Alderney was considered too well-protected against aircraft attack so HMS Rodney had the mission of shelling it. Mines; 4). There was a lack of waterproofing and subsequent rock falls into cavities could damage the tunnel. Turned Guernsey into a fortress.”. If necessary, timber supports were installed, then the process started again. It comprised three bunkers: types V142, M172 and V192. 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. This video shows inside and outside of a World War 2 German Observation Tower which is on a cliff path at Pleinmont Point, Guernsey in the Channel Islands. Thereafter they dropped to just 3,700 tons as priority shifted to the Atlantic Wall. :179–180 The OT hospital was at Ruette Braye, its fuel depot at Grandes Rocques, and timber and cement stores at St Sampson.:26. Service was compulsory in the militia for every man in the Island. An additional 13 being mounted in open field positions. The Channel Islands Occupation Society has refitted V142 as a museum.:101. The smaller Freya radar was less visible. A command and an observation bunker completes the major fortifications. The initial plan was for two towers to observe a target and through measuring angles determine its distance and therefore grid reference. One of the most significant periods in the Channel Islands’ history was the German Occupation during World War II. :30, A small number of the obsolescent French Renault FT tanks were shipped in 1941 to the island. machine gun posts, observation posts, battery locations, etc.) View the maps of Guernsey used by the Germans during World War II. Rodney fired seventy-two 16-inch shells. As a result of this, the island is flooded with German bunkers and fortifications which can now be explored by members of the public. On 2 June 1941 Adolf Hitler asked for maps of the Channel Islands; these were provided the next day. Wire on low wooden poles; 8). These bunkers were used in addition to the use of hotels and large houses that made more amenable surroundings for the officers. The Channel Islands were seen as a perfect stepping-stone to the invasion of the Great Britain. Each observation slit of a tower observed for one particular battery and was fitted with range finding equipment. Russian State Military Archives, Inventory 500, Documents of the OB West. A number of junctions on the route also had sentry and machine gun positions built into granite walls. Many of the German works are on private land and so inaccessible to the public. Defensive areas were built to protect facilities or an area. Others may be looked at, clambered over, and a few can be entered with care. They set these gun positions all over. OT gave Guernsey the code name Gustav.  There were over 200 standardised armour parts. OT – most tunnelling, quarrying, railways, roads, loading and unloading ships, supervising civilian construction firms, controlling civilian labour and “St” fortress type constructions. long hours without respite. 40 was equipped and used for a short while in 1944 as a hospital, as the planned hospital tunnel had not been built, however patients underground did not recuperate very well.:35. Shuttering for concrete walls and if the ceiling was to be done, overhead supports were installed and concrete poured. :210–5 :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. Clearance in the wood along t… Most beach defences were designed to fire across the beach, the embrasures being protected from enemy fire from the open sea. The island of Guernsey has been fortified for several thousand years, the number of defence locations and complexity of the defence increasing with time, manpower and the improvements in weapons and tactics.. Würzburg radar units, priority targets for the Allies, were disguised where possible. Local workers too were recruited. :21, Anti-airborne landing obstacles were installed, many with explosives attached.:179. :190–3, On 16 June 1941 Hitler's instructions to reinforce the islands were transmitted there from Oberbefehlshaber West; the rationale was that an Allied attack "must be reckoned with" in Summer 1941. The Island had sand pits, away from the coastline that had had the salt washed out. 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. The OT organisation designated the Channel Islands work area as Insel Einsatze.:29. :115 Detailed death certificates were filled out and the deaths were reported to OT in St Malo. Skilled labourers brought over from Germany and Europe were provided with a suitable wage. Reinforced wire obstacle; 11). Find out more about the history that inspired The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society. Liberation. :37 They took 2 years to construct. First line of defense. Holes through walls for ventilation pipes and cables, doorways and escape routes being put in before the concrete was poured. The Germans repaired the battery within a few weeks.:123. Seventeen additional 4.7 cm Pak 36(t) were emplaced in field positions. The Regelbau (standard build) system used books of plans for each of over 600 approved types of bunker and casemate, each having a specific purpose. From April to September 1943 shipments by sea to the Channel Islands averaged 20,000 tons per month. Mines, controled from the machine-gun nest; 9). They were badly fed and clothed and were beaten and punished for minor offences;:33 the Germans considered them expendable and worked some to death. It features accommodation bunkers and two fortress quality ammunition bunkers, all linked by deep, concrete-lined trenches. When it became clear that conquering Britain would be impossible, Hitler issued orders to convert the Channel Islands
