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Britain at war
The Channel Islands in World War II
The occupation
Life under German occupation
The Jewish population of the Channel Islands
Resistance in Jersey
Albert Bedane
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The Occupation of the Channel Islands

Operation Green Arrow, the German occupation of the Channel Islands

The Channel Islands (Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney and Sark) The Channel Islands were the only British territories to be occupied by the Germans during the war. The codename for this was Operation Green Arrow.

The islands which are just 20 miles off the French coast, were vulnerable to attack. However they had no strategic importance to Britain so it was decided that they should not be defended. The islands were demilitarised and the pre-war garrisons and militia assigned to new duties.

The German Army moves through France

As the German army moved through France, some 30,000 Channel Islanders (one third of the total population) were evacuated in June 1940. The initial panic over, however, the rest decided to stay, mainly on Jersey and Guernsey.

German invasion of Guernsey and Jersey surrenders

Unaware that the islands were undefended, on 28 June the Luftwaffe bombed Jersey and Guernsey, killing 44 people. Two days later, Luftwaffe personnel took control of Guernsey airfield. There they met the chief of police, who informed them that the islands were undefended.

The following day, German troops arrived on Guernsey and that afternoon the German flag was raised. More troops arrived later and their attention turned to the other islands. Jersey surrendered the same day.

Alderney and Sark

Alderney was almost completely unoccupied by civilians, but y a company of troops arrived to occupy it. When the Dame of Sark, Sybil Hathaway, received German officers on 2 July. They told her she had nothing to fear and the island was occupied by just ten soldiers who arrived on 4 July.

The Channel Islands were liberated in May 1945.

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Today: 18 March 2018
Then: 18 March 1944

British drop 3000 tons of bombs on Hamburg.

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