WWII in real time


Vast, thundering crash as HMS Campbeltown explodes, smashing St. Nazaire's huge dock to rubble & killing 360 Germans inspecting the wreck.

Germans wonder why their captives so cheerful; "Are the British so stupid they think so huge a dock could be put out of action by a flimsy destroyer?" https://t.co/y7lJRbUJ3V RealTimeWWII photo

Destroyer HMS Campbeltown is lodged in the gates of St. Nazaire's dock- Germans don't know that there are 4.5 tons of explosives, on a timed detonator, hidden under a steel & concrete barrier in her hull: https://t.co/BpsigM9M1G RealTimeWWII photo

British raid on St. Nazaire has ended in apparent failure: 215 commandos captured, 169 dead, with little damage to vital German-occupied port. https://t.co/k1DJdKTYsT RealTimeWWII photo

Surrounded, out of ammo, no hope of rescue, 100 British commandos in St. Nazaire are ordered to scatter & try to escape to Spain, through 400 miles of German-occupied France.

As British demolition teams wreak havoc among the harbour installations, trying to disable port, commandos are desperately trying to hold back St. Nazaire's German garrison- they're outnumbered 8-1. https://t.co/iDmulRlD3X RealTimeWWII photo

British seaman Thomas O'Leary: "One commando was remarking how pretty the tracer fire, red & green, was. A moment later one blew the back of his head out. I was down below with my tin hat." https://t.co/riZZ4Hh8Wx RealTimeWWII photo

In St. Nazaire, most of the commandos' fragile evacuation boats have been wrecked by German fire- British raiders now stranded in enemy-occupied France. https://t.co/uVLpFMylta RealTimeWWII photo

Under a storm of coastal artillery fire, destroyer HMS Campbeltown dashes into port, crunching on the target dock- British commandos are pouring ashore. https://t.co/Jt4paiW3nu RealTimeWWII photo

British force raiding St. Nazaire are disguised as German warships, broadcasting captured Kriegsmarine radio codes- but RAF bombing, intended to aid raiders, has put German defenders on guard. They're opening fire: https://t.co/3hb28mHfth https://t.co/Qm4kGoGPTF RealTimeWWII photo

As Nazi extermination camps begin operation in occupied Poland, Goebbels notes: "The Jews are now being pushed out… to the East. A pretty barbaric procedure is being applied here… 60% of them must be liquidated, 40% can be put to work."

At least five Australians have volunteered to serve as "human explosives", piloting planes or boats loaded with bombs to crash into Japanese warships. The Australian government has declined these offers. https://t.co/wpDrowpMBs RealTimeWWII photo

384 British commandos, in 16 small ships, plan to disembark during the naval raid on St. Nazaire & blow up German military targets. https://t.co/luGBCzneaY RealTimeWWII photo

British commandos are launching "Operation Chariot": a raid to destroy the huge Normandie dry dock at St. Nazaire. Obsolete US destroyer HMS Campbeltown has been packed with 4.5 tons of TNT, ready to ram dock gates, then explode. https://t.co/vjy3wS2lCE RealTimeWWII photo

3 British destroyers & 16 small boats have sailed from Falmouth, on a secret commando mission to sabotage the occupied French port of St. Nazaire.

Slovakian police arresting Jews are aided by the Hlinka Guard, a volunteer Fascist militia, who have fun with humiliating their prisoners: https://t.co/nmBu7524le RealTimeWWII photo

German-allied Slovakia has begun to round up its Jewish citizens; Jews are being sent to prison camps, ready to be deported & handed over to Nazi SS.

The first shipments of women have arrived at Auschwitz concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Poland: two trains, of 999 Jewish Slovakians destined for slave labour, & 999 female German criminals to act as "kapo" slave-drivers.

Americans are being urged to buy "Victory Bonds", to fund US government in time of national emergency. US citizens help support huge spending on war effort by lending money to Treasury. https://t.co/JXXdG36LEI RealTimeWWII photo

"One woman, utterly desperate, said that when her husband fainted from starvation, she hacked off part of his leg to feed herself & the children."

