WWII in real time

Leningrad has been encircled, with supplies of food severely restricted, under German assault & artillery barrage, for 924 days. Over a million Soviet civilians have died during one of the longest sieges in history. https://t.co/yszbjQ91ig RealTimeWWII photo
Red Army have decisively broken the German lines around the city of Leningrad. Jubilant Leningrad defenders greet Soviet forces who have cracked Axis blockade. More on the city's liberation: https://t.co/torDTASoKr https://t.co/A6EOuZuhpQ RealTimeWWII photo
British landing craft LST-422 has hit a German mine off Anzio beach, Italy, ripping a 50 metre hole in her hull & setting the ship's fuel supply alight. 483 Allied troops, mostly asleep alongside vehicles in lower decks, have died, trapped in the sinking, burning vessel. https://t.co/uZTqMJNUFN RealTimeWWII photo
From the Allied beachhead at Anzio, Italy, BBC reporter Wynford Vaughan-Thomas broadcasts on radio as a German air raid strikes British forces. Listen now: https://t.co/B14n6HmAeH
Red Army troops have driven German Army back from the outskirts of Leningrad, breaking nearly 900 days of siege & starvation. https://t.co/mOFbXHpNZl RealTimeWWII photo
Allied forces are pouring into the beachheads at Anzio, Italy, almost unopposed by Germans. One American reconnaissance jeep even briefly reached outskirts of Rome- but Allies are fortifying Anzio rather than moving forward to take advantage of surprise. https://t.co/850aTBLam8 RealTimeWWII photo
Allied landings at Anzio, Italy, completely surprise the Germans: 36,000 men now ashore, just 13 killed seizing beaches. https://t.co/Cs8MWY4Q1o RealTimeWWII photo
Hoping to break the stalemate in southern Italy, Allied forces are making an amphibious landing on beach at Anzio, north of the main German "Winter line" of defences. They hope to catch Axis from north & south. https://t.co/HQbsxpI4lY RealTimeWWII photo
“Kinabalu Guerrillas”, many armed with only melee weapons, arrows & blowdarts, managed to seize three towns in Borneo & kill ~90 Japanese occupiers. Leader Albert Kwok eventually surrendered after Japanese began indiscriminate killing of civilians. More: https://t.co/etJ2KqbTbb https://t.co/0NQnLU1RAe RealTimeWWII photo
On Japanese-occupied North Borneo, a three-month long revolt by a multi-ethnic resistance movement has been brutally crushed. Japanese Kenpeitai police have murdered 176 suspected rebels, mostly local civilians, by bayoneting, beheading, & burying alive in mass graves. https://t.co/lfSRdjfhWg RealTimeWWII photo
Newly released Alfred Hitchcock film "Lifeboat" is in cinemas now, telling story of survivors adrift in the Atlantic after their ship is torpedoed by a German U-boat- who discover one of the submarine's crew is with them: https://t.co/9bxAksp1l8
As fresh waves of US infantrymen approach Rapido, trying to cross freezing river, one of them, Lt. J.E. Phillips observes: "Ground became spongy- we found it was dead GIs, stacked sometimes six feet high. German fire raked the boats midstream- my men yelled, shot or drowning".
US 36th Infantry Division are trying to bridge Rapido river- both banks & cliffs heavily mined- under German artillery & machine-gun fire. https://t.co/90DlnMFYOX RealTimeWWII photo
As Allies attack at the Axis defensive lines at Monte Cassino, American troops have been ordered to make a "diversionary" frontal assault on Germans over River Rapido. https://t.co/hSRJLi3Jl4 RealTimeWWII photo
Australian government has introduced meat rationing, allowing no more than one kilo of beef per week per person. Fish, sausages, chicken, ham & rabbits are not rationed. https://t.co/tqtnNY59SQ RealTimeWWII photo
Soviet newspaper Pravda reports that American & British diplomats have met with Nazi authorities in Spain to negotiate a separate peace with the Western Allies. UK & USA, confused, deny rumoured discussions ever took place.
Morgenthau warns Roosevelt that American officials tasked with saving Jewish refugees are committing "gross procrastination... even willful attempts to prevent action from being taken to rescue Jews from Hitler." https://t.co/42jTU02eXE
US Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau reports to President Roosevelt that Hitler is massacring Jews- & State Department does nothing: "One of the greatest crimes in history, the slaughter of the Jewish people in Europe, is continuing unabated..." https://t.co/GfV7Tk4ijN RealTimeWWII photo
Allied troops in Italy have begun an assault on the Axis Winter Line, through mountain valleys overlooked by historic Monte Cassino abbey. https://t.co/m4qa1ShW71 RealTimeWWII photo
"Road of Life" built into besieged Leningrad over the frozen Lake Ladoga to funnel vital supplies is now ferrying Red Army into they city; 1,241,000 Soviet troops are attacking 74,000 encircling Germans. https://t.co/2XOmDQFmjY RealTimeWWII photo

