neighbouring 600 miles of Normandy coastline. The chapters from the original book have been reproduced in a set of ten paperbacks. 1). [12] Other sources of labor were Poland, French camps full of Spanish Republicans who had fled Spain after losing the civil war, and 1,018 out-of-work French North Africans from Algeria who were living in the south of France. This took the troops in Guernsey up to 12,000. There is now incontrovertible evidence that a top-secret launcher site for V1 missiles was being constructed on the island - but these ones are likely to have contained Sarin. Individual troops – field fortifications, slit trenches etc. 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. [4]:56–9, Land artillery was situated to fire on landing beaches and inland. [7]:115 Detailed death certificates were filled out and the deaths were reported to OT in St Malo. From October 1941 and especially throughout 1942, building works moved ahead rapidly in hundreds of sites. [1]:193 Anti glider poles were installed on potential landing sites. Mines; 4). Under the direct orders from Hitler Guernsey was to become an Impregnable Fortress and work commenced on the building of fortifications. eccentric Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, when she decides to write about the book club they formed [24]:2, Some positions were buried under soil and landscaped with plants and trees. [17]:30, A small number of the obsolescent French Renault FT tanks were shipped in 1941 to the island. 1. [6]:350 Each area in the Islands was examined and priorities for construction set. 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. Personnel shelters, such as a Type R621 shelter designed for a section of 10 men, had two concealed exits and a ringstellung or Tobruk pit were used in many locations, as were 5 cm and 8 cm mortars. Sourcing of materials and transport had to be organised. Other buildings used as headquarters included the Crown Hotel, which served as the Harbourmaster's office. [4]:30, Dummy positions were set up, including using logs to simulate guns and dummy minefields. Beach sand and pebbles would be used as a last resort.[7]:43. 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. 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. [17]:36 Two batteries were to Fortress-quality positions; the remaining four were in field emplacements. As a result of this, the island is flooded with German bunkers and fortifications which can now be explored by members of the public. The German garrison in the Channel Islands surrendered without a fight on 9 May 1945. The resulting construction work in the Channel Islands was extensive; it required thousands of workers and massive supplies of cement and steel. Lastly, the Germans produced a map, suitably marked, for their soldiers.[26]:19. [15], Ten other coastal artillery batteries, which included 1 x 15 cm SK C/28 and 1 x French 22 cm K532(f) at Jerbourg Point, run by Marine units, 3 x 21 cm Mörser 18 and 3 x French 22 cm K532(f) army units, all designed primarily to fire out to sea, were placed in open concrete pits so that they could turn 360 degrees. All of these were two stories, some were disguised as houses, with tiled roofs and painted windows. Fittings such as air purification systems, showers, gas proof doors, telephones, periscopes, and wiring were standardised. Five camps were built, however most OT workers went into requisitioned houses. [9]:448 Festungspionierkommandeur XIV was created to command the project of fortifying the Channel Islands. The designs had been updated as captured enemy fortifications were examined; some were even tested to destruction for effectiveness. In these clips you see some of its famous fortifications including those built by the German occupations forces … 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. Guernsey received two command tanks, 12 normal tanks, and five flame-throwing tanks.[16]:83. Furthermore, to avoid confusion over road names, the Germans introduced a colour and number code. [7]:59–60, It was not just men that became OT workers; a number of women also found themselves in work camps. 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. 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. Tunnels are sealed or locked as they are especially dangerous. This allowed interlocking and self-supporting fire. They therefore had a high level of skills and quickly worked out the details of what was needed.[3]:8. [18]:298 Areas overlooked by cliffs had 1,000 roll bombs, 300 lb French shells, suspended on wires that could by cut, resulting in the bomb falling and when a second wire was pulled, detonating, normally at the base of the cliff. If necessary, timber supports were installed, then the process started again. Albert Speer replaced Todt. In this section you will find: Guernsey Occupied - this is a past exhibition about the occupation in general. 