Guernsey had a major quarrying industry so had stone and crushing facilities available. The designs had been updated as captured enemy fortifications were examined; some were even tested to destruction for effectiveness. Guernsey and its neighbouring islands have a unique distinction which sets them apart from the rest of the British Isles. 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. They were supposed to be paid 55 Reichspfennig an hour. Turned Guernsey into a fortress.”. When it became clear that conquering Britain would be impossible, Hitler issued orders to convert the Channel Islands Up to 7,000 Organisation Todt workers in Guernsey built mainly in two years, between 1941 and 1943, the bulk of the fortifications. Guernsey received two command tanks, 12 normal tanks, and five flame-throwing tanks.[16]:83. On 2 June 1941 Adolf Hitler asked for maps of the Channel Islands; these were provided the next day. This weekend marks 75 years since the beginning of the liberation of the Islands of Guernsey after the Second World War. Liberation. [7]:19, Headquarters of the 7,000 strong OT in Guernsey was established at Sausmarez park in December 1941. The work would continue as planned, despite the death of Dr Todt in a plane crash in February 1942. 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. [7]:66 This compares to the £2-10-0 a week offered by the States of Guernsey. SUBSCRIBE: http://www.youtube.com/c/VicStefanu - A tour of the German fortifications of Guernsey. Mines; 4). Local workers too were recruited. Once the fumes and dust had dispersed, the loose rock could be cleared, loaded onto wagons run out on 60 cm tracks and removed. A command and an observation bunker completes the major fortifications. [16]: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. By 13 June Hitler had made a decision. The lowest levels of manual labourers were treated like slaves. One cubic metre of concrete contained 400 kg cement, 1,800 kg aggregate and sand, 170-200 litres water. How many fortifications were built, how long it took to build them and what were the standard plans (e.g. Whether the Islands were impregnable was never tested, except for Battery Blücher in Alderney. By 13 June Hitler had made a decision. The smaller Freya radar was less visible. [2], German engineers had in 1938 and 1939 improved the Westwall or Siegfried Line (the defensive line facing the French Maginot Line), using 500,000 OT workers. 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. [9]:179–180 The OT hospital was at Ruette Braye, its fuel depot at Grandes Rocques, and timber and cement stores at St Sampson.[7]:26. Guernsey and the other Channel Islands were occupied by German Forces during the Second World War. The Islands of Guernsey are what’s known as an ‘archipelago’ – a collection of islands located on the English Channel between England and France. After the Wehrmacht occupied the Channel Islands on 30 June 1940, they assessed the existing defences to determine if they would be of use. [4]:9 [18]:294, Machine guns protected within casemates, on top in Tobruk pits, or in trench systems, some with thin overhead protection. Fortifications were improved in the Channel Islands, manned by professional soldiers and the Guernsey militia who would help to defend the Island for the next 600 years. The Germans found the Islands' fortifications antiquated and woefully inadequate for modern warfare. It comprised three bunkers: types V142, M172 and V192. Over 16,000 OT workers were brought to the Channel Islands, of whom 7,000 came to Guernsey. Apr 8, 2016 - Explore Digital History Archive's board "WWII Fortifications" on Pinterest. Massive prop supports were needed for the 2–3.5 metre thick ceilings. [8] The original defence order was reinforced with a second order, dated 20 October 1941, following a Fuhrer conference on 18 October to discuss the engineers' assessment of requirements. OT gave Guernsey the code name Gustav. The first mine was laid in November 1940; altogether there were 118 minefields in Guernsey. Here is a quick overview of what happened on each Island. [8] A power station was built in the Bouet by OT. Its guns had a range of 23 kilometres (14 mi). The OT organisation designated the Channel Islands work area as Insel Einsatze.[10]:29. Individual troops – field fortifications, slit trenches etc. Shops for joiners and lock smiths were set up. 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. In September 1944 there were 10,980 troops in Guernsey comprising:[14]:52. The OT pay scale would provide them with 60% more than the normal local wages,[10]: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. 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. [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. Wire barrier around the dugout; 15). Cavities filled with rubble. [24]:2, Some positions were buried under soil and landscaped with plants and trees. In total there were around 175 dedicated anti-aircraft guns in the island, plus machine guns on anti-aircraft mountings. [4]:63–4 [16]:178, 3.7 cm Flak and 5 cm Flak provided medium support (3,000-5,000m effective range) and 2 cm Flak were located for close protection of facilities, some in concrete emplacements (2,000m effective range). 60 cm searchlights for illuminating the sea, normally protected in small concrete shelters when not in use. Tunnelling also generated stone. Artillery Regiment 319 was strengthened. machine gun posts, observation posts, battery locations, etc.) The plan was finalised and submitted to Hitler. At Fort Saumarez L’Eree headland, a trench system with machine gun and a Tobruk pit has been opened up and is accessible to the public.[16]:179. [9]:448 Festungspionierkommandeur XIV was created to command the project of fortifying the Channel Islands. U-boat and S-Boat facilities amounted to fuel tanks installed in Ho. [3]:14–26 Tunnelling could be continued 24 hours a day with two 12 hours shifts as lighting in the tunnel could not be seen outside at night. Seventeen additional 4.7 cm Pak 36(t) were emplaced in field positions. visits the Guernsey. However both would suffer damage from bombing and bombardment so the crews worked from inside bunkers. Granite stones were built into some concrete walls to give a natural stone finish. Netzknotenpunkt (Telephone network bunkers) were built to protect vulnerable exchanges. 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. WWII Occupation & Fortification. To eliminate traffic accidents, everyone had to drive and cycle on the right. Ho. and tunnels were constructed, transforming the tiny archipelago into the most fortified place on earth. long hours without respite. The defence shelter with … Using the Regelbau standardized plans, each site was excavated normally using manual labour, sometimes needing explosives, the materials excavated generally being kept close by. 1. The initial plan was for two towers to observe a target and through measuring angles determine its distance and therefore grid reference. [16]:63 Army troops were rotated to Alderney for three month tours of duty. They worked 12-hour shifts, seven days a week, and were allowed one half-day a month off.[14]:168. Some elements were stripped from the Westwall and Maginot Line,[1]:192 others manufactured specifically. 4 tunnels at La Valette in St Peter Port, to hold 480 tons of fuel. Two of the batteries were in casemates; three were in reinforced in field positions of earth and timber construction.[4]:59–60. All of these were two stories, some were disguised as houses, with tiled roofs and painted windows. Work would be split in accordance with Dr Todt's construction orders for the Channel Island works. . 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. 4 is now an occupation museum. [1]: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. 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 Pierre Kosmidis Info and photos submitted by Emmanouil Tzilivakis, used by permission. Many Russians were liberated by the British in Guernsey and Alderney. 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. [1]:200, Consumable materials were sourced: cement, steel, timber for shuttering, sand and aggregate. OT, formed in 1933, was a construction organization that organised and supervised the work of a number of engineering and construction companies, as well as supplying a large labour force. Fortress Engineers, Festung Pionier Stab XIX, established their HQ at Elizabeth College and stores were set up next to Vale Castle and Bulwer Avenue for timber, stanchions, camouflage paint, anti tank obstacles, steel doors, tank turrets, etc. 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. [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. An area ]:8 over 200 standardised armour parts majority of the OB West paint, sprayed and... Was increased to twenty nine in 1943 you will find: Guernsey occupied this. 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