Blakelaw Filter Room

This facility was somewhat smaller than the Group Headquarters, but built to a similar pattern.
Filter rooms were the nerve centres of the UK radar system and vital to the success of Fighter and Bomber Command headquarters throughout the country. Information from Radar Stations, airfields, aircraft and ROC posts were directed into the Filter Room. From here, a dedicated and hard working team of RAF personnel collated all of the information to provide an as accurate as possible air picture to be passed onto the Operations Room where, commanders could direct aircraft resources.

The work done by the WAAF plotters of the Filter Room, the Movement Liaison Officers and the Filter Officers who were responsible for calculating and rectifying the position, and identifying the hundreds of tracks of hostile and friendly aircraft leaving and approaching the coasts of the British Isles, was vital. Working conditions were difficult; ventilation and heating were poor. Personnel had two fifteen minute periods when possible during the watch for a refreshment break. The food available varied considerably. Sandwiches of marmite and raw cabbage were a popular snack!
The requirement for the Filter Officers to have quick reactions was patently obvious. They had to sort out the correct position of the aircraft from the various overlapping Radar station plots which covered the same aircraft responses. They needed to estimate both height and number of aircraft, as well as direction from information given, having intimate knowledge of the siteing of the Radar stations involved and judging their accuracy. All of this had to be done with great speed as the aircraft themselves were constantly moving on to new positions. It was found that male Filterers, mostly well over thirty years of age were far too slow during periods of intense activity and they had to be removed from the table!
For the displayed information to be of value to the Operations Room, it had to be as up-to-date as possible. This meant that in times of the greatest activity, a Filter Officer must estimate and display accurate information on up to fifty different tracks within a minute. The mental stress and physical strain were intense under these conditions and when the personnel came off watch, whether officer or airman, tension was invariably high. Quite often however tired, sleep was impossible.
On the whole, it was amazing how few buckled under the strain. They all realised the importance of their work and it took a really major illness to prevent them from appearing for duty. However, subsequently, time has taken its toll of some amongst that small group. There have been instances of suicide, of recourse to alcohol in later years and bouts of deep depression. This is not to be wondered at when one considers that whilst filtering the tracks of the bomber squadrons on operations over Germany or plotting fighter sorties against incoming hostiles, these young women knew that their own husbands or sweethearts were amongst the aircrews. They would count with trepidation the numbers of the returning Allied aircraft.
The mixture of backgrounds amongst the members of the Filter Room officers was vast. Most of the senior male officers hailed from the Stock Market where they worked as brokers. It was an inspiration on the part of the RAF to choose these men for the positions as Controllers and Movement Liaison Officers. All personnel involved had to have quick reactions, good mathematical ability and be physically very energetic. The women chosen ranged from psychology or science students, young actresses, county debutantes, and grammar school high flyers to daughters of famous people – novelists, painters, musicians and vicars. But they were all dedicated to their work.
At approximately the same time another underground bunker was constructed. The communications bunker. All communications from airfield squadrons, aircraft and group headquarters were relayed through here before branching off into either the Filter room or direct into the Operations bunker. (The location of the Communications bunker is not known)

Information from http://www.websitedcm.com/bunker/filterroom.htm

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