The British Channel islands of Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney and Sark lie only 15 miles off the French coast. Thus after the fall of France they were indefensable for the hard-pressed British, bracing for a German invasion of Englnd itself. Primeminister Churchill announced that Jersey was to be demilitarised and declared an undefended zone (June 19). Available shipping was limited. The British were not able to evacuate the entire civilian population. They evacuted all military personnel along with women and children desiring to be evacuated. Only men choosing to join the military were evacuated. The remaining population would have to endure German occupation. The Germans arrived (July 1940). The Islands thus became the only British territory to be occupied by the Germans during the War. The Germans stationed axsubstantial garrison on the Island, over 10,000 men. The Islands were of no real strategic importance. Hitler considered them useful as a propaganda statement. As the balance of power began to shift he became concerned that the British might seize the Islands. He thus ordered a massive construction campaign to build defensive fotifications. It was a massive effort, so large that it delayed the much more important project of building the Atlantic Wall. After the Normandy invasion (June 1944), the Islands and their German garrison was cut off. The Germans and the population neaely starved. They were finally liberated by the British after the German surrender (May 1945).
The British Channel islands of Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney and Sark lie only 15 miles off the French coast.
The status of the islands was at vthe time and continues to this day to be unusual. Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, Sark and Herm are theoretically independent states with their own governments and laws and complicated relationship with the United Kingdom. (So is the Isle of Man which was not occupied by the Germans.) The people of these islands are British subjects but not necessarily British citizens. They are British Crown dependencies. Their U.K. passports are slighly different than the passports of British citizens. These differences result from the fact that the Channel Islands were a part of the Duchy of Normandy and among the possessions og Duke William before he conquered England and became William the Conqueror (1066). For the next 200 years, the islands, along with Normandy and England, were united but the islands were administered from Normandy. King John lost Normandy and the other French possessions to the King of France. To keep the loyalty of the strategically important Channel Islands which he still held, he decreed they could continue to be governed according to Norman laws rather than English law which had important Saxon components (1204). This meant that a separate system of government was created with the British Monarch ruling as the "Duke of Normandy". Although the systems has changed since the 13th century, the Islands retain some destinctive legal features. Here there was no overall administrative structure. Each island had its own entirely separate government and administration. They are, however, treated similsarly by the crown. They are not subject to the laws of the U.K. Parliament, though U.K. currency is legal tender and they depend upon the U.K. for defence. The official languages are English and French and there is a local patois that blends them both. And interestingly at the time of the German ninvasion, King George VI was considered the Duke of Normandy and referred to, by the island legislature, as "Our Duke".
The Channel Islands figured in almost a millenia of conflict between England and France down to the Napoleonic Wars (1799-1815). Only slowly during the Victorian era did relations begin to shift as Imperial Germany rose and challenged boh countries. This was a major shift as Prussia and other German states hd generally been allies in wars with France. As Anglo-Frencgh relations warmed, the need to maintain a British mikitary presencecon the Channel Island declined. Britain's and France's World War I fundamentlly changed the relationship of the two countries. Britin was bankrupted by World War I and the British people were determined to avoid any future war. As a result, military spending was sharply pared back. As military commanders agred that the Channel Islands had no strategic value, this was a logical place where cuts could be made. The British thus demilitarized the Islands. There were two Army battalions on the Islands. The battalion in Jersey was eithdrawn (mid-1920s). The batllion on Guernsey was withdran (1939). [Stephenson]
The Germans launched their long-awaited Western offensive (May 10). Within days they hd broken through the French lines and driving for the Channel. Hopes of establishing a defensive line on the Seine proved ilusionary. Although war had been declared several months earlier. Neither the French or the Channel Islanders believed the Germans would defeat the French Army. Thus no plans had been made to evacuate to Britain. The Islandrs were still in a state of shock when the French surrendered to the Germans (June 21) andthen began arriving at the mainland ports.
