The Road to Liberation - 24th 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.
80 years ago today in Jersey 24th February 1941
Today would be the 239th day of the Islands Occupation with 1,535 days remaining.
Very few entries in local diaries today.
24th February 1941
The commonwealth graves commission record 411 deaths this day 80 years ago, the average age was 24.
Overnight, the German-held port of Brest, France, is bombed by 57 Avro Manchesters of RAF Bomber Command 207 Squadron from Waddington, Lincolnshire. This is the operational debut of the Manchester, the forerunner to the better-known Avro Lancaster.
300 miles south of Iceland, German submarine U-107 sank British ship HMS “Manistee”, killing the entire crew of 141, after a chase since the previous day. German submarines U-95 and U-96 and Italian submarine “Bianchi” attacked convoy OB-288 (now dispersed and unescorted), which HMS “Manistee” was a part of, sinking 7 merchant ships before dawn. Most crews drown, although all 41 men from SS “Waynegate” take to the lifeboats and are picked up by Free French destroyer “Léopard”. In the same area, U-97 sinks 3 British steamers in convoy OB-289 (most crews rescued by corvette HMS “Petunia”) and damages Norwegian tanker “G.C. Brøvig”, which loses its bow but is towed to Stornoway by HMS “Petunia”.
The cover of today's blog is of the German Resistance Nest Fort Henry which is found on the East coast of Jersey.
Weapons and Equipment
One light Machine Gun 34 Two light Machine Gun 34’s (also with heavy machine Gun mounts) Three heavy Machine Gun 34’s [six-loophole turret for heavy MG’s] Two 5cm French mortars Two 10.5cm French guns (casemated) Two medium flamethrowers Eight defence flamethrowers Two 30cm searchlights One 40cm searchlight One 60cm searchlight
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 be 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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Widerstandsnest (WN) = Resistance Nest (RN) A small pocket of resistance 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