Thursday, November 7, 2013
Britain's Guernsey Island in World War II
This past week I posted two articles about German defense mines being found back in 2012 on the island of Guernsey and the opening of a German bunker. I have several other 2012 items to write about as well as I play catch up on my World War II articles.
I was completely unfamiliar with the existence of this island or its occupation by the Germans during the war before the blog, so here is a little background information.
In my War of 1812 blog, I found out that British war hero Isaac Brock, commander of British forces in Canada in the first year of the war, was also born there in 1769.
Guernsey is a British Crown Dependency, one of what is called the Channel Islands, in the English Channel off the coast of Normandy. It includes the main island of Guernsey and several smaller nearby ones.
The Bailiwick of Guernsey was occupied by German forces during World War II. Before its occupation, most of the island's children were evacuated to Britain where they lived for the duration of German occupation. Some never returned. In addition, some Guernsey residents were sent to camps in southwest Germany.
The island was heavily fortified by the Germans "out of proportion to the island's strategic value."
With the war's 70th anniversary upon us, Guernsey has taken steps with its heritage.