The Channel Islands after the fall of France were indefensable for the hard-pressed British and of very limited strategic importance. The hard-pressed British were bracing for a German invasion of England itself and many believes that the Germans would invade. Defending the Channel Islands was out of the question. The British Government announced that Jersey, the largest island, was to be demilitarised and declared an undefended zone (June 19). They did not inform the Germans. There were two factors affecring the evacuation. One was the decesion of the island governments. The other was the availability of shipping. The British Government consulted the elected representatives on each island (there was no central government) to develop an evacuation program. This proved difficult in the time available because the different islands had varying opinions. The British Government tried to send enough ships to allow islanders who desired to do so to leave. Alderney authorities recommended evacuation and almost all complied. The Dame of Sark encouraged islanders to stay. Guernsey evacuated the school-age children, although parents could keep their children with them if they desired to do so. On Jersey most of the islanders remained. Available shipping proved limited. The British were not able to evacuate the entire civilian population that wanted to leave. They evacuted all military personnel along with women and children desiring to be evacuated. Only men choosing to join the military were evacuated. The remaining population would have to endure German occupation.
The Germans expected to have to invade the islands and were not aware that the British had evacuated.
Reconnaissance flights did not reveal the British evacuation. Luftwaffe bombers struck the harbors at Guernsey and Jersey (June 28). At St. Peter Port the Germans mistook lines of trucks at the port for troop carriers. The trucks were lined up to unload tomatoes for shipmnt to England. The Germans killed 49 islanders. The Germans were preparing an amphibious assault. Meanwhile a reconnaissance pilot landed on Guernsey (June 30). The Islanders surrendered to him. Few islandees were were aware they bhad been occupied until they received their newspaper the next day. Jersey surrendered (July 1). Alderney ws left with only a few residents who surrendered (July 2). A detachment from Guernsey reached Sark which surrendered (July 4). The Germans moved quickly to establish themselves on the Islamds. They landed infantry troops and set up communications facilities and anti-aircraft defences. They rounded up a few British servicemen who had failed to evacuate.
The Islands thus became the only British territory to be occupied by the Germans during the War. The Germans stationed a substantial garrison on the Island. The Jersey garison alone exceeded 11,500 men. The substantial German garrison and small size oif the islands meant that resistance was impossible. The Germans issued a range of strict regulations. Identity papers were issued and had to be carried. Strict curfews were enforced. The Germans confiscated all vehicles and even bicycles. The islanders had to walk or use horses. All radios had to be turned in to the Germans. The German occupation authorities took over the island newspaper. Many civilians that were not native to the islands were deported to internment camps in the Reich. Their homes and possesssions were often looted or otherwise damaged.
The Islands were of no real strategic importance. Hitler considered them useful as a propaganda statement. The Islands were not placed so as to be of any importance in the coming cross-Channel invasion. The Germans were convinced that the Alloes would come ashore at the Pas de Calis, much further north. Even Normandy where the allies decided to come shore was at the base of the Cotentin Pensinula, far away from the Islands. So they were of no real military importance to either German or Allied planners. Only Hitler was obsessed with the Islands.
Hitler as the balance of power began to shift after the failure of the Wehrmacht before Moscow became concerned that the British might ertake the Islands. He liked the idea of occupying at least a small part of Britain. He thus ordered a massive construction campaign to build defensive fotifications. It was a massive effort, so large in fact that it delayed the much more important project of building the Atlantic Wall. German Army engineering and building units landed on Jersey (1942). It was the beginning of a massive constructions program that turned the island into a Super Fortress. The construction was undertaken by the Organisation Todt which used both German soldiers and about slave workers fromm occupied countries, mostly Russians and French. We have seen varying estimates as to the precise number of workers. The Channel Islands became among the most heavily fortified islands of World War II. Perhaps the only exception is Iwo Jima in the Pacific. There was even an underground military hospital to be built. The most heavily fortified island was Alderney, presumably because it was the closest to the French mainland. Hitler personally decreed that 10 percent of the steel and concrete devoted to the construction of the Atlantic be used for the Channel Islands. He was concerned with the propaganda value he saw in holding British territory. Devoting such huge quantities of scarce materials on islands of no real strategic value , however, was pure lunacy. The ennormous effort to fortify the islands made little military sence and would have been more useful as part of the Atantic Wall along the French coast. The Germans set up a concentration camp on Alderney--Lager Sylt. This was for the slave labor building the fortifications. The German authorities treated the slave laborers brutally and ged them poorly. A few managed to escape from the Germans. Not only was this difficult, but there was no way off the island. A few were taken in, but the islanders were not in a position to help as on such a small island, the Germans were likely to catch islanders sheltering escapees. And this would mean arrest and depotation to a concentration camp.
