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The Road to Liberation - 31st January 1941

Updated: Feb 1


Good morning everyone!


Thank you to all the new members and followers of the blog. 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.


Here is a page we made covering the invasion of the Channel Islands for those interesting in how the Occupation Started, just click the photo below.


Have a fantastic day

thanks

Phil


80 years ago today in Jersey 31st January 1941


Today would be the 215th day of the Islands Occupation with 1,559 days remaining.


"January 31. We feel relief that January has passed and the days are pulling out, for with the extra hour of Central European Summer Time the mornings are dark until quite late. During the month many people have been put in jail by the Germans for minor offences. Roasted barley and parsnips are being used as a coffee substitute, and the stocks of foodstuffs are getting very low; sugar is the most sought-after commodity, although some is still being allowed for the Germans to have ice-creams in the cafés they frequent. There is a lot of profