The Road to Liberation - 10th February 1941
We aim to blog every day and share what happened in Jersey 80 years ago. We plan to include a brief further afield post on what was happening this day in the second world war, an update on what we are up to and highlight some of the Occupations sites here and in Normandy. We named this project "The Road to Liberation". This project will run-up to the 80th Liberation celebrations in 2025.
Have a fantastic day
80 years ago today in Jersey 10th February 1941
Today would be the 223rd day of the Islands Occupation with 1,549 days remaining.
Requests to limit electricity usage today mean the reduction in the Cinema opening times.
German's advise of shooting practice in St Ouen's Bay
10th February 1941
The commonwealth graves commission record 123 deaths this day 80 years ago, the average age was 27.
German submarine U-48 stopped 6,843-ton Dutch Nederlandsche-Amerika Line steamer Burgerdijk southwest of the Isles of Scilly. The ship was transporting maize and wheat from the United States to Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The German crew inspected the cargo, and the German commanding officer Schultze declared that the cargo was aimed for the United Kingdom and the ship would be sunk. The crew abandoned ship in lifeboats and were rescued by Dutch steamer Edam 12 hours later. Burgerdijk was sunk by a single torpedo at 1845 hours
Aerial Photographs taken by aircraft of Coastal Command during a daylight attack on the 10th February, show bursts on the Arsenal d'Artillerie, on barges, the quayside and property near the wet dock, near a telephone exchange and on property North-East of the inner harbour at Boulogne. Bursts are visible close to the railway sidings between the Bassin Carnot and the Scouring Basin at Calais.
The cover of today's blog is the German Observation Bunker the M3 Located at Plemont.
Army Coastal Artillery Range finding Positions were reinforced field-type, split-level constructions, although windmills and even Gorey castle was adapted for this role. The Fortress Engineers' construction map dated July 1943 shows these positions designated by the letter M for Mefistelle (Range-finding position).
Equipment of the Observation Posts
Sketch of the terrain in which special points are named, and circle and distance to these Points
A board at each observation set with the co-ordinates to the set, fixed numbers to a near and distance fixed point, and to the beacon lights
Direction indicator with notch and bead sights to aiming points at sea in the observation area, with hoards for horizontal angle and distance
Map of Jersey 1:25000 with grid, entered observation area with grid and aiming points (sea and land), as far as they are in the region of the observation post
Sketch showing-, the nearest units and infantry strongpoints, including searchlights with a radius of act
Log with reporting instructions
Ten rules for the operator
Identification charts showing types of ships
Boards for passwords, signs of recognition, call and reply letter, emergency signals
Interpretation board for the different beacon signals
Board for determining the distance, with the aid of a bubble (for high and low tides & changing tides)
Duty instructions for the observation post
Sketch showing the different telephone cables
Board warning against mines
Operating instructions for flamethrowers with circuit diagrams
1 stereo telescope (aiming circle) with circuit diagram
A clock for the observation post or a military watch
1 pair of binoculars for each observer
1 torch for each observer
1 emergency light for each observer
1 container with petrol and matches in order to destroy secret documents
Chest with foodstuffs with a list of contents, with differing allowances already divided, a list for the control
A chest containing ammunition for the observation position
1 Flare pistol with cartridges
1 set of ground panels
1 first aid kit
rifle rack and shelf for steel helmets and respirators
As always, much more information on the blue link including exact location and map.
The February book recommendation is "Six Days." The story centres around the paratroopers of the 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division and the brave citizens of the quiet French hamlet. The battle of Grainges maybe not as well known as some of the invasion stories but this beautifully illustrated novel captures the true story.
Exploring bunkers Always get permission from the owner Take a torch, a spare and one more for luck Don't go alone & tell someone where you will be and for how long You will get dirty as most are often full of rubbish and may have been used as a public toilet Anything you find still belongs to the person that owns the property Unexploded ordnance is still found in Jersey if you see or find anything that looks like ordnance please call the bomb disposal officer on 01534 612 61
Sources of Information German Documents are housed at The National Archived in Washington or Archive in Kew UK T-78 Roll 317: OKH Coastal and Channel Defenses Files 1940-44 -
T-78 Roll 318: OKH Coastal and Channel Defenses Files 1941-43
T-315 Roll 1639: 216th Security Division War Diary
(Kriegstagebuch), Belgium, France & Russia 1939-42
T-1022 Roll 2423: Various War Diaries (Kriegstagebucher), Channel Islands 1941-44
Atlantic Wall Coastal Battery Lists: Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, & France 1944-45
T-312 Roll 1559: 7th Army War Diary (Kriegstagebuch), France 1941-43 & T-312 Roll 1558
T-315 Roll 1643: 216th Security Division War Diary
(Kriegstagebuch), Belgium, France & Russia 1939-41
T-311 Roll 16: Army Group D War Diary (Kriegstagebuch), Western Front Aug-Nov 1944 Operation Green Arrow - Occupation of the Channel Islands MOD 584 Allied Technical Intelligence Reports 1942-45 German Preparations for Invasion of the United Kingdom 1941-42 B-833, 319th Infantry Division (1941-45) German Seacoast Defenses, European Theatre - prepared by the Artillery Evaluation Board
BBC News & Archives
The Britannica Jersey Occupied by Michael Ginns - ISBN 978-1-905095-29-2 Operation Nestegg Plans Operation Hardtack Plans Operation Basalt Plans RAF Photos care of The National Collection of Aerial Photography
The National Archive of Newspapers Bundesarchiv - Multiple Photos - and Files A Map of slave labour camps. Kindly Provided by Emilio Pérez Photo's and information provided by fans Onsite visits & internet research
Cabinet Papers Second World War memoranda (cab 661- cab 665) After the Battle Multiple Magazines
CIOS Archive & Publications (become a member here)
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Jersey War Tours is Registered with the Jersey Financial Services Commission as a Non-Profit Organisation - NPO1207
Widerstandsnest (WN) = Resistance Nest (RN) A small pocket of resistance, these would be made up of small groups of up to 10 men with light weapons. They would man Anti-tank weapons, an observation post or a field gun. Stützpunkt St.P = Strongpoint (STP) Next level up from an RN and consisted of several RN's. STP areas would have a combination of weapons and different branches of the military used. Examples of this can be found with Strongpoint Greve de Lecq and Strongpoint Corbiere Einsatzstellung = Operational Position or Action Post Smaller MG type position generally it was only maned during an alert Feldwache = Field Watch Early resistance nest