There is a lot of high feeling and controversy surrounding this period in the Islands’ history. From 1st April right through until the end of October, 75+ heritage themed events will take place in Guernsey, Herm, Sark, Alderney and Lihou. German invasion After the loss of the Battle of France, the UK deemed the Channel Islands to be of little strategic importance. was deposited at the Jersey Archive in September 2001. Many of the men who had served in the First World War, and who were perhaps too old to fight in the Second World War, found it difficult to accept the presence of the Germans. It was used to practise landing from barges in preparation for the invasion of England, under the guise of shooting a propaganda film called ‘The Invasion of the Isle of Wight’. People were always pushing the boundaries of what they could get away with. Gallery of photos showing the German occupation of the Channel Islands by the Nazis in World War II Guernsey Island Confirmation World War Two Ww2 Berry Potato Envelope Germany England On 4 July 1940, Ruth Berry, a Guernsey mother who had been evacuated to England, obtained confirmation that her island had been occupied by Germany. “I don’t have any swines,” he told the German – although he did, in fact, have two pigs hidden in a secret pig sty. Although there were instances where the people in authority made questionable decisions to keep the peace, you have to remember that everyone was in a very difficult situation and it’s easy to judge actions in hindsight. A. Today, it is a tranquil paradise with waters often mistaken for the likes of the Caribbean. I think for some of the local men, the resentment that they had about the occupation was targeted at these women. Thanks! There was a feeling among the islanders who had stayed that the ones who had left had been cowardly, while the ones who had left felt that they had experienced the Blitz and been properly “at war” while their friends and relatives at home had been “making friends” with German soldiers. If you subscribe to BBC History Magazine Print or Digital Editions then you can unlock 10 years’ worth of archived history material fully searchable by Topic, Location, Period and Person. Location: Channel Islands (Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney and Sark) Outcome: Operation Green Arrow, the German occupation of the Channel Islands, was achieved swiftly and with few casualties. Yes, the title of the film is not an exaggeration – potato peel pie really was a dish that people were eating at the time. The official website for BBC History Magazine, BBC History Revealed and BBC World Histories Magazine, Save over 50% on a BBC History Magazine or BBC History Revealed gift subscription, Occupied by the Germans between 1940 and 1945, the Channel Islands were the only part of the British Isles to have been seized by the Nazi regime. Although islanders were given work by the Germans, many refused it despite the benefits that were promised to them. Guernsey fell to the Germans without a shot being fired on 30 June 1940, with Jersey falling the following day on 1 July 1940. They imposed a curfew, made everyone carry identity cards, banned the sale of spirits and later banned radios. Although they were granted a last-minute reprieve on Christmas Eve 1940, by this point one of the men’s fathers had already committed suicide. Against The Tide book. In Alderney, virtually all residents were evacuated and this became the most heavily fortified of the Islands. The Islands of Guernsey are what’s known as an ‘archipelago’ – a collection of islands located on the English Channel between England and France. 30 June 1940 : Occupation began 15 Sept 1942 : Deportation order 27 Dec 1944 : Red cross ship Vega arrives with food 9 May 1945 : Liberation The occupation of the Channel Islands by the Germans may have been a small episode in the Second World War, but it … The German Occupation of Guernsey, Channel Islands Visit Guernsey May 8, 2019 The biggest impact on the Islands during the 20th century was when … Life under Nazi rule: the occupation of the Channel Islands. Some were sent to prisons and camps, while others resisted with acts of protest and defiance between 1940 and 1945. This was exemplified in an instance relatively early on, in 1940, when two local Guernsey lads who had signed up to the British Army returned to the island on a reconnaissance mission. By entering your details, you are agreeing to HistoryExtra terms and conditions and privacy policy. He considered the Channel Islands to be his ‘stepping stone’ to the British Isles. So if the Germans had invaded Britain, I think people would have been able to fight back in a way that just wasn’t possible on the Channel Islands. For 75 years, Liberation Day has and will continue to be celebrated on 9th May, while Sark Island celebrates theirs on the 10th. You will shortly receive a receipt for your purchase via email. Alderney was the only Channel Island to be evacuated during WWII as the island became part of Hitler's Atlantic Wall. The Jersey Channel Islands Occupation Society's collection of Occupation ephemera, photographs, etc. Around half of the Islands’ population including four fifths of school children were evacuated to the UK. Others remained undiscovered or in hiding. The Channel Islands were the only part of the Britain Isles to be occupied by German forces in WW2. There seems to be a problem, please try again. Islanders collecting Red Cross parcels from Le Riche’s shop in St Peter Port, Guernsey. Guernsey and the other Channel Islands were occupied by German Forces during the Second World War. Sark itself is still a unique time capsule as one of the few remaining places in the world where cars are banned and exploring on foot, by bike or on a horse drawn carriage is the best way to get around. The German heard the animals grunting and became very angry with the man. As 2020 will mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Islands of Guernsey, the festivities will be kept alive for even longer as a special recognition of this. While there were a few real Nazis – individuals committed to national socialism and Hitler – the majority of Germans on the island were just ordinary soldiers who wanted to go back to their homes and families. You have successfully linked your account! While there wasn’t a resistance in the militarised sense of the word, there were definitely moments of rebellion – acts of arson and graffiti, for example. What was life like for women and children in Nazi Germany? ‘Hostilities will end officially at one minute after midnight tonight. 5621230. And our dear Channel Islands are also to be freed today.’. A. Herm Island, which is only 20 minutes away from Guernsey by ferry, was initially passed by the Germans but was later claimed by the Third Reich on July 20th 1940. Thank you for subscribing to HistoryExtra, you now have unlimited access. The Channel Islands, the oldest possession of Britain’s monarchy, were the only British territory occupied by Germany. The soldiers did hand themselves in, but the Germans went back on their promise and they were sentenced to death. Obviously not every Guernsey resident felt the same way. The women who entered into relationships with Germans were called ‘jerrybags’, and there was this assumption that they were doing it for selfish reasons – to get more food or luxuries like lipstick and silk stockings from Paris. A. I spoke to a woman whose husband got himself into a rather difficult situation when a German came to his farm to ask how many “swines” he had. Islands in Danger: Story of the German Occupation of the Channel Islands, 1940-45 by Alan Seaton-Wood: 1945: Jersey Occupied: The German Armed Forces in Jersey 1940-1945 by Michael Ginns: 1945: Jersey Under the Jackboot by R. C. F. Maugham: 1945: The Model Occupation: The Channel Islands Under German Rule 1940-1945 by Madeleine Bunting: 1945 Here, Rachel Dinning talks to Duncan Barrett, author of Hitler's British Isles, to find out what it was like to live under German rule. On May 8th 1945, the Allies celebrated the defeat of Nazi Germany and the end of Adolf Hitler’s Reich, formally recognising the end of the Second World War in Europe…. The islands had a very high number of German soldiers compared to the civilian population, one soldier for every 2-3 civilians, which reduced options; this linked to the severe penalties imposed by the occupiers meant that only forms of non-lethal resistance were used by the population. Occupied between 1940 and 1945, the islands were the only part of the British Isles the Nazi regime seized. The Germans issued a range of strict regulations. It is a time to think about how relieved and happy everyone must have felt. From the Publisher We produce a large number of books about the German Occupation of the Channel Islands and this has been our best seller by far. The Islands were the only British territory Hitler ever conquered, and locals had most of their lands, belongings, food and freedom taken away. 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