Many Russians were liberated by the British in Guernsey and Alderney. 10.5cm Gun Casement.JPG 2,560 × 1,920; 1.21 MB 244,000 m³ of rock were excavated out of the Channel Islands, only a little less than the 255,000m³ in the whole of the rest of the. :197 The outcome was a decision to provide for the “permanent fortification” of the Islands to make an impregnable fortress to be completed within 14 months. After the Wehrmacht occupied the Channel Islands on 30 June 1940, they assessed the existing defences to determine if they would be of use. :174 More exotic camouflage, including disguising positions as houses were used. :212–4, Forced workers from overseas only had the clothes they were wearing when taken, often summer clothes. 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.:13–14. A few plans were modified to suit the local terrain. Once the fumes and dust had dispersed, the loose rock could be cleared, loaded onto wagons run out on 60 cm tracks and removed. :196 Reinforced with additional Heer units including 16th Machine Gun Battalion and 213th Panzer Battalion, and Kriegsmarine and Luftwaffe units. Wire barrier around the dugout; 15). Wehrmacht defence works fell into three categories:, Festungspionierstab 19 (Fortress Engineer Staff 19) arrived in Guernsey in July 1941, to make plans for the construction works. Camouflage in the form of paint, sprayed concrete and straw on wire mesh, and timber constructions were common. Camouflaged barrier; 14). Panel, made from the wooden poles; 12). Radio communication bunkers were built. 1). Over 16,000 OT workers were brought to the Channel Islands, of whom 7,000 came to Guernsey. Lily James plays free-spirited journalist Juliet Ashton, who forms a life-changing bond with the delightful and
Some of the OT supervisors were sadistic. The crew room and ammunition store was below each open gun placement. They mined all the beaches. 319 ID provided the bulk of troops for the whole of the Channel Islands, it became the largest division in the German army. Tunnelling also generated stone. The route from St Peter Port to St Saviour was modified to accommodate the towing of the Batterie Mirus gun pieces by four heavy Sd.Kfz. The battery had its own Würzburg Dora radar position and command bunker. From April, Tours of Guernsey will be offering walking tours around the Scharnhorst Battery, the bunker network on the Fort Hommet headland, and the not-seen-before site at the Mirus Battery. Supervisors and OT labour was supplied to German construction companies, ten of which operated in the Channel Islands. These employees were paid and provided with accommodation, better food, time off, leave:42 and comforts. Fourteen were started, few were completely finished, some were half built, others abandoned early when poor rock quality was hit, or priorities changed. However, when it became clear this was not going to happen Hitler issued a directive in October 1941 that the Channel Islands should be converted into an indestructible fortress as part of the Atlantic Wall. Cranes and concrete mixers were sourced. Each of the Islands of Guernsey had a completely different occupation experience, from total evacuation to horrifying occupation. Under the direct orders from Hitler Guernsey was to become an Impregnable Fortress and work commenced on the building of fortifications. Ruins of German WW2 fortifications at the coastline of Guernsey, Channel Islands, UK Batterie Dollman gun pit, a WW2 German installation on Pleinmont headland, Guernsey. 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. :36 Two batteries were to Fortress-quality positions; the remaining four were in field emplacements. There were twelve Stützpunkt (Strongpoint) (SP) areas in Guernsey,:99 such as Stützpunkt Rotenstein at Fort Hommet which comprised: 4x10.5 cm casemates, 2x 60 cm searchlights, an MG bunker, a 4.7 cm anti tank casemate, a tobruk pit mounted with a French tank turret, a type R633 bunker containing a M19 automatic mortar, and two other bunkers for personnel and storage as well as barbed wire, minefields, flamethrowers and trenches. :188 A type R633 bunker took 845m³ of concrete and 40 tons of steel to build.  A power station was built in the Bouet by OT. It’s hard to estimate as I haven’t seen an exact total I think due in part as there really hasn’t been an assessment by any one group of people but estimates have been totaled to be about 12,000 bunkers in France alone. To eliminate traffic accidents, everyone had to drive and cycle on the right. Many Dutchmen and others who were brought to Guernsey by the Germans stay… Ninety-six known graves of these workers are in Guernsey and 397 in Alderney. They worked 12-hour shifts, seven days a week, and were allowed one half-day a month off.:168. Fortifications. Guernsey recorded 112 deaths of foreign workers: Channel Islands Occupation Society, (1994), This page was last edited on 13 December 2020, at 15:37. Anti tank walls built at the high water mark. visits the Guernsey. Several Strongpoint groups made a Verteidigungsbereich (Defence area), Hohlgangsanlagen (cave passage installations) (Ho) were built to store vehicles, ammunition, food, fuel and equipment, Ho. 60 cm searchlights for illuminating the sea, normally protected in small concrete shelters when not in use. The OT pay scale would provide them with 60% more than the normal local wages,:150 but a team of eight plasterers negotiated a pay rise so they were each paid £12 a week if they managed to plaster 35m² per 10-hour shift. :98–100, Battery Dollmann at Pleinmont is open to the public to visit; it has one of the four 22 cm gun pits and a number of trenches restored. into an impregnable fortress as part of his infamous âAtlantic Wallâ, heavily fortifying the only British territory he would ever conquer. Work would be split in accordance with Dr Todt's construction orders for the Channel Island works. Bruno spiral barbed wire; 5). 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. In cinemas April 20th. SUBSCRIBE: http://www.youtube.com/c/VicStefanu - A tour of the German fortifications of Guernsey. 7/40 comprised 7,000m², 29,823 cu m of rock were removed and 9,053 cu m of concrete was poured. Memoirs of Captain Henry Beckingham in command of clearing minefields after the War. Guernsey and its neighbouring islands have a unique distinction which sets them apart from the rest of the British Isles. At the end of the reign of Henry VIII, in 1546 work was begun on building a fortification on the site that would become known as Essex Castle, the only remains are the current North and West walls of the fortification. 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. 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