The Road to Liberation - 14th January 1941
Updated: Jan 16, 2021
Good morning everyone
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!
Above (top) is the German Resistance Nest Sorel B it forms together with the Resistance Nest Sorel A the Strongpoint Sorel. It lies on the north coast between St John’s Bay and the Bay of Grève de Lecq. More photos, maps and info on the blue link.
Weapons and Equipment
Two light Machine Gun 34’s One heavy Machine Gun 34 Two 5cm French mortars One 20cm spigot mortar One 3.7cm French Puteaux gun mounted in a Renault FT 17 tank turret One 10.5cm French gun Two defence flamethrowers Six alarm flare apparatus One 40cm hand searchlight
80 years ago today in Jersey 14th January 1941
Today would be the 198th day of the Islands Occupation with 1,576 days remaining.
" No rationed goods are allowed to be offered in the " E.P." Exchange and Mart " column, Which has become a most popular feature. an order issued cutting to a minimum light on motors and cycles. St. Helier's parish Assembly held at the Police Court, the upper room being, of course, occupied by the Germans; among other items, a pension of £300 a year was granted to Mr G. J. Le Masurier, the Constable's Secretary. January "
Civilian at the Evening Post
14th January 1941
On the evening of 13 January, 1941 around 25 German bombers launched an attack on Plymouth. During the raid, some 56 high explosive bombs and, according to some reports, up to 10,000 incendiaries caused the heaviest casualties seen in a single attack on the city so far, with an eventual death toll of 29 killed as a result.
24 Wellingtons and Whitley Bombers sent to Wilhelmshaven, Dunkirk and Boulogne. Good bombing claimed at Wilhelmshaven but the town diary has no entry; cloud over the French ports. 12 Hampclens minelaying off Brittany ports. No losses from any operation.
"Polish pilots serving with No. 607 Squadron RAF studying maps on the back wing of a Hurricane as part of their training at RAF Usworth, 14 January 1941. One of the identified airmen is Pilot Officer Mirosław Orzechowski (fourth from the left)." © IWM (HU 92830).
Free French sailors help salvage belongings and clear up amid the wreckage of a blitzed building in Portsmouth on 14 January 1941." © IWM (HU 55590).
80 years ago today, Victor de Laveleye, former Belgian Minister of Justice and director of the BBC’s Belgian French-language broadcasts, suggested during a broadcast that Belgians use a V for victory as a rallying emblem. In this broadcast, de Laveleye commented
“I am proposing to you as a rallying emblem the letter V because V is the first letter of the words 'Victoire' in French and 'Vrijheid' in Flemish. The Victory which will give us back our freedom, the Victory of our good friends the English. Their word for Victory also begins with V. As the occupier, by seeing this sign, always the same, infinitely repeated, would understand that he is surrounded, encircled by an immense crowd of citizens eagerly awaiting his first moment of weakness, watching for his first failure.”
Shortly thereafter, V’s began appearing on walls throughout Belgium, the Netherlands, and Northern France. This is the origin of the V for victory campaign
The January book recommendation is "A Hero Among Millions."
A touching story by a son of a quiet hero/ survivor of World War II who happened to be the commander of Squadron 34 who operated in the Channel Island waters.
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 After the Battle Multiple Magazines
CIOS Archive & Publications (become a member here)
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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