WWII in real time


Damage has slowed Bismarck: she can no longer, as Germans once boasted: "outgun any ship that outruns her & outrun anything that outguns her."

German paratroopers have fought their way into Galatas town, pushing Allies out in a brutal house-by-house melee; "These New Zealanders fight like bulldogs!" https://t.co/yZTcz4Wkhs RealTimeWWII photo

Ever-stronger German forces on Crete are staging all-out assault on Galatas, a crucial Allied strongpoint; Luftwaffe have smashed New Zealanders' defenses. https://t.co/aSoMmvDQlA RealTimeWWII photo

100 German troop-trains now head east every day, carrying huge force of 3.2 million soldiers into occupied Poland- right up to the German-Soviet border.

Battleship Bismarck hasn't escaped unscathed from sinking HMS Hood yesterday: she took 3 shell hits, now leaking oil & fleeing for safe port.

Vast explosion: HMS Hood has been blown in two. Of 1,418 crew, there are just 3 survivors, Ted Briggs one of them. Battleship Bismarck has her first kill. https://t.co/siaIm5LwRw RealTimeWWII photo

HMS Hood's ammunition is on fire; Ted Briggs: "shrapnel has made the upper decks a charnel-house; screams of the maimed are a strident chorus." https://t.co/ctUJfDAg8m RealTimeWWII photo

Hood- pride of the Navy- is being torn apart by her "prey", the Bismarck; seaman Ted Briggs, onboard: "Screams of dying emit from the voice-pipes to the lower decks."

HMS Hood opens fire- at the wrong ship, Bismarck's escort "Prince Eugen"; Bismarck retaliates: huge broadside at HMS Hood, smashing into British ship's weak deck armour. https://t.co/9DGjfvLfsu RealTimeWWII photo

Battlecruiser HMS Hood is the largest, heaviest warship in the world, & HMS Prince George is newly-commissioned battleship- so new she still has shipyard crew working below decks. https://t.co/iLexi0If3O RealTimeWWII photo

Two of the British warships hunting German battleship Bismarck has spotted their target off the coast of Iceland. HMS Hood & HMS Prince of Wales are moving in to attack. https://t.co/4Lkmb1NAD5 RealTimeWWII photo

GS1's announcer, German refugee turned British spy Peter Seckelmann, denouncing "flat-footed drunken old cigar-smoking Jew, Churchill!" He goes on to praise Hitler but attack "decadent" Nazi bureaucrats.

British Intelligence have started a "black propaganda" radio station, Gustav Siegfried Eins, who claim to be patriotic Germans hidden in the Reich. The presenter is insulting Winston Churchill to establish credibility.

"Here & there among the Germans lies a dead Englishman. All alike, every nationality, have turned black from the burning heat, thick with fat flies."

German advance in Crete finds scenes of slaughter; Luftwaffe officer Walter Gerick: "Dead parachutists hang in olive trees, swinging gently in breeze." https://t.co/S7D7GPhrlw RealTimeWWII photo

Despite dreadful losses, Churchill orders Royal Navy to stay at Crete: "Loss of half the Mediterranean fleet would be worthwhile to save Crete."

Allied forces are retreating in Crete, before a tide of freshly airdropped German soldiers- they're abandoning west of island to Wehrmacht.

Richthofen: "My pilots are giving triumphant shouts of joy. We've finally shown that a fleet in range of the Luftwaffe cannot hold the sea."

Luftwaffe commander Wolfram Von Richthofen: "The British take hit after hit. Ships burn & some flee, trailing oil, to escape this hell."

Luftwaffe are back in the skies over Crete, doing horrific damage to Royal Navy guarding island; two more Royal Navy destroyers, HMS Kelly & HMS Kashmir, sunk with 100s dead. https://t.co/dYu6i5nDhA RealTimeWWII photo

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

Our Twitter Feed

Donate

Help Preserve The Bunker