiers still resist in tattered pockets, fighting without food & sometimes without bullets- just knives against the Wehrmacht.

Germans now occupying ravaged Kiev; Nazi SS murder squads are combing city for Jews & Communists, to "liquidate the Bolshevik menace". https://t.co/7VzO0z035z RealTimeWWII photo

Paris is the City of Light no more: stung by recent wave of sabotage, Nazi occupiers have ordered a curfew from 9pm-5am; any French found on streets will be arrested. https://t.co/x9iHMBNHF5 RealTimeWWII photo

British potato drive aims to save badly-needed cargo space by reducing food imports. Britons urged to sing pro-tato ditties:
"Potatoes new. Potatoes old
Potato (in a salad) cold
Enjoy them all including chips
Remembering spuds don’t come in ships" https://t.co/E3V9yyp2px
RealTimeWWII photo

As food grows scarcer in UK, Britons are being urged to eat more potatoes; government suggests recipes like mashed-potato sandwiches. https://t.co/ukaQqGqFTr RealTimeWWII photo

Luftwaffe using incendiary bombs to flush Red Army out of hiding in Russian forests; one German soldier: "That unique smell, sweet & acrid- the burnt flesh of men & horses."

With the capture of Kiev, Axis forces have crushed Red Army opposition from Baltic to Black Sea; next target is Moscow. New York Times map: https://t.co/tQTniVIuhP RealTimeWWII photo

Reza Shah, King of Iran, has been forced to abdicate the throne in favour of his son, at demand of British & Soviet invaders- despite threatening to shoot the general who suggested he surrender. https://t.co/EUrvjercTg RealTimeWWII photo

Kiev, the "Jewel of the Ukraine", is now a shattered shell, booby-trapped with thousands of landmines in bitter last act by Soviets. https://t.co/ayms8HtvCN RealTimeWWII photo

Over 500,000 Red Army troops have been trapped in the "cauldron" around Kiev- largest encirclement in military history. Wehrmacht: "Their annihilation is now in progress."

For six weeks, German bombs & artillery have smashed Kiev; Stalin's orders to trapped defenders: "Stand fast, hold out, & if need be, die." https://t.co/I9p149MXg8 RealTimeWWII photo

German troops have broken into surrounded city of Kiev- Red Army defenders, trapped by encirclement of Wehrmacht's panzers, are fighting a bitter last stand. https://t.co/FoPzWoLiIp RealTimeWWII photo

What cartoonist Theodor Geisel- better known by pen-name "Dr. Seuss"- thinks of those who argue that Jewish Americans are dragging USA to war with Germany: https://t.co/zdjqwhGOCC RealTimeWWII photo

Lindbergh: Jews, the British & Roosevelt must stop pushing US to war in Europe: "We are on the verge of war, but it is not yet too late to stay out."

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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