The Road to Liberation - 29th January 1941
Good morning everyone!
It has not stopped raining all night so this weekend will yet again be clearing water from our sites. Fingers crossed it has not caused to much damage. Very much looking forward to warmer months and no lockdown. Fingers crossed we can ask you for some volunteer help once the distancing rules are relaxed.
Have a fantastic day
80 years ago today in Jersey 29th January 1941
Today would be the 213th day of the Islands Occupation with 1,561 days remaining.
"Mother and I went shopping in town. Went to Summerland factory to try to get wool but could get nothing! Town full of Germans buying up. There is now almost nothing left in the shops. We saw carpets at Le Gallais ready packed for Germany and the money the Germans pay is of no value to us. We are being robbed of everything. Evidently, there is little clothing to be had in Germany."
Nan Le Ruez
29th January 1941
The commonwealth graves commission record 126 deaths this day 80 years ago, the average age was 28.
During the period the 22nd to 29th January 1941 5 ships, a total of 12,518 tons, were reported lost by enemy action, all of which were British. Two ships (6,286 tons) were sunk by aircraft in the North-Western Approaches, and 2 ships (1,252 tons) by mines. Twenty-seven ships, 19 of which are British, are reported damaged, 18 of them by enemy aircraft attack. A. homeward-bound convoy was attacked by a U-Boat early on the 29th of January in the North-Western Approaches, and it is known that 3 ships (14,407 tons) were torpedoed and sunk, but these are not included in the above figures. German Focke Wulfe Condor aircraft were operating on the 23rd, 28th and 29th January in the North-Western Approaches, and several attacks on shipping were made. On the 29th a Sunderland flying-boat, while escorting a convoy, engaged, damaged and drove off one of these aircraft.
During this past week that ended noon Wednesday, the 29th January 1941, 665 ships, including 111 Allied and 18 Neutral, were convoyed, of which two were lost by enemy action. Since the start of the war, 216 ships have been lost in convoy or 1 ship in every 240. 2 Battleships,7 Armed Merchant Cruisers, 39 Destroyers, 37 Sloops and corvettes and 1 Submarine were employed on escort duties
On the night of the 29th January, fifteen Wellingtons and five Hampden attacked the naval base, the dockyards and industrial targets at Wilhelmshaven, Germany. Many explosions and fires were observed to the south, east and south-west of the Bauhafen, and the Main Railway Station is believed to have been hit. Later aircraft reported that the fires appeared to be growing in intensity. Small fires only were reported from the industrial targets.
The Handley Page HP.52 Hampden was a British twin-engine medium bomber of the Royal Air Force. It was part of the trio of large twin-engine bombers procured for the RAF
During the day 80 years ago a single aircraft dropped bombs in the London area and at Stockton-on-Tees without doing serious damage. During the night activity was more widespread and bombs were dropped in Essex, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Surrey. One block of buildings at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, was badly damaged; four Cadets were killed and eleven injured. In London seventeen incidents were reported, twelve of which were in the Eastern part of the county. No serious damage was caused and, apart from one incident at West Ham, where 20 people were injured, casualties were few. Estimated casualties are 42 killed and 180 injured.
The cover of today's blog is the German Resistance Nest Steps Punk 43 which is found on the West coast in the middle of St Ouens Bay.
Forming part of "Unterabschnitt Ouens Bay Mitte" (Defensive Sub-Sector Middle of St. Ouen's Bay,) and manned by troops of the 1st Company of Machine Gun Battalion 16. As there were no pre-war landmarks on the 1933 Ordnance Survey maps, the Resistance nest takes its name from the only thing shown at this point which is "Steps" (onto the beach) and a nearby height point (43 feet)
Weapons and Equipment
1 x Heavy MG34 machine gun 1 x 5cm Le.Gr.W.36 light mortar 2 x Heavy MG34 machine guns mounted in a 6-Sch./WaKoFest Type Sechsschartentürm bunker (6-Loopholed heavy machine gun turret bunker); 1 x Heavy MG34 machine gun 1 x 10,5 cm K 331 (f) coastal defence gun mounted in a Jaegerstand Type casemate 1 x 60cm Searchlight housed in a Type 606 Searchlight shelter
As always, much more information on the blue link including exact location and map.
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
Cabinet Papers Second World War memoranda (cab 661- cab 665) After the Battle Multiple Magazines
CIOS Archive & Publications (become a member here)
If we have used any photos or information which you believe to posted without permission, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will resolve asap.
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