How many fortifications were built, how long it took to build them and what were the standard plans (e.g. The manual labourers - mainly prisoners of war - were treated like slaves, housed in camps, poorly fed and forced to work 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. Fortification in Guernsey was colossal during WWII including bunkers, forts, gun emplacements and tunnels to help create Hitler's Atlantic Wall. Tunnels are sealed or locked as they are especially dangerous. A copy was destined for Hitler. Some elements were stripped from the Westwall and Maginot Line,[1]:192 others manufactured specifically. In September 1944 there were 10,980 troops in Guernsey comprising:[14]:52. Work would be split in accordance with Dr Todt's construction orders for the Channel Island works. Anti tank walls built at the high water mark. 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. Two of the batteries were in casemates; three were in reinforced in field positions of earth and timber construction.[4]:59–60. The island of Guernsey has … Shuttering for concrete walls and if the ceiling was to be done, overhead supports were installed and concrete poured. [17]:30, A small number of the obsolescent French Renault FT tanks were shipped in 1941 to the island. [7]:115 Detailed death certificates were filled out and the deaths were reported to OT in St Malo. 25 February 2014. image caption The bunker will open as part of a special military themed week in May. The Germans found the Islands' fortifications antiquated and woefully inadequate for modern warfare. Published. 10.5cm Gun Casement.JPG 2,560 × 1,920; 1.21 MB These employees were paid and provided with accommodation, better food, time off, leave[11]:42 and comforts. This resulted in damage to three guns in open pits and the deaths of two men from their crews. Rodney fired seventy-two 16-inch shells. Alderney was considered too well-protected against aircraft attack so HMS Rodney had the mission of shelling it. 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. Sixteen anti tank gun casemates holding the Czech 4.7cm Pak with co-axial machine gun in a casemate, such as a Type R631. They were badly fed and clothed and were beaten and punished for minor offences;[11]:33 the Germans considered them expendable and worked some to death. In these clips you see some of its famous fortifications including those built by the German occupations forces … On 2 June 1941 Adolf Hitler asked for maps of the Channel Islands; these were provided the next day. 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. They are the most obvious symbol of German construction. Six Marinepeilstände (MP) observation towers were built on high points. Guernsey had a major quarrying industry so had stone and crushing facilities available. [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. [1]:196 Reinforced with additional Heer units including 16th Machine Gun Battalion and 213th Panzer Battalion, and Kriegsmarine and Luftwaffe units. However, when multiple targets were visible, it was almost impossible to know which ship each tower was observing. Sixteen tunnels were planned in 1942, this was increased to twenty nine in 1943. Clearance in the wood along t… Barbed wire, 2 cm Flak positions, a Tobruk pit, 150 cm searchlight, minefields, Pak40 anti tank gun, and a Freya radar supported the battery. If necessary, timber supports were installed, then the process started again. long hours without respite. Beach sand and pebbles would be used as a last resort.[7]:43. Bunkers for ammunition stores were constructed as were accommodation bunkers. The OT organisation designated the Channel Islands work area as Insel Einsatze.[10]:29. One cubic metre of concrete contained 400 kg cement, 1,800 kg aggregate and sand, 170-200 litres water. Anti landing craft objects of steel and wood, thousands of tetrahedra and Czech hedgehog, often with teller mines attached on the beaches.[19]. [1]:193 Anti glider poles were installed on potential landing sites. Batterie Mirus was the largest artillery battery in the Channel Islands. The first mine was laid in November 1940; altogether there were 118 minefields in Guernsey. After the Wehrmacht occupied the Channel Islands on 30 June 1940, they assessed the existing defences to determine if they would be of use. U-boat and S-Boat facilities amounted to fuel tanks installed in Ho. See more ideas about fortification, wwii, siegfried line. Individual troops – field fortifications, slit trenches etc. The two Würzburg and two Freya radar units at Fort George, Guernsey,[4]:63 were repeatedly attacked from the end of May 1944 on. View the maps of Guernsey used by the Germans during World War II. The Naval Signals HQ at St Jacques in St Peter Port was the main communications centre. 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. WW2 People's War Homepage Archive List Timeline About This Site: ... Heritage Services holds an archive of material relating to the German Occupation of the Island of Guernsey … Thereafter they dropped to just 3,700 tons as priority shifted to the Atlantic Wall. 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. Oct 28, 2020 - Explore Marcel Edwards's board "world war 2 Guernsey German soldiers 1940-1945" on Pinterest. Metal strengthening bars were wired together and the wooden shuttering was installed. [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. [17]:36 Two batteries were to Fortress-quality positions; the remaining four were in field emplacements. [17]:21, Mainly manned by Luftwaffe men of Flak Regiment 292, the multi purpose 8.8 cm Flak 36 were the main defence with a 7,500m effective range, located in six Island batteries and controlled by radar direction finding equipment, backed up by 150 cm searchlights. Bruno spiral barbed wire; 7). Renovated positions are open to the public and some have been refitted and opened as museums. Download this stock image: German WW2 fortifications on Guernsey coastal defences - MPA878 from Alamy's library of millions of high resolution stock photos, illustrations and vectors. Bruno spiral barbed wire; 3). 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. There were twelve Stützpunkt (Strongpoint) (SP) areas in Guernsey,[20]: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. 4 tunnels at La Valette in St Peter Port, to hold 480 tons of fuel. 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 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.. [7]:31 The supply vessels needed escort and flak ships for protection. We have seen some come back for holiday/memorial days. 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. An additional 13 being mounted in open field positions. 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. [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. During the Occupation, German troops went about fortifying Guernsey, building reinforced bunkers as well as adapting existing fortifications … Many of the German works are on private land and so inaccessible to the public. 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 set these gun positions all over. Camouflaged barrier; 14). Dugout with camouflage wire net; 13). [16]:104 However, U-Boats in Guernsey were too vulnerable to air attack. Most beach defences were designed to fire across the beach, the embrasures being protected from enemy fire from the open sea. Find out more about the history that inspired The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society. Bruno spiral barbed wire; 5). Wire barrier around the dugout; 15). 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. 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. eccentric Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, when she decides to write about the book club they formed Initially the Germans built only feldmässige Anlage (field-type construction) positions. One example was a Mirus gun position; another was a 10.5 cm casemate at Houmet.[4]:25. [6]:350 Each area in the Islands was examined and priorities for construction set. 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. [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. Camouflage in the form of paint, sprayed concrete and straw on wire mesh, and timber constructions were common. Luftwaffe fighter groups JG27 and JG53, equipped with Me Bf 109s, had been based during Kanalkampf in Guernsey in 1940. All of these were two stories, some were disguised as houses, with tiled roofs and painted windows. [9]:448 Festungspionierkommandeur XIV was created to command the project of fortifying the Channel Islands. SUBSCRIBE: http://www.youtube.com/c/VicStefanu - Let's visit the WW2 German fortifications of Guernsey. Here is a quick overview of what happened on each Island. Minefeilds; 2). [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. 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. German OT wore OT uniforms; civilians from other nations wore civilian clothes. Würzburg radar units, priority targets for the Allies, were disguised where possible. Guernsey WW2 bunker to open to public. Water had to be drained and the new floor levelled and the track extended a number of on. Would be used as a last resort. 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