WWII in real time


Soviet troops are flooding across Caucasus, encircling Italian & Hungarian armies & isolating Germans in Stalingrad. https://t.co/geZfMS8ZCH RealTimeWWII photo

US President on Allies' "unconditional surrender" demand: "It does not mean the destruction of the population of Germany, Italy, or Japan, but it does mean the destruction of the philosophies in those countries which are based on conquest & the subjugation of other people."

President Roosevelt, eager to keep Stalin happy, has overruled a hesitant Churchill by ruling out any negotiated peace with German & Japan.

After a week's conference in Casablanca, Allied leaders, led by President Roosevelt & Prime Minister Churchill, have announced that they demand "unconditional surrender" from the Axis powers. https://t.co/r7uufXMzKD RealTimeWWII photo

“Stalingrad is conquered!”German Ministry of Propaganda orders the destruction of never-issued posters produced six months ago, in anticipation of Axis victory at Stalingrad. https://t.co/Hc5nG2dZ0Q RealTimeWWII photo

German newspapers have started to print pessimistic news about the situation on the Eastern Front, describing Stalingrad as a “defensive battle”. Nazi columnist Karl Megerle writes: “For the first time in this war, Germany faces reverses of a certain importance."

At Allied war council in Casablanca, US President Roosevelt meets Sultan Mohammed V of Morocco, asking: “Why does Morocco, inhabited by Moroccans, belong to France?” Promises: “When we've won the war,” USA will not “further imperialistic ambitions.” https://t.co/3eWH4x3veC RealTimeWWII photo

8th Army have travelled 1400 miles from El Alamein to Tripoli in last 80 days, along rocky single coast road, carrying almost all water & fuel with them. Men carry 50lbs of food each, plus weekly ratio of 50 cigarettes & 2 packs of matches. https://t.co/QtzMy7DYIZ RealTimeWWII photo

Mussolini’s dream of a new Roman Empire stretching across North Africa is dead. Little is left but vanity monuments: like “Marble Arch” in the Libyan desert, 31-metre triumphal arch in Roman Travertine stone. https://t.co/YxbfL6bepa RealTimeWWII photo

British 8th Army are parading in Tripoli, after Italian governor surrendered the city, & the colony of Libya, to the Allies. Fascist Italy’s North African empire is dead. https://t.co/MtUEPZh5If RealTimeWWII photo

Papua is the first definitive Allied victory against the Japanese on land. Battle has raged in the territory for 6 months, with 2000 Australians & 600 dead, & 13,000 Japanese dead or taken prisoner. https://t.co/isWbz9QvWz RealTimeWWII photo

Japanese troops have finally been driven from the island of Papua; Australian & US forces have captured Sanananda, where last remnants of Japanese army, starving & disease-ridden, held a network of bunkers. https://t.co/I5b0K14Gf1 RealTimeWWII photo

Nazis are meticulous in recording numbers of victims arriving at death camps, partly for accounting purposes: SS pays German Railways a third class fare for every prisoner transported via the Holocaust trains. Children under four travel free.

British cryptanalysts do not realise significance of report: telegram refers to “special treatment”, not killing, & lists death camps only by initial: L (Lublin), B (Bełżec), S (Sobibor), T (Treblinka). Evidence of genocide of the Jews of Poland is filed in secret UK archives.

British codebreakers at Bletchley Park have deciphered an intercepted message to Himmler, head of the SS: the “Höfle telegram” contains detailed statistics on number of Jewish victims killed in 4 Nazi concentration camps last year. 1,274,166 people were murdered. https://t.co/qnJU6kyCJ6 RealTimeWWII photo

Sandhurst Road School, in London, has been hit by 500-kilo German bomb during a daylight Luftwaffe "terror raid". 38 children & 6 teachers have been killed, 60 more injured- many buried under rubble for hours while desperate parents clawed at the ruins. https://t.co/TJIHw9cCTu RealTimeWWII photo

German authorities have called in Wehrmacht troops to crush the outbreak of armed Jewish resistance in ghetto in Nazi-occupied Warsaw; in face of Jewish fighters equipped with pistols & burning bottles of gasoline, SS have fallen back.

US bombers have hit a Japanese convoy off the coast of Burma, sinking transport ship Nichimei Maru. Americans are unaware 985 Dutch prisoners are onboard, over 50 of whom die to Allied air strike. https://t.co/wg6Svejgdx RealTimeWWII photo

Japanese forces are preparing to evacuate from Guadalcanal, after repeated offensives have failed to break American positions on the island; New York Times map shows the growing Allied strength in the Pacific: https://t.co/oeAKXsQZ6i RealTimeWWII photo

In retaliation for bombing of Berlin by RAF, 118 Luftwaffe planes are raiding London for the first time in 2 years, diverting desperately needed aircraft from the Eastern Front. 23 Londoners were killed by falling shrapnel from British anti-aircraft guns.

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.

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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.

 

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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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