WWII in real time


Stalin & his generals, still convinced Germans will strike again at Moscow this summer, are keeping many Red Army divisions in reserve in the north as south falters before new Axis assault.

German forces have reached the outskirts of the city of Voronezh, daring panzer assault capturing the still intact bridge over the river Devitsa, which Red Army failed to destroy.

American FBI has announced the capture of eight Nazi spies, smuggled into USA by German submarine to conduct campaign of sabotage & terror bombings. They do not announce infiltrators were caught after being betrayed by leader George Dasch. https://t.co/pTD96Ly1hJ RealTimeWWII photo

British troops at El Alamein mock the officers in Cairo:
"We never left the Nile
Or past the Sphinx's smile
We fought our war in the hotel bar
& they gave us the Africa Star."

As war rages in the desert near El Alamein, front-line Allied troops suffering in Egyptian sands are angry at their staff officers: "bludgers & skivers fighting Cairo's bars & brothels". https://t.co/vywufC1iXE RealTimeWWII photo

Axis forces in the USSR have reached the river Don, near target city of Voronezh, south of Moscow: German summer offensive is smashing past Red Army who are intent on defending Moscow. Hungarian soldier stands on the Don bank: https://t.co/tWxw99Z36h RealTimeWWII photo

Japanese occupied Alaskan islands of Kiska & Attu without resistance- now Growler has torpedoed 2 ships, killing 200. https://t.co/XMEVUlNiF2 RealTimeWWII photo

US Navy is belatedly striking back at Japanese invaders of Alaska: submarine USS Growler torpedoes 3 Japanese destroyers off Aleutian Islands.

Amongst Dutch Jews summoned for Nazi deportation is Margot Frank, 16; her family, like many in Amsterdam, plan to go into hiding to escape the German occupiers. https://t.co/tBalEOYupT RealTimeWWII photo

First thousand Dutch Jews being deported by Nazis are given a short list of objects to take with them, maintaining lie of German "labour camps". Many will be killed as soon as they arrive, rest imprisoned in brutal concentration camps. https://t.co/nXE7fBdF7R RealTimeWWII photo

Dutch government & police are cooperating to enforce the Nazi's deportation orders; most Dutch Jews comply with German round-ups, expecting to return home after the war. https://t.co/lHYTyoEx8r RealTimeWWII photo

Nazi occupiers of Netherlands are ordering 1000s of Dutch Jews to report for deportation to "work camps" in Germany. https://t.co/piwXVgWd0W RealTimeWWII photo

On Independence Day, President makes a grim address to USA. Roosevelt says: "Not for 166 years... has this anniversary come in times so dangerous to everything for which it stands." https://t.co/AI1aPEdECa

German General Von Manstein claims that Russian soldiers will suicidally kill themselves with grenades rather than surrender: "Asiatics have contempt for all life, even their own."

Most Soviet soldiers fight to the bitter death. Only the top Red Army commanders have been able to escape Sevastopol by submarine. NKVD are massacring German prisoners to prevent them from rejoining Axis ranks.

Sevastopol has fallen. After two months of brutal, relentless Axis assault, Soviet defenders of shattered port surrender. https://t.co/T4i4PnXimc RealTimeWWII photo

Huge Chrysler-built "Victory sirens" have been installed along East Coast to warn American cities of any approaching bombers; loudest siren ever, audible 25 miles away. https://t.co/FAnuVVdjge RealTimeWWII photo

400 air raid sirens are wailing across New York: city is marking Fourth of July with mass drills for bombing preparedness. https://t.co/jo5GBv28n9 RealTimeWWII photo

Today is 4th July, American Independence day & a holiday in USA- but many workers refuse to stop production, & businesses remain open to aid the war effort. https://t.co/zBnaMeO4pn RealTimeWWII photo

Allies at El Alamein have counter-attacked, catching exhausted & overstretched Axis forces off guard; 2000 Italians taken prisoner. https://t.co/g4o7Ia7HkZ 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

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