The Germans showed on the Channel Islands what they would have done to British Jews had they occupied Britain. There were only a small number of foreign and British Jews on the Channel Islands. Most of the Channel Island Jews wisely evacuted (June 1940), but officials did not permit foreign Jews to leave for Britain. There were 17 Jews on the Islands when the Germans arrived. Soon after the German occuption, officials issued the first anti-Jewish Order (October 1940). They instructed the police to idetify Jews as part of the registation process. Island authorities complied. Their registration cards were marked with red "J"s. Authorities also compiled lists of Jewish property which was turned over to German authorities. [Fraser] Placard were placed on jewish-owned shops in German and English --'Jewish Undertaking'. Jewish had to sell their businesses. The process developed differently on the three islands, Jersey, Guernsey, Sark, and Alderney. Jersey Jews and 22 Jersey islanders died in concentration camps. Officials made some effort to mitigate anti-Semitic measures the NAZIs demanded. They refused to require Jews to wear yellow stars. They did formally Aryanise businesses, but they were returned after the war. Even so, Jewish families had to struggled to survive after being deprived of their livelihoods. Police officials on Jersey and Guernsey did investigate Jewish ancestry for the Germans. Curfews were imposed on Jews. Shopping was limited to 3-4 pm. Two Jersey Jews committed suicide. One was admitted to an asylum where he subsequntly died. There were heros. Albert Bedane hid Mary Richardson, a Dutch Jewess who married a British sea captain, for 2 1/2 years. Guernsey police handed over three East European Jewish women to the NAZIS who deported then first to France where they were rounded up and transported to Auschwitz. The Duquemin fmily, including an 18-month-old baby girl, were deported but survived. Alderney was the site of the only SS camp on British soil--the Norderney Camp. The camp was for slave labor who worked on the island. The Jews were kept separated from the other prisoners. The NAZIs transported over 16,000 slave workers to the Channel Islands to build fortifications. Among these workers were 1,000 French Jews. [Cohen] Many of these slave laborers died from exhaustion and malnutrition.
The huge German effort on the Channel Islands added nothing to the strength of the Atlantic Wall. And they played no role in the Allied D-Day landings (June 6, 1944). After the Allies established their Normandy beachead, heavy fighting followed in northern France as the Allies tried to break out from the beachhead.
Fearing more sizeable commando raids or an actual invasion, German authorities began treating the civilans on the Islands more strictly. They mined the beaches and placed them out-of-bounds to civilians. The Germnans began using the islands as a base for treating wounded soldiers from the fighting in the mainland. The fortifications provided a degree of security not available on the mainland. After the Allies took the
Cotentin Peninsula (June 1944) and broke out from the Normandy beachead (July 1944), more Channel Islanders tried to escape German occupation.
After the Normandy invasion (June 1944), the Germans did not evacuate the Islands. Hitler was still determined to hold them. After securing the Normandy beachead, the allies first moved west to secure the Cotentin Pensinula and gain control of Cherbourg--a badly need port. Granville, the clost port to the Islands was taken by the Allies. The Allied break out from the Normandy beachhead and the Allied invasion of southern France resulted in a full German retreat from France. The last conection to the mailand was St. Malo which fell to the Allies (August 1944). The German garrison and the civilians were thus cut off. The Allies saw no reasin to assault the havily fortified Islands. Churchill's attitude was "Let'em rot." The problem of course was the civilians on the Islands with the German garrison.
The Germans and the population nearly starved. The Islanders could produce food. Before the War they exported produce. They could not, however, produce enough to food feed themselves and the large German garrison. Medical supplies were entirely depleted. This put the British Government in a quandry. They of course didn't want the islanders to starve, but had no desire to feed the Germans. The situation became so critical that the British after extended negotiations finally arranged for the Red Cross ship Vega to supply Jersey (December 30, 1944).
