WWII in real time

Besieged Polish resistance, encircled in Warsaw by German armies, have created own radio station & printworks to inspire defenders. This poster promises: "One bullet for every German". https://t.co/0nZ9WZmuFY RealTimeWWII photo
To try & crush uprising in Warsaw, German occupiers have cut water supplies to the city, forcing Polish resistance to dig wells & ration water. Poles queue for a street pump in a trench dug to shelter from German snipers: https://t.co/ZS9eh0x1YY RealTimeWWII photo
After 3 years of brutal Japanese occupation & deprivation, native Chamorro people of Guam return to American rule. Japanese imprisoned Chamorros in labour camps, tortured & executed many, & subjected
others to forced prostitution as "comfort women". https://t.co/LbdRGQDo3g
RealTimeWWII photo
Japanese commander on Guam, Hideyoshi Obata has committed seppuku (ritual suicide) after his forces failed to stop US Marines taking the island; now posthumously promoted to general by Japanese High Command. https://t.co/0yYRGRDC8A RealTimeWWII photo
Troops of the US Third Army have crossed the River Loire, continuing rapid advance across Brittany; since breaking through German lines around Normandy, Allied forces are spreading out across France. Watch newsreel: https://t.co/fofpJpymiw
"How about moving over, Bud?" As heaviest fighting ends on Guam, a Husky scouting dog & a US Marine relax in a foxhole, captured by war photographer W. Eugene Smith. https://t.co/xTxRH6RF39 RealTimeWWII photo
Organised Japanese resistance has collapsed on Guam; American forces control the island but 7000+ Japanese guerrillas are still fighting in dense, mountainous jungle. https://t.co/SSt85D35Vs RealTimeWWII photo
US Marines on Guam have fought inland, forcing Japanese occupiers into dense mountainous jungle on north of island. Exhausted Japanese are short of ammo, food; their artillery & tanks now wrecked by relentless American assault. https://t.co/d3Umc9XQyh RealTimeWWII photo
Japanese prisoners have overwhelm Australian guards during escape from Cowra camp, killing four- Australians opened up with machine guns, killing about 200 prisoners while others have committed suicide. 359 have escaped & largest manhunt in Australian history is pursuing them. https://t.co/eU6rSjnem5 RealTimeWWII photo
Japanese prisoners of war in Australia have staged a mass breakout from Cowra camp, 314km west of Sydney, with 1000+ storming perimeter. Yelling "Banzai" & flinging blankets over barbed wire fence, Japanese attack Australian guards with knives, baseball bats & garottes. https://t.co/OZ9U3bJeyr RealTimeWWII photo
Major strike by US transport workers in Philadelphia ends after workers were threatened with being drafted into Army. White Philadelphia transit workers walked off their jobs in protest at Black employees being allowed to drive trains. Philadelphia has been paralyzed for 8 days. https://t.co/8nP4d7TUYJ RealTimeWWII photo
Desperate to crush Polish uprising in Warsaw, & following Himmler’s order to “kill anything that moves”, three German battle groups are advancing from the west. Nazi forces are indiscriminately massacring fighters & civilians alike: 10,000 killed in Wola district in last day. https://t.co/Z9qzVbq81S RealTimeWWII photo
In Florence, retreating Germans have blown up historic bridges across the river Arno, cutting city in two to try & slow down advancing Allied forces. Florentines, ordered to shelter in cellars & churches by Nazi occupiers, react to explosions with shouts of horror: “The bridges!” https://t.co/GY6hCGbk33 RealTimeWWII photo
Betrayed by an unknown informer, the Jewish residents of the secret annex & their Dutch allies are arrested at pistol-point. German police confiscate all valuables, putting them in a suitcase, which they first empty onto the floor- scattering pages of Anne Frank's diary.
Anne Frank, 15, has been keeping a diary for the two years that her family have been in hiding. 2 weeks ago, hearing of German officers' plot to assassinate Hitler, she wrote: "I'm finally getting optimistic. Now, at last, things are going well!" https://t.co/TlVezlLJon RealTimeWWII photo
Police in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam storm a small apartment hidden in a warehouse, capturing a group of eight Dutch Jews, who have been concealed in secret annex for 761 days. Otto, Edith, Margot & Anne Frank, Hermann, Auguste & Peter van Pels, & Fritz Pfeffer all arrested by SS. https://t.co/7HJuJ7I7Nw RealTimeWWII photo
Polish "Home Army" in Warsaw has 40,000 soldiers, including 4000 women, but only guns & ammunition for ~2500 fighters. Rest must rely on capturing German stockpiles, improvised or homemade weaponry. https://t.co/3cAzsWDHCM RealTimeWWII photo
After 2 days' battle in the Warsaw Uprising, Polish resistance fighters have captured much of the city, although Nazi occupiers still hold vital strongpoints. Red Army forces have stopped 12 miles east of the river Vistula, after advance units were thrown back by Germans. https://t.co/0pEqiavZTb RealTimeWWII photo
~20,000 Roma & Sinti people from across Europe have been murdered in Auschwitz & Birkenau camps in just over a year. Auschwitz's Zigeunerfamilienlager- gypsy family camp- holds a small group used for forced labour, medical experiments, & subject to pseudoscientific study. https://t.co/Vq4Evo1vub RealTimeWWII photo
SS guards at Auschwitz concentration camp have started to kill prisoners of the "Gypsy Family Camp", gassing & burning 2,897 Roma & Sinti people: "clearing out" inmates as Soviet forces advance closer. https://t.co/LrRaLOKUja RealTimeWWII photo

