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[7]:59–60, It was not just men that became OT workers; a number of women also found themselves in work camps. By 13 June Hitler had made a decision. Guernsey, although the smallest of the two, was given special treatment and had 12,000 troops inland, that’s one German soldier for every two civilians. Many Russians were liberated by the British in Guernsey and Alderney. By Pierre Kosmidis Info and photos submitted by Emmanouil Tzilivakis, used by permission. The defence shelter with … [7]:31 The supply vessels needed escort and flak ships for protection. One cubic metre of concrete contained 400 kg cement, 1,800 kg aggregate and sand, 170-200 litres water. A Stützpunktgruppe (Strongpoint group) was a cluster of SP's and WN's under command of a Battalion. [7]:66 This compares to the £2-10-0 a week offered by the States of Guernsey. U-boat and S-Boat facilities amounted to fuel tanks installed in Ho. [6]:350 Each area in the Islands was examined and priorities for construction set. Many of the German works are on private land and so inaccessible to the public. [22], Widerstandsnest (Resistance nest) (WN) formed a smaller defensive zone, filling in between SP's, and protecting specific points, like artillery batteries or a radar station. It was necessary to pour the concrete in as continuous operation as possible to avoid joints that would weaken the structure. There was a lack of waterproofing and subsequent rock falls into cavities could damage the tunnel. Because the Germans expected to invade the United Kingdom in the autumn of 1940, they decided that expenditure on defences for the islands would be a waste. Bunkers for ammunition stores were constructed as were accommodation bunkers. The first mine was laid in November 1940; altogether there were 118 minefields in Guernsey. Most beach defences were designed to fire across the beach, the embrasures being protected from enemy fire from the open sea. Several Strongpoint groups made a Verteidigungsbereich (Defence area)[23], Hohlgangsanlagen (cave passage installations) (Ho) were built to store vehicles, ammunition, food, fuel and equipment, Ho. . This resulted in damage to three guns in open pits and the deaths of two men from their crews. Bruno spiral barbed wire; 7). Clearance in the wood along t… eccentric Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, when she decides to write about the book club they formed Twenty one of the casemates built into the coast were designed for 10.5 cm K 331(f) French guns that had been acquired in large quantities. [4]:30, Dummy positions were set up, including using logs to simulate guns and dummy minefields. [4]:67–8 Artillerie Abteilung 1265 HQ was at Quatre Vents Estate, St Martin. Under the direct orders from Hitler Guernsey was to become an Impregnable Fortress and work commenced on the building of fortifications. visits the Guernsey. [16]:101 Naval Range-finding Tower MP 3 at Pleinmont, which has 5 observation levels and had a radar unit on the roof, has become a museum, open to the public. Beach sand and pebbles would be used as a last resort.[7]:43. De bezetting van de Kanaaleilanden verwijst naar de militaire bezetting van de Kanaaleilanden door nazi-Duitsland die duurde van 30 juni 1940 tot de bevrijding op 9 mei 1945.De Kanaaleilanden omvatten de Kroonbezitten van de baljuwschappen Guernsey en Jersey, die geen deel zijn van het Verenigd Koninkrijk en ook de kleinere eilanden Alderney en Sark omvatten. Shops for joiners and lock smiths were set up. WW2 / The Occupation. Using four barrels taken from a 1917 Imperial Russian dreadnaught captured in Norway and resting on platforms manufactured by Friedrich Krupp A.G., these 30.5 cm guns had a potential range of 51 kilometres (32 mi) with lightweight high explosive shells, weighing 250 kg or 31 kilometres (19 mi) with the heavier 405 kg armour piercing shells. [17]:36 Two batteries were to Fortress-quality positions; the remaining four were in field emplacements. Guernsey had a major quarrying industry so had stone and crushing facilities available. Aerial photograph of Vazon Bay with Stützpunkt Rotenstein at the top, Resistance in the German-occupied Channel Islands, Civilian life under the German occupation of the Channel Islands, Fort Hommet 10.5 cm Coastal Defence Gun Casement Bunker, "World War II anti-landing devices found in Guernsey", Guernsey Grammar School and Sixth Form Centre, Policy and Resources Committee of Guernsey, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=German_fortification_of_Guernsey&oldid=993985887, Military history of the Channel Islands during World War II, Channel Islands articles missing geocoordinate data, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. [7]:19 OT would carry out the majority of the work. The Germans found the Islands' fortifications antiquated and woefully inadequate for modern warfare. Divisional engineers – mines and flamethrowers, Army Construction