They delivered food parcels, salt and soap, and medical and surgical supplies. The Vega was allowed to make five further trips to the Islands before liberation in May 1945.
A British reader tells us, "The relief supplies were only sent after the German Commandant promised they would not be used to feed German troops. The Germans handled the unloading at the docks but apparently, though they themselves were close to starvation, not a single loaf of bread or tin of meat was taken by them.
The Allies focus in 1945 was the push east to invade Germany. Despite the substabtial German garrison on the Islands, after several months of inacivity, Allied planners did not expect any actions from the Germams. The Allies somewhat illadviseldy set of a POW camp at Granville. This was a small port on the westerm coast of the Cotentin. It was close to Jersey and untill the Americans seized the port there was a ferry connection. The Germans at first did not know this and any possible actions were dismissed because of the lack of information about the disposition of Allied forces. Ths changed when four German paratroopers and a Naval cadet escaped from the camp (December 1944). Many of the Germans in the camp were quite happy to sit out the war in a nice safe Allied camp. Paratroopers were especially chosen and motivated soldiers. They managed to steal an American LCVP landing craft and reached Jersey. There the German commanders greeted them as heros. They reported on on the ships in the harbor which were unloading coal. They also provided information on the disposition of Allied (mostly American) forces. The Germans did not have mych good news by this time in the War, dspecially after the Bulge offensive failed. The escapees were ordered to return to Berlin for propaganda purposes. Flights between the Channel Islands and Germany were dangerous, but possible at night. The escapees were, however, shot down by a British night fighter. The new German commander on the Channel Islands was Admiral Friedrich Hüffmeier, a former captain of the German battlecruiser Scharnhorst. He had a more aggressive outlook and the information provided by the escapees made it possible to plan an attack on nearby Graville. The purpose was to disrupt Allied operations there as well as to secure needed supplies. A raid planned for February 6-7, 1945 was called off because of bad weather and the U.S. Navy submarine chaser PC-552 encountered an escorting Schnellboot. The raid led by Kapitänleutnant Carl-Friedrich Mohr was finally executed (March 8-9, 1945). The Germans put together an impressive strike force including minesweepers and lighters (barges with 88mm artilery pieces. They managed to destroy Allied shipping and port facilities, free 55 German POWs, captured some Allied soldiers, and bring supplies back to the Islands.. <! Hüffmeier's raiding force comprised four large M class minesweepers (M412, M432, M442, M459), three armed barges (artillery) carrying 88mm cannons, three fast motor launches, two small R type minesweepers, and a seagoing tug. Though the raid was successful in its execution, Allied resistance delayed the time table so only one collier, the S.S. Eskwood containing 112 tonnes of coal, could be taken back to the Channel Islands due to the low tide. A German minesweeper, the M412 De Schelde, ran aground, being eventually blown up by the Germans. An American submarine chaser, PC 564, was grounded escaping from the Germans, with half its crew wounded or killed, the rest were taken prisoner. The Germans sunk the British freighters Kyle Castle, Nephrite, Parkwood and the Norwegian merchantman Heien. German forces also damaged the locks and harbour and started fires. Several American prisoners were taken (some soures claim 30 allied servicemen were taken, Including 15 of the crew of PC 564) and 55 German POWs were liberated (some sources claim 67). Two US marines were killed at the hotel, and with the help of the hotel staff the Germans rounded up the nine most senior US personnel in the town. About 14 US seamen from the submarine chaser were killed in action. One RN officer and five of his men also died during this attack. > A smaller sabotage raid was staged pn Cape de la Hague (April 5, 1945). The raiders were all captured. Finally Admiral Dönitz, the new Führer ordered ordered Admiral Hüffmeier with the War about to end not to launch amy more attacks.
The Germans finally surrendered ending World War II in Europe (May 7. 1945). To the dismay of both Islanders and German troops the British couldn't get their act together to do it. The British finally proceeded to liberate Jersey (May 9).
Cohen, Frederick. The Jews in the Channel Islands during the German Occupation.
