Alwyn Collinson is only 24, but he feels a deep connection to the past. He has undertaken a six year project to tweet the events of World War II as they happened 72 years ago.
The account @RealTimeWWII sends dozens of tweets per day, bringing the Second World War to a new tech-infused generation.
Collinson has gathered first-hand accounts from soldiers and nurses on the front lines, as well as statements from politicians at the time, newsreel footage, photographs and more. He has abridged many statements to fit with Twitter’s 140 character restriction, but is trying to be as true to events as possible.
He told the Telegraph:
“I’m hoping to use Twitter to help bring the past to life, helping people understand the past as people at the time saw it, without the benefit of hindsight. I want them to see that people then were just like they are.”
He says the busiest day for the account thus far – which is currently tweeted events from the fall of 1939 when Germany began pushing across Europe – was September 26th, the final assault on Warsaw.
The account is growing in popularity. Since its November 9th tally of about 45,000 followers, it has ballooned to just under 140,000. It has been listed a whopping 1,243 times, and even has an associated account which translates the tweets into Portuguese (@2aGM_TempoReal).
Collinson will tweet the entire six year conflict on Twitter. He began this year, and will complete his tweeting around September 2nd 2017, 72 years after Japanese forces surrendered.