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

News Letter

Highs and Lows of 2010

A bad winter in 2009 saw the bunker suffering an influx of water which threatened the Operations Room floor, the only wooden floor in the whole complex. Luckily contractors were quick enough to dry the bunker out. November/December of 2010 saw an abundance of heavy snow and with access to the bunker off limits to everyone; it is unknown what lies within. guardhouse

The early part of 2010 started slowly for Bunker Thirteen as we had expected. We have now become used to such periods of little or no activity, but in the meantime members of Bunker Thirteen continued to drum up support and locate existing veterans who served in 13 Group Headquarters.
A boost to our list of supporters came from the Newcastle branch of the Royal Air Force Association and we had some interest in our project from 617 Squadron.
Bunker Thirteen became close associates of Blyth Battery Volunteers who invited us back to their events on a regular basis.
May 2011 will see Bunker Thirteen back at Blyth and also back to our biggest supporter’s event for the second year running. Yorkshire Air Museum at Elvington Air Field has supported Bunker Thirteen since day one, back in 2008 when we first started out and Ian Reed and his staff still continue to do so.

2010 saw Bunker Thirteen’s first appearance at Yorkshire Air Museum followed closely by Blyth Battery. It was also our first attempt at fund raising, which started slowly but as we met more and more people, the fund raising improved.

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Invites emerged from various sources such as the Old Hartley Heritage Fair, Shiremoor Library and Blyth Social Club, where we spoke to local History groups and gathered a generous following. When Bunker Thirteen wasn’t attending events, negotiations and meetings were on going with Taylor Wimpy as to the future of the Bunker. The local residents also expressed an interest in the future of the bunker and how it would benefit them.
2010 also saw Bunker Thirteen on a fact finding mission to the 11 Group bunker at RAF Uxbridge. Also attending were the owners of the 1940’s UK Radio, Shaun & Lynda Moncaster. Video and audio recordings were made around the Battle of Britain Ops Room as well as with WAAF Rita Spence.

 

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September saw the bunker receiving its first recognition in the way of a Remembrance Service conducted by Rev. Ronald Black. 617 Squadron were going to attend. They asked us if we would want a fly-past but 617 were told it wasn’t worth their while as the service was only to last fifteen minutes. However they did say that they would try and make it next time, if and when we erect a memorial stone to 13 Group Fighter Command. The Lord Mayor of Newcastle upon Tyne attended the service along with veterans from the Royal Air Force Association. Bunker Thirteen’s own two WAAFs, Rita Spence and Catherine (Kitty) Brightwell also attended and were given the honour of laying the wreath. Radio Newcastle attended during the afternoon and interviewed members of Bunker Thirteen, journalists and photographers from Newcastle’s Evening Chronicle attended the service.
A contingent from 733 Squadron (Newcastle Airport) Sqn formed the guard of Honour, led by Warrant Officer Phil Greenwood.

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2010 also saw the return of WAAF Rita Spence to the former 13 Group Fighter Command Headquarters after she left in 1943 on another posting. She was joined by her daughter Judith and son in law John, along with representatives from Taylor Wimpy and their management company. Rita visited areas inside the headquarters that she would have never been allowed to see during her time there. She spoke briefly about her time in the headquarters and said that it was a privilege to return.
Plans were in progress for a top producer from the BBC to make a documentary with Rita and fellow WAAF Kitty Brightwell inside of the headquarters but alas, tragedy struck. Rita had to have an operation and sadly, she passed away leaving a huge sense of loss, both for her family and for Bunker Thirteen.
Her funeral was held at a Crematorium in South Shields, attended by her family and representatives from the Newcastle Branch of the WAAFs Association and Bunker Thirteen. Her coffin was draped in a Union Jack.
Nearing the end of 2010 saw yet another slow period with no activity at all but still, behind the scenes, support for the bunker project was looked for.
Out of the blue, one person emerged that was quite enthusiastic about the bunker project. The only professional, female band leader in the UK, with a massive following, Debbie Curtis was only too keen to lend her support and to help in any way that she could. John from Bunker Thirteen continues to converse with her on a regular basis and mentioned that Bunker Thirteen would like to involve a celebrity as a patron but the search had been fruitless so far. Debbie had said that she may help on that score but so far nothing has happened yet – but confidence is high. bandleader

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