Fraser, David. The Jews of the Channel islands and the Rule of Law, 1940–1945
Stephenson, Charles. Fortifications of the Channel Islands 1941-45: Hitler's Impregnable Fortress
<! German soldiers could also be shot for looting or stealing from the population. In the final weeks of the war the Germans were near to starvation. In the last couple of weeks food was sent in under truce arrangements to feed the Islanders. It was only sent because the German Commandant promised it would not be used to feed German troops. The Germans handled the unloading at the docks but apparently, though they themselves were close to starvation, not a single loaf of bread or tin of meat was taken by them. In Guernsey, the Bailiff, Sir Victor Carey and the States of Guernsey handed overall control to the German authorities. Day-to-day running of Island affairs became the responsibility of a Controlling Committee, chaired by Ambrose Sherwill. Scrip (occupation money) was issued in Guernsey to keep the economy going. German military forces used their own scrip for payment of goods and services.  Resistance and collaboration Plaque: During the period of the German occupation of Jersey, from 1st July 1940 to 9th May 1945, many inhabitants were imprisoned for acts of protest and defiance against the Occupation Forces in H.M. Prison, Gloucester Street which stood on this site. Others were deported and held in camps in Germany and elsewhere from which some did not return. Plaque on war memorial, Saint Ouen, Jersey, to Louisa Mary Gould, victim of Nazi concentration camp Ravensbrück: Louisa Mary Gould, née Le Druillenec, mise à mort en 1945 au camp de concentration de Ravensbrück en Allemagne. Louisa Gould hid a wireless set and sheltered an escaped Russian prisoner. Betrayed by an informer at the end of 1943, she was arrested and sentenced 22 June 1944. In August 1944 she was transported to Ravensbrück and murdered in the gas chambers there 13 February 1945. Plaque on war memorial, Saint Ouen, Jersey, to Louisa Mary Gould, victim of Nazi concentration camp Ravensbrück: Louisa Mary Gould, née Le Druillenec, mise à mort en 1945 au camp de concentration de Ravensbrück en Allemagne. Louisa Gould hid a wireless set and sheltered an escaped Russian prisoner. Betrayed by an informer at the end of 1943, she was arrested and sentenced 22 June 1944. In August 1944 she was transported to Ravensbrück and murdered in the gas chambers there 13 February 1945. Memorial, Saint Helier: In memoriam: between 1940 and 1945, more than 300 Islanders were taken from Jersey to concentration camps and prisons on the continent, for political crimes committed against the German occupying forces. There was no resistance movement in the Channel Islands on the scale of that in mainland France. This has been ascribed to a range of factors including the physical separation of the Islands, the density of troops (up to one German for every two Islanders), the small size of the Islands precluding any hiding places for resistance groups and the absence of the Gestapo from the occupying forces. Moreover, much of the population of military age had joined the British Army already. Resistance involved passive resistance, acts of minor sabotage, sheltering and aiding escaped slave workers (see, for example, Albert Bedane) and publishing underground newspapers containing news from BBC radio. The islanders also joined in the Churchill's V sign campaign by daubing the letter 'V' (for Victory) over German signs. A widespread form of passive resistance (albeit taking place in secret within the confines of Islanders homes) was the act of listening to BBC radio, which was banned in the first few weeks of the occupation and then (surprisingly given the policy elsewhere in Nazi-occupied Europe) tolerated for a period before being once again prohibited. Later the ban became even more draconian with all radio listening (even to German stations) being banned by the occupiers backed up by the widespread confiscation of wireless sets. Nevertheless, many Islanders successfully hid their radios (or replaced them with homemade crystal sets) and continued listening to the BBC despite the risk of being discovered by the Germans or being informed on by neighbours. A number of Islanders escaped (including Peter Crill), the pace of which increased following D-Day, when conditions in the Islands worsened as supply routes to the continent were cut off and the desire to join in the liberation of Europe increased. The policy of the Island governments, acting under instructions from the British government communicated before the occupation, was one of passive co-operation, although this has been criticised (see Bunting), particularly in the treatment of Jews in the islands. The remaining Jews on the Islands, often Church of England members with one or two Jewish grandparents, were subjected to the nine Orders Pertaining to Measures Against the Jews , including closing of their businesses (or placing them under Aryan administration), giving up their wirelesses, and staying indoors for all but one hour per day. These measures were administered by the Bailiff and the Aliens Office. Some island women fraternised with the occupying forces, although this was frowned upon by the majority of Islanders, who gave them the derogatory nickname Jerry-bag. The lack of currency in Jersey led to a request to artist Edmund Blampied to design scrip for the States of Jersey in denominations of 6 pence, 1 shilling, 2 shillings, 10 shillings and 1 pound, which were issued in 1942. A year later he was asked to design six new postage stamps for the island of ½ d to 3 d and, as a sign of resistance, he cleverly incorporated the initials GR in the three penny stamp to display loyalty to King George VI.  British Government reaction The British Government's reaction to the German invasion was muted, with the Ministry of Information issuing a press release shortly after the Germans landed. On 6 July 1940, 2nd Lieutenant Hubert Nicolle, a Guernseyman serving with the British Army, was dispatched on a fact-finding mission to Guernsey. He was dropped off the south coast of Guernsey by a submarine and rowed ashore in a canoe under cover of night. This was the first of two visits which Nicolle made to the island. Following the second, he missed his rendezvous and was trapped on the island. After a month and a half in hiding, he gave himself up to the German authorities and was sent to a German prison-of-war camp. On the night of July 14, 1940, Operation Ambassador, was launched on the German occupied island of Guernsey by men drawn from H Troop of No.3 Commando under John Durnford-Slater and No.11 Independent Company. The raiders failed to make contact with the German garrison. In October 1942, there was a British Commando raid on Sark, named Operation Basalt. In 1943, Vice Admiral Lord Mountbatten proposed a plan to retake the islands named Operation Constellation. The proposed attack was never mounted.  Deportation Plaque: From the rear of this building 1,186 English born residents were deported to Germany in September 1942. In February 1943 a further 89 were deported from another location in St. Helier. Plaque: From the rear of this building 1,186 English born residents were deported to Germany in September 1942. In February 1943 a further 89 were deported from another location in St. Helier. In 1942, the German authorities announced that all residents of the Channel Islands who were not born in the Islands, as well as those men who had served as officers in World War I, were to be deported. The majority of them were transported to the southwest of Germany, notably to Ilag V-B at Biberach an der Riss and Ilag VII at Laufen. This deportation decision came directly from Adolf Hitler, as a reprisal for German civilians in Iran  being deported and interned. The ratio was twenty Channel Islanders to be interned for every one German interned.  Representation in London As self-governing Crown Dependencies, the Channel Islands had no elected representatives in the British Parliament. In order to ensure that the Islanders were not forgotten, it fell to evacuees and other Islanders living in the United Kingdom prior to the occupation. The Jersey Society in London, formed in the 1920s, provided a focal point for exiled Jerseymen. In 1943, a number of influential Guernseymen living in London formed the Guernsey Society to provide a similar focal point and network for Guernsey exiles. Besides relief work, these groups also undertook studies to plan for economic reconstruction and political reform after the end of the war. The pamphlet Notre Île published in London by a committee of Jersey people was influential in the 1948 reform of the constitution of the Bailiwick. Bertram Falle, a Jerseyman, was elected Member of Parliament (MP) for Portsmouth in 1910. Eight times elected to the House of Commons, in 1934 he was raised to the House of Lords with the title of Lord Portsea. During the occupation he represented the interests of Islanders and pressed the British government to relieve their plight, especially after the Islands were cut off after D-Day. Committees of émigré Channel Islanders elsewhere in the British Empire also banded together to provide relief for evacuees. For example, Philippe William Luce (writer and journalist, 1882–1966) founded the Vancouver Channel Islands Society in 1940 to raise money for evacuees.  