WWII in real time


Italians use Enigma cipher machines, gifts from their German allies, making their signals "impossible to decrypt"- so they believe.

Codebreakers at Britain's Bletchley Park have cracked a single signal from Italian Navy- three days to a major attack. Working flat-out to decode more & discover location.

Göring: Now that British bombers are "targeting national monuments", Luftwaffe will do same. "I wouldn't give 2 pfennigs for the Houses of Parliament."

Berlin bombed overnight, for the first time this year: 48 Royal Air Force planes hit city centre, but missed their targets, the rail depots- hit Reichstag & museums instead.

Greek counter-attacks have forced Italians to retreat back into no-man's-land- where their own artillery is mistakenly shelling them.

Italian forces in Albania making a desperate night attack, charging Greek trenches with bayonets in last-ditch attempt to break their lines.

German advance beginning in Libya- Rommel's Afrikakorps forces have captured El Agheila. British troops wrecked 1 German armoured car, then abandoned town.

4 Yugoslavian Cabinet Ministers have resigned over Hitler's ultimatum to join "Axis" - & warn government of anti-German revolution brewing.

Menzies on Churchill: "He's a great one for detail- but his real tyrant is the glittering phrase, so attractive to his mind that awkward facts have to give way."

Australian Prime Minister Menzies in London, to discuss Australian troops fighting in Greece & Africa; records Winston Churchill "positively enjoys the war."

Nazi-issued postcards- to be sent to family in Vichy France- have no blank space, just phrases to be circled: sick, no news, send food etc.

After 9 months of Nazi occupation, inhabitants of northern France are still banned from sending sealed letters south. Only German-issued postcards allowed.

King has requested a national day of prayer in UK today. George Orwell: "Appalled by the jingoism & self-righteousness of the whole thing": https://t.co/Q6Geh0YrDb

Anti-German demonstrations flaring across Balkans- angry Yugoslavians protesting Hitler's ultimatum to join Axis & admit Wehrmacht troops.

Pope cancelling usual lavish Easter service in St. Peter's Square- "war is not a time for great gatherings". His Holiness will instead say Mass in a private chapel.

French refugee turned firefighter André Savignon, in Plymouth: "This town is wasting away in reddish trails of smoke; most citizens now lie, all their distress ended, under the ruins."

Plymouth was bombed again last night- 284 people now dead, thousands homeless. British air defences brought down 2 German planes out of over 100. https://t.co/7yoFiAH4zN RealTimeWWII photo

Soviet Military Intelligence Chief Golikov reassures Stalin: "while Britain remains undefeated, Hitler will never attack the USSR."

Italian Army Chaplains again asking Greeks in Albania for ceasefire, to bury Italian dead covering slopes of Monastery Hill. Greeks refuse, demand a full armistice.

Celebrity aviator & isolationist Colonel Lindbergh says USA cannot enter the war: "We have less military aircraft than Germany produces in one week."

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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