The Road to Liberation - 12th 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 12th February 1941
Today would be the 227th day of the Islands Occupation with 1,547 days remaining.
Changes to rationing issued to today 80 years ago.
12th February 1941
The commonwealth graves commission record 310 deaths this day 80 years ago, the average age was 25.
H.M. Drifter Eager destroyed a German Ju. 88 which attacked her in the Thames'Estuary
A homeward-bound convoy from Sierra Leone was shelled by a surface raider, probably a Hipper Class cruiser, 640 miles West of Cape St. Vincent at 1135 on the 12th February.
During the period the 6th to 12th February, 17 ships, a total of 50,944 tons, have been reported sunk and of these 12 ships (37,540 tons) were British. - Seven ships (26,530 tons) were sunk by U-Boat and nine (23,913 tons) by aircraft. One small vessel was sunk off the East Coast by enemy E-Boat. There were no losses from mines, Thirteen ships are reported damaged, including nine British; of the total, eight were damaged by air attack and five by mine.
During the week ending Wednesday, 12th February, 853 ships, including 140 Allied and 22 Neutral, were convoyed of which six were lost. Since the commencement of hostilities, the number of vessels convoyed has been 52,940, including 6,136 Allied and 4,371 Neutral of which 230, including 30 Allied and 19Neutral, have been lost. This gives ratios of losses to numbers convoyed of British 1 in 234, Allied 1 in 207, Neutral 1 in 230, total 1 in 230. One battleship, two cruisers, six-armed merchant cruisers, forty-six destroyers, forty-two
H.M. Submarine Utmost (below) attacked an escorted convoy of three ships in the vicinity of Tripoli and obtained a hit on a ship of 8,000 tons, which was last seen with her stern awash. H.M. Submarine Rover, off the south coast of Italy, successfully attacked an enemy tanker.
Casualties for the week ending 0600 on the 12th February (including 6 killed and 44 seriously injured in London) were 36 killed and 89 seriously injured. About half of these were caused on the night of the 5th/6th February
The cover of today's blog is the German Resistance Nest Kempt Tower. This German resistance nest was built around the 1834 Martello Tower in Jersey's St.Ouen's Bay which (the tower) was named after Sir James Kempt, the Master-General of the Ordnance from 1830-34. The tower was also modified to make a command centre.
Weapons and Equipment
One 10.5cm French gun (331 (f)) Two Heavy Machine Gun 34s Two Heavy Machine Gun 34s & Twin mount One 60cm searchlight
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
Jäger Casemate was a special design and name for bunkers designed to hold a 10.5cm field gun