WWII in real time


Surcouf, prize of General de Gaulle's Free French Navy, has disappeared with all 130 crew in the Caribbean, after freighter sailed away from collision. It may have been subsequently mistaken for a German U-boat & bombed by American planes. https://t.co/mHTZeoeYXq RealTimeWWII photo

The world's largest submarine, the French "undersea cruiser" Surcouf, has sunk near Panama, after a crash with an American freighter in the middle of the night. https://t.co/kt08h2xF5Y RealTimeWWII photo

In Burma, Japanese invaders have smashed through Allied defenses on the Bilin River; British are evacuating the heavily bombed capital of Rangoon.

The first Japanese military plane is flying over Sydney: taking off from a submarine, pilot Nobuo Fujita surveys the Australian city for potential bombing. https://t.co/Z4laPjZorq RealTimeWWII photo

Victorious Japanese troops marching into Singapore greeted by looting; they've shot 500 Chinese citizens "to set an example & restore order."

Before beginning massacre of Bangka Island, Japanese soldiers rape & sexually assault the Australian nurses: https://t.co/WtDUR98iS4

Vivian: "A bullet got me in the left loin, went straight through me & out at the front. The force knocked me into the water & there I lay." Feigning death until Japanese leave, she crawls into junge, lone survivor of the Bangka Island Massacre: https://t.co/CY8ht0KTbq

With the women waist-deep in surf, Japanese start to machine-gun them. Nurse Vivian Bullwinkel: "They just swept the line- girls fell one after another." https://t.co/uEtmoQHsur RealTimeWWII photo

23 female nurses, shipwrecked on Bangka Island, try to surrender; Japanese soldiers order them to walk into the sea at gunpoint. Matron, Irene Drummond, calls: "Chin up, girls. I'm proud of you & I love you all." https://t.co/xE2zZDE9c8 RealTimeWWII photo

Although fighting is over in Singapore, deaths continue; Japanese have shot over 100 wounded survivors from bombed hospital ship Vyner Brooke.

Nazi U-boats strike the Caribbean: 7 German submarines have attached Dutch island of Aruba, near Venezuela, shelling oil refineries & sinking tankers. https://t.co/hySNJCZLmM RealTimeWWII photo

Japan's new Prime Minister, General Tojo, gives speech to the National Diet, celebrating Japanese victories in Malaya & Philippines & promising "new order of coexistence & co-prosperity on ethical principles in Greater East Asia".

Thanks to unlocking Kriegsmarine Enigma ciphers, British code breakers at Bletchley Park have been able to crack secret German signals to their submarines within days; the new "Shark" code destroys years of work.

Terrible blow for UK intelligence: German U-boats have begun using a new, more complex version of the Enigma code, impenetrable to their cryptanalysis.

In his first radio broadcast for 6 months, Churchill announces horrifying loss of Singapore & surrender of its garrison; "heavy & far-reaching defeat... our worst since Dunkirk."

Eyewitness Lt. Moore: “Japanese led small groups [of wounded patients] out of sight; ensuing yells & screams, coupled on one occasion with a Jap returning wiping blood from his bayonet, left little doubt as to the men’s fate.“ https://t.co/ZhbnGES749

Before ceasefire took effect in Singapore, Japanese troops stormed the city's Alexandra Hospital & began a murderous rampage, bayoneting 320 doctors & wounded men.

~85,000 British, Indian, Australian & Malay troops have been captured by the Japanese at Singapore; it's the largest surrender in British history. https://t.co/yN9sb72cyu RealTimeWWII photo

Under a white flag & Union Jack, General Percival is crossing to Japanese lines to surrender his troops & city of Singapore. https://t.co/q8CAo8EdKD RealTimeWWII photo

General Percival has given up futile defence of Singapore; he's asked Japanese for armistice. They're demanding he beg for surrender personally.

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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