Visiting the Bunker

At the moment, there are no visits to the bunker.

9 Responses to Visiting the Bunker

  • Alasdair Bright says:

    Hello,

    I work at St Cuthbert’s Primary School in Kenton (just round the corner from the bunker). This term we are studying World War 2, not being from the area I did a bit of research about the war in the local area. I couldn’t quite believe that there was such a perfect resource so local to the school and couldn’ t think of a more inspirational and engaging way to interest the children in the war.

    I wondered if you knew how I might go about arranging a class trip to the bunker? Are you the person I need to speak to?

    Kind regards,

    Alasdair Bright

  • colin anderson says:

    I’m sorry to report that there is, unfortunately, no possibility of any visits in the near future.

    • Alasdair Bright says:

      Thankyou Colin (apologies for not responding sooner as I have only just seen your response.)

      I wonder if you could help me attempt to bend a few ears with regards to accessing the bunker by answering a few questions.

      Who currently owns/is responsible for the bunker? Is it still Taylor Wimpey Homes? If I pursue this, are you certain that there is no possibility of a visist? Sorry for all the questions but I definitely think this would be worth twisting a few arms for (so to speak!)

      Thankyou.

      Alasdair Bright

  • Hello Alasdair

    In reply to your questions about visiting the bunker. I am afraid this is just not possible at the moment for a number of reasons.

    1) The bunker has in recent months been flooded in the lower levels, there is ongoing works to repair and remedy the long term flooding issues.
    2) The current owners do not have insurance for public access to the bunker.
    3) The bunkers internal condition is not as you can see on the photographs on this web site as these photos are a few years old and the bunker has flooded a number of times in the last few years .
    4) A recent asbestos survey has also seriously limited access to the bunker for non essential visits and certainly would preclude members of the general public entering the bunker.

    The above points are just a small selection of many problems that currently exist which prevent the general public from entering the bunker. Please be aware the bunker is essentially a building which has been disused for many years it cannot safely be opened to the general public without allot of remedial work and surveys etc. I am sure you can understand that a risk assessment of physically entering the bunker (a disused building) would be required and this would certainly high light many many problems. Not least the fact this is a 1930’s concrete MOD building which has not been maintained since the 60’s, thus it is not up to modern health and safety standards, although superb in terms of being relatively original and untouched from a historical view point.

    Our aim is to open the bunker in the future as an educational resource for schools to this end we are currently in talks with the owners of the bunker. Please be patient this process will take time as there are many legal and funding matters to be dealt with before this can happen. However we would welcome your support and any help you may be able to give to our group.

    Kind Regards

    Michael

    • Lucie Potter says:

      Hello Alasdair,

      Secret Bunker North is an art and educational project on the 13 Group bunkers.
      As lead artist on the project I worked with 7 local primary schools, sadly not St Cuthbert’s in 2010. We are in the final stages of installing a listening trail based in Blakelaw Park, that covers the history of the bunkers and their usage after WWII, suitable for school groups. Members of Bunker 13 have been very helpful in sharing their knowledge for this. More information can be found on our website. An education project is also being developed with the City Learning Centre. Hope this is of interest!

      • Darren Neil says:

        Secret Bunker Day at the City Learning Centre tomorrow, then another on Monday.

        Hopefully the first of many.

        Pictures will follow.

  • Malcolm Richards says:

    I used to work at the Rokeby pub which is now demolished. Some of the locals used to tell me that the building was part of the MOD buildings in the area and a tunnel linked it to Kenton. Is that true?

  • I noted from the comments (dated 2013). That you were looking to get the bunker open to the public. How are things progresing? As it is something that I would love to visit and bring my son to.

  • colin anderson says:

    Unfortunately things grind exceedingly slow and little progress has been made other than the bunker finally starting to dry out. We still have the same aims so keep watching this space!

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