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Old 11-25-2020, 10:48 AM   #1
Onkel Neal
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Showoff ‘Real life battleships’: the secret game that countered U-boat attacks during WW2

Simon Parkin reveals how a group of young women neutralised German U-boat attacks during the battle of the Atlantic – by playing a game with chalk, canvas and string

On a cold day early in 1942, a young woman reported to a large but anonymous building on the banks of the Mersey in Liverpool. The morning began inauspiciously for Janet Okell, aged just 19: on her first day in a new job, she had forgotten her uniform. After her ID cards were examined and her identity confirmed, she passed through gas-blocking mesh curtains into a concrete-encased bunker – and promptly became lost in a warren of sun-forsaken rooms and corridors. With a gathering sense of dismay she wandered, disorientated, till a passing marine took pity on her and asked who she was here to see. By the time her new boss, Gilbert Roberts, arrived downstairs to collect her, Okell was in tears. She took his handkerchief, blew her nose – and then set to work on a project that changed the course of one of the longest and most important battles of the Second World War.

The faceless exterior of Derby House today belies its former importance: within its reinforced core sat the command centre from which Britain’s war against the U-boats in the Atlantic was orchestrated. Okell had arrived to join the newly formed Western Approaches Tactical Unit (WATU), a select group of ‘Wrens’ – members of the Women’s Royal Naval Service – led by a discharged navy captain tasked with figuring out why German U-boats were sinking so many British ships in the Atlantic, and how they might be stopped.

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Old 11-25-2020, 01:34 PM   #2
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As far as I'm aware it can still be visited today as it is now a museum.
Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.
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news , u-boat

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