The Preservation Group

About us and our Plans

Bunker 13 initially met in 2007/8. We are a group of like-minded people who formed a group together to protect the bunker as it is an extremely important historic building having significant roles in WW2 and used during the Cold War also. The bunker was and is at risk as a vacant building. A target for vandals and other criminal activity. Our challenge was to find a new use for the bunker that preserved and celebrated its past while having a minimal effect on the residents living around the bunker.

We have devised a plan which we think will work for all concerned as it will relieve the residents from the burden of being responsible for the maintenance of an empty Grade 2 listed building which they cannot use. While ensuring the bunker is preserved for future generations having a new active role educating and enriching lives with the bunker experience. No one who has visited the bunker even in its current empty state leaves feeling anything other than enthralled and amazed it still exists and is sitting empty wasting away.

The project has many challenges.

1)The bunkers position in the centre of a residential development.

2)The buildings condition which, although good for a war time structure that has been neglected for many years,  will need a lot of restoration work and updating to make it safe and usable again for access by the general public.

3) Restoration costs a lot of money so making the aims and objectives of the project fit the criteria necessary to be eligible for funding by various funding sources such as Heritage Lottery, Historic England, Architectural Heritage Trust etc.

4) Untangling the mine field of ownership / lease of the building which is extremely complex due to Taylor Wimpey who built the housing development having set up a framework which created a means to fund maintenance on the bunker in perpetuity tying the residents financially to the bunker.

For the bunker to be eligible for the sort of level of funding required to restore the building it has to have a new purpose and be an asset serving the community once more. A chance encounter outside the front of the bunker with a group of youths early in the formation of Bunker 13 sparked the idea of the bunker being an Educational resource. The group had entered the Central Grange estate intent on breaking into the bunker to use the building as a play den as they had done on a number of occasions previously while the development was still an active building site. We were confronted by the gang who asked various questions about the building which informed us that we had in front of us the perpetrators of numerous break ins to the bunker. However when we spent time with them educating them of the buildings original use and importance the gangs attitude changed from hostility at our re-securing the building to one of genuine interest asking if they could help in the restoration and from that day forward the break ins stopped.

Our plan is to open the bunker as an educational resource to teach children about various different aspects of WW2 and the Cold War as the bunker had a use in both era’s informing of the bunkers history and the wars in general making it invaluable to schools as these eras are part of the national curriculum. This qualifies the building for multi streams of funding. The next problem is how to do this when the building is in the centre of a residential development. Our plan is set out below in order.

  1. Obtain funding for initial phase of feasibility studies/building surveys to quantify costs and to obtain a lease/freehold value for the bunker.
  2. Negotiate lease or freehold of the bunker.
  3. Restore and fit out the bunker for educational visits and occasional public visits.

Maintaining the Residential Environment

All of the plans to restore and repurpose the bunker have to be done with the residents of Central Grange in mind and involved to ensure we keep impact on them to a minimum while benefiting the residents by removing the financial burden of the bunker from their shoulders. To do this logistics and planning are key and however our plans are simple.

  1. All access to the bunker will only be by in advance pre booking. No one will be admitted without prior booking to stop unwanted foot fall of people onto Central Grange.
  2. All access to the bunker and Central Grange will be via the bunker bus. Which will drop off outside the bunker no loitering straight into the bunker. Whilst in the bunker the bus will leave site only returning at the pre set time to pick up visitors directly after their time-controlled visit. The bus then leaves site. We estimate 3 bus tours per day maximum.
  3. In the main this will be during school term time and only between the hours of 9.00am >4.00pm. Minimising the impact of the bunker being active.

The above plans will mean that even if you live in front of the bunker entrance you will not see activity involving people entering the bunker if your working hours are 9am>5pm.

To also enhance the appearance of the bunker we will ensure the guard houses are painted and well maintained the current temporary but aesthetically ugly security grills will be a thing of the past and we will sympathetically plant shrubs to mask the disused mast bases behind the main guard house. We will also remove the cattle fencing around the various air vents, make sure they are properly maintained and find a better way to protect them which is pleasing on the eye if possible.

We will always consult with the residents and make changes where required.

Bunker 13 

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