Battalions – reinforced constructions to provide protection of “Vf” Reinforced field-type constructions quality, Fortress Engineers and Fortress Construction Battalions – mounting heavy weapons, some tunnelling, reporting, maps, supervising. Thereafter they dropped to just 3,700 tons as priority shifted to the Atlantic Wall. The German designs incorporated certain standard features such as entrance door at right angles, armoured air intake, 30mm steel doors, ventilation, telephones,[4]:7 internal walls lined with wood, and an emergency exit. Guernsey WW2 bunker to open to public. Luftwaffe fighter groups JG27 and JG53, equipped with Me Bf 109s, had been based during Kanalkampf in Guernsey in 1940. [8] A power station was built in the Bouet by OT. Find out more about the history that inspired The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society. [7]:45 HQ and command bunkers were built for the Fortress Commander at La Corbinerie west of Ville au Roi, connected to one for the 319 Divisional commander. Holes through walls for ventilation pipes and cables, doorways and escape routes being put in before the concrete was poured. The concept of lineal defences having been discredited in World War 1, the current idea was hedgehog defences with all round visibility and support from other positions giving interlocking fire. Also, each route was given a number. Only about 30% of the original 319 ID personnel were still with the unit in June 1944, the fitter men having been sent to the Eastern Front, to be replaced with less fit and non German troops. 8 half-tracks. [7]:19, Headquarters of the 7,000 strong OT in Guernsey was established at Sausmarez park in December 1941. 319 ID provided the bulk of troops for the whole of the Channel Islands, it became the largest division in the German army. OT transport was brought to Guernsey, mainly French vehicles dating back to 1914, to supplement horse-drawn transport. The two Würzburg and two Freya radar units at Fort George, Guernsey,[4]:63 were repeatedly attacked from the end of May 1944 on. Once the small tunnel was complete, it could be expanded, the width to 6–7 metres and height to 4–7 metres, this was the most dangerous job as rock falls were frequent.[3]:13–14. Oct 28, 2020 - Explore Marcel Edwards's board "world war 2 Guernsey German soldiers 1940-1945" on Pinterest. [7]:115 Detailed death certificates were filled out and the deaths were reported to OT in St Malo. Anti tank walls built at the high water mark. Service was compulsory in the militia for every man in the Island. 7/40 comprised 7,000m², 29,823 cu m of rock were removed and 9,053 cu m of concrete was poured. The Allies knew the locations of casemates as the RAF had undertaken photographic flights during the construction years.Aerial photograph of Vazon Bay with Stützpunkt Rotenstein at the top[25] In addition, a few messages giving some detailed information, had been smuggled out of the Islands. [1]:196 Reinforced with additional Heer units including 16th Machine Gun Battalion and 213th Panzer Battalion, and Kriegsmarine and Luftwaffe units. Mines; 4). A Channel Islands historian tells us, "Most of the OT workers started moving back to France towards the end of 1943 to repair the damage the RAF were inflicting on the railways etc, by 6th June 1944 nearly all the building of fortifications had been done, however in Alderney the slave workers were still there. Anti landing craft objects of steel and wood, thousands of tetrahedra and Czech hedgehog, often with teller mines attached on the beaches.[19]. Sourcing of materials and transport had to be organised. 4 tunnels at La Valette in St Peter Port, to hold 480 tons of fuel. This example shows a bunker disguised as a house. A special partnership between a tour business and Festung Guernsey will give people the chance to take an in-depth look at some of the island's more hidden-away German fortifications. During the Occupation, German troops went about fortifying Guernsey, building reinforced bunkers as well as adapting existing fortifications … They worked 12-hour shifts, seven days a week, and were allowed one half-day a month off.[14]:168. [4]:56–9, Land artillery was situated to fire on landing beaches and inland. Fortress engineers and OT workers returned to France to work on. [1]:210–5 [10]:39, The manual labour would be provided using Gastarbeitnehmer (guest workers), Militärinternierte (military internees), Zivilarbeiter (civilian workers), Ostarbeiter (Eastern workers), and Hilfswillige ("volunteer") POW workers. This allowed interlocking and self-supporting fire. He ordered additional men to the Islands and, having decided the defences were inadequate, lacking tanks and coastal artillery, he instructed the Organisation Todt(OT) to undertake the building of 200-250 strongpoints in each of the larger islands. Once the fumes and dust had dispersed, the loose rock could be cleared, loaded onto wagons run out on 60 cm tracks and removed. Being in