Under siege Plaque at Gorey: Captain Ed Clark, Lieutenant George Haas: On 8th January 1945 these two American officers escaped from their prisoner of war camp in St. Helier. Assisted by local residents and in particular Deputy W.J. Bertram BEM, of East Lynne, Fauvic, they successfully avoided recapture by the German forces. On the night of 19th January 1945 they removed a small boat from this harbour and 15 hours later after an arduous crossing in bad weather, landed near Carteret on the French Cotentin Peninsula. This tablet was unveiled on the 50th anniversary of this event on 20th January 1995 by Sir Peter Crill KBE, Bailiff of Jersey. Plaque at Gorey: Captain Ed Clark, Lieutenant George Haas: On 8th January 1945 these two American officers escaped from their prisoner of war camp in St. Helier. Assisted by local residents and in particular Deputy W.J. Bertram BEM, of East Lynne, Fauvic, they successfully avoided recapture by the German forces. On the night of 19th January 1945 they removed a small boat from this harbour and 15 hours later after an arduous crossing in bad weather, landed near Carteret on the French Cotentin Peninsula. This tablet was unveiled on the 50th anniversary of this event on 20th January 1995 by Sir Peter Crill KBE, Bailiff of Jersey. During June 1944, the Allied Forces launched the D-Day landings and the liberation of Normandy. They decided to bypass the Channel Islands due to the heavy fortifications constructed by German Forces (see above). However, the consequence of this was that German supply lines for food and other supplies through France were completely severed. The Islanders' food supplies were already dwindling, and this made matters considerably worse - the islanders and German forces alike were on the point of starvation. Churchill's reaction to the plight of the German garrison was to "let 'em rot", even though this meant that the Islanders had to rot with them. It took months of protracted negotiations before the International Red Cross ship SS Vega was permitted to rescue the starving Islanders in December 1944, bringing Red Cross food parcels, salt and soap, as well as medical and surgical supplies. The Vega made five further trips to the Islands before liberation in May 1945. In 1944, the popular German film actress Lil Dagover arrived on the Channel Islands to entertain German troops on the islands of Jersey and Guernsey with a theater tour to boost morale. The Granville Raid occurred on the night of 8 March–9 March 1945 when a German raiding force from the Channel Islands successfully landed and brought back supplies to their base.  Liberation and legacy  Liberation Although plans had been drawn up and proposed by Vice Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten, in 1943, for Operation Constellation, a military reconquest of the islands, it was not to be. The Channel Islands were liberated after the German surrender. Plaque in the Royal Square, St Helier: On May 8th 1945 from the balcony above Alexander Moncrieff Coutanche, Bailiff of Jersey, announced that the Island was to be liberated after five years of German military occupation. On 10th May 1985 Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Kent unveiled this plaque to commemorate the Liberation. Plaque in the Royal Square, St Helier: On May 8th 1945 from the balcony above Alexander Moncrieff Coutanche, Bailiff of Jersey, announced that the Island was to be liberated after five years of German military occupation. On 10th May 1985 Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Kent unveiled this plaque to commemorate the Liberation. On the 8 May 1945 at 10am, the islanders were informed by the German authorities that the war was over. Churchill made a radio broadcast at 3pm during which he announced that: Hostilities will end officially at one minute after midnight to-night, but in the interests of saving lives the "Cease fire" began yesterday to be sounded all along the front, and our dear Channel Islands are also to be freed to-day. The following morning, 9 May 1945, HMS Bulldog arrived in St Peter Port, Guernsey and the German forces surrendered unconditionally aboard it at dawn. British forces landed in St Peter Port shortly afterwards, greeted by crowds of joyous but malnourished islanders. HMS Beagle, which had set out at the same time from Plymouth performed a similar role in liberating Jersey. It appears that the first place liberated on Jersey might have been the British General Post Office Jersey repeater station. Mr Warder, a GPO linesman, had been stranded on the island during the occupation. He did not wait for the island to be liberated and went to the repeater station where he informed the German officer in charge that he was taking over the building on behalf of the British Post Office.  