25 February 2014. image caption The bunker will open as part of a special military themed week in May. Apr 8, 2016 - Explore Digital History Archive's board "WWII Fortifications" on Pinterest. The forced labour came from the millions of prisoners taken during Operation Barbarossa, and arrived in the Islands in late 1942. View the maps of Guernsey used by the Germans during World War II. The battery had its own Würzburg Dora radar position and command bunker. [1]:196 Reinforced with additional Heer units including 16th Machine Gun Battalion and 213th Panzer Battalion, and Kriegsmarine and Luftwaffe units. Fortification in Guernsey was colossal during WWII including bunkers, forts, gun emplacements and tunnels to help create Hitler's Atlantic Wall. This example shows a bunker disguised as a house. Bruno spiral barbed wire; 5). 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. From April to September 1943 shipments by sea to the Channel Islands averaged 20,000 tons per month. 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. A colossal 8% of the entire Atlantic Wall’s concrete was poured into the Islands and they held more guns than the See more ideas about fortification, wwii, siegfried line. Reinforced wire obstacle; 6). This resulted in damage to three guns in open pits and the deaths of two men from their crews. Mines, controled from the machine-gun nest; 9). Roads going northwest to southeast were yellow; those going northeast to southwest were red. Rodney fired seventy-two 16-inch shells. [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. Bunker Archaeology: The German WW2 fortifications of Agii Apostoli in Crete Interviews, Then and Now, WW2 in Greece, WW2 Wrecks. Whether the Islands were impregnable was never tested, except for Battery Blücher in Alderney. Service was compulsory in the militia for every man in the Island. 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. It comprised three bunkers: types V142, M172 and V192. [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. It was necessary to pour the concrete in as continuous operation as possible to avoid joints that would weaken the structure. [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. Film Synopsis: [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. Camouflaged barrier and machine-gun nest; 10). The system was dropped before all the planned towers were built in favour of stereoscopic rangefinders, making several of the already constructed towers redundant. The two Würzburg and two Freya radar units at Fort George, Guernsey,[4]:63 were repeatedly attacked from the end of May 1944 on. [17]:21, Anti-airborne landing obstacles were installed, many with explosives attached.[14]:179. Würzburg radar units, priority targets for the Allies, were disguised where possible. Six Marinepeilstände (MP) observation towers were built on high points. Guernsey had to pay for the German troops, providing them with and paying for their food, accommodation and transport.[9]:89. Guernsey and the other Channel Islands were occupied by German Forces during the Second World War. The initial plan was for two towers to observe a target and through measuring angles determine its distance and therefore grid reference. These employees were paid and provided with accommodation, better food, time off, leave[11]:42 and comforts. Put up the lookout towers. They were supposed to be paid 55 Reichspfennig an hour. [4]:67–8 Artillerie Abteilung 1265 HQ was at Quatre Vents Estate, St Martin. [1]: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. 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. Camouflage in the form of paint, sprayed concrete and straw on wire mesh, and timber constructions were common. To eliminate traffic accidents, everyone had to drive and cycle on the right. Many Russians were liberated by the British in Guernsey and Alderney. This weekend marks 75 years since the beginning of the liberation of the Islands of Guernsey after the Second World War. The OT organisation designated the Channel Islands work area as Insel Einsatze.[10]:29. 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. Renovated positions are open to the public and some have been refitted and opened as museums. A 90 cm gauge railway was constructed, running from the harbour in St Peter Port north to St Sampson and on to L'Ancresse, before running down the whole of the west coast to L’Eree. The Island had sand pits, away from the coastline that had had the salt washed out. From the beginning of 1943 further construction work became a lower priority as the by then existing defences were sufficiently strong. Fortifications of Guernsey. Work would be split in accordance with Dr Todt's construction orders for the Channel Island works. Up to 7,000 Organisation Todt workers in Guernsey built mainly in two years, between 1941 and 1943, the bulk of the fortifications. 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. One cubic metre of concrete contained 400 kg cement, 1,800 kg aggregate and sand, 170-200 litres water. We have seen some come back for holiday/memorial days. An additional 13 being mounted in open field positions. The "Westbefestigungen" (Inspector of Western Fortresses) was given responsibility for oversight and was required to generate bi-weekly progress reports. Anti landing craft objects of steel and wood, thousands of tetrahedra and Czech hedgehog, often with teller mines attached on the beaches.[19]. 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