the front line of many wars, invasion was almost always a threat and the best locations for defence were being constantly rebuilt with older constructions being re-used and improved. By 13 June Hitler had made a decision. Supervisors and OT labour was supplied to German construction companies, ten of which operated in the Channel Islands. [4]:9 A casemate with a 10.5 cm gun has been restored at Hommet headland, north of Vazon and is open to the public. After the Wehrmacht occupied the Channel Islands on 30 June 1940, they assessed the existing defences to determine if they would be of use. Over 16,000 OT workers were brought to the Channel Islands, of whom 7,000 came to Guernsey. Published. Over 300 large concrete constructions were built in the Channel Islands. Volunteer and conscripted labour would receive much better treatment than would forced labour. Granite stones were built into some concrete walls to give a natural stone finish. Local workers too were recruited. The fortifications were however never needed. In these clips you see some of its famous fortifications including those built by the German occupations forces … [7]:36 Contractors brought equipment and vehicles. [16]:104 However, U-Boats in Guernsey were too vulnerable to air attack. The smaller Freya radar was less visible. Skilled labourers brought over from Germany and Europe were provided with a suitable wage. Dugout with camouflage wire net; 13). [17]:30, A small number of the obsolescent French Renault FT tanks were shipped in 1941 to the island. Guernsey and the other Channel Islands were occupied by German Forces during the Second World War. It features accommodation bunkers and two fortress quality ammunition bunkers, all linked by deep, concrete-lined trenches. On 2 June 1941 Adolf Hitler asked for maps of the Channel Islands; these were provided the next day. Of the 96 OT workers who died in Guernsey, the majority died as a result of tunnelling accidents, a British bombing raid on St Peter Port in January 1942, and typhus in February 1943. The German garrison in the Channel Islands surrendered without a fight on 9 May 1945. Hundreds of reinforced bunkers, gun emplacements After the war, bomb-disposal engineers removed 69,301 mines between 18 May and 19 July 1945. Russian State Military Archives, Inventory 500, Documents of the OB West. [21]:188 A type R633 bunker took 845m³ of concrete and 40 tons of steel to build. It had the largest artillery pieces in the Channel Islands, tanks, and 12,000 troops:[1]:204 one soldier for every two civilians on the island, compared to France which had a 1:80 ratio, or higher. Furthermore, to avoid confusion over road names, the Germans introduced a colour and number code. and tunnels were constructed, transforming the tiny archipelago into the most fortified place on earth. German OT wore OT uniforms; civilians from other nations wore civilian clothes. Sixteen tunnels were planned in 1942, this was increased to twenty nine in 1943. Five camps were built, however most OT workers went into requisitioned houses. The chapters from the original book have been reproduced in a set of ten paperbacks. The German occupation of the Channel Islands lasted for most of the Second World War, from 30 June 1940 until their liberation on 9 May 1945.The Bailiwick of Jersey and Bailiwick of Guernsey are two British Crown dependencies in the English Channel, near the coast of Normandy.The Channel Islands were the only de jure part of the British Empire to be occupied by Nazi Germany during the war. 'Wish you were here!' 319 Infantry Division (319 ID), which had been created in November 1940 and was designed as a static division for service in occupied Europe, was allocated to the islands. Tiny Guernsey received special treatment. Guernsey had to pay for the German troops, providing them with and paying for their food, accommodation and transport.[9]:89. If they were from the Eastern Bloc, a deduction of 55% was made to pay for the cost of overseas reconstruction. By 1941 the prospect of conquering Britain had decreased and the probability of an eastern war increased, requiring defences to be built to reduce the number and quality of troops required to defend the western ocean areas. Skilled labour was recruited as volunteers from countries that had been overrun by German troops, including the Netherlands, Belgium, and France to top up the thousands of German workers. WWII Occupation & Fortification. Guernsey received a few tracked anti-tank guns, but relied more on guns such as the 3.7 cm Pak 35/36, fifteen 5 cm Pak 38, and eight 7.5 cm Pak 40. See more ideas about guernsey, world war, channel islands. Historic defence works, considered by the engineers to be of high quality construction and well placed were given concrete additions,[16]:68 Castle Cornet, Vale Castle, Fort Hommet and Bréhon Tower amongst them and would become SP's or WN's. Bruno spiral barbed wire; 5). 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