Aftermath Please help improve this section by expanding it. Further information might be found on the talk page or at requests for expansion.  Legacy An inscription, reading "Liberated" in Jèrriais, was installed at La Pièche dé l'Av'nîn in St. Helier to mark the 60th anniversary of the Liberation in 2005 An inscription, reading "Liberated" in Jèrriais, was installed at La Pièche dé l'Av'nîn in St. Helier to mark the 60th anniversary of the Liberation in 2005 * Since the end of the occupation, the anniversary of Liberation Day (9 May) has been celebrated as a National holiday. But in Alderney there was no official local population to be liberated, so Alderney celebrates "Coming home day" to commemorate the return of the evacuated population. * Many islanders and evacuees have published their memoirs and diaries of this period. * The Channel Islands Occupation Society was formed in order to study and preserve the history of this period. * A number of documentaries have been made about the Occupation, mixing interviews with participants, both Islanders and soldiers, archive footage, photos and manuscripts and modern day filming around the extensive fortifications still in place. These films include: o High Tide Productions' In Toni's Footsteps: The Channel Island Occupation Remembered- 52min documentary tracing the history of the Occupation following the discovery of a notebook in an attic in Guernsey belonging to a German soldier named Toni Kumpel. * There have also been a number of TV and film dramas set in the occupied Islands: o ITV's Enemy at the Door, set in Guernsey and shown between 1978 and 1980 o ITV's Island at War (2004), a drama set in the fictional Channel Island of St Gregory. It was shown by US TV network PBS as part of their Masterpiece Theatre series in 2005. o The 2001 film, The Others starring Nicole Kidman was set in Jersey in 1945 just after the end of the occupation. * A stage play, Dame of Sark by William Douglas-Home is set in the island of Sark during the German Occupation, and is based on the Dame's diaries of this period. * The following novels have been set in the German-occupied islands: * Higgins, Jack (1970), A Game for Heroes, New York : Berkley, ISBN-10: 0440132622 * Binding, Tim (1999), Island Madness, London : Picador, ISBN 0-330-35046-3 * Link, Charlotte (2000), Die Rosenzüchterin [The Rose Breeder], condensed ed., Köln : BMG-Wort, ISBN 3-89830-125-7 * Parkin, Lance (1996), Just War, New Doctor Who adventures series, Doctor Who Books, ISBN 0-426-20463-8 * Robinson, Derek (1977), Kramer's War, London : Hamilton, ISBN 0-241-89578-2 * Tickell, Jerrard (1976), Appointment with Venus, London : Kaye and Ward, ISBN 0-7182-1127-8 * Walters, Guy (2005), The Occupation, London : Headline, ISBN 0-7553-2066-2 * Cone, Libby (2008), War on the Margins: A Novel, Charleston : BookSurge, ISBN 1-4196-8995-9 The statue in Liberation Square The statue in Liberation Square * The Blockhouse, a film starring Peter Sellers and Charles Aznavour, set in occupied France, was filmed in a German bunker in Guernsey in 1973. * A number of German fortifications have been preserved as museums, including the Underground Hospitals built in Jersey (Höhlgangsanlage 8) and Guernsey. * Liberation Square in St. Helier, Jersey, is now a focal point of the town, and has a sculpture which celebrates the liberation of the island.  Notes 1. ^ Hazel R. Knowles Smith, The changing face of the Channel Islands Occupation (2007, Palgrave Macmillan, UK) 2. ^ Falla, Frank (1967). The Silent War. Burbridge. ISBN 0450020444.. 3. ^ Occupation Memorial http://www.thisisjersey.com/hmd/index.html 4. ^ Bunting (1995); Maughan (1980) 5. ^ Jersey Heritage Trust archive*  6. ^ Cruickshank (1975) 7. ^ Bunting (1995) 8. ^ Lil Dagover: Schauspielerin 9. ^ Morison, Samuel Eliott United States Naval Operations in World War II p.306 10. ^ The Churchill Centre: The End of the War in Europe 11. ^ Pether (1998), p. 7 12. ^ IMDb - The Blockhouse (1973) 13. ^ VisitGuernsey - German Military Underground Hospital  References * Bunting, Madelaine (1995) The Model Occupation : the Channel Islands under German rule, 1940-1945, London : Harper Collins, ISBN 0-00-255242-6 * Cruickshank, Charles G. (1975) The German Occupation of the Channel Islands, The Guernsey Press, ISBN 0-902550-02-0 * Maughan, Reginald C. F. (1980) Jersey under the jackboot, London : New English Library, ISBN 0-450-04714-8 * Pether, John (1998) The Post Office at war and Fenny Stratford Repeater Station, Bletchley Park Trust Reports, 12, Bletchley Park Trust * Read, Brian A. (1995) No Cause for Panic - Channel Islands refugees 1940-45, St Helier : Seaflower Books, ISBN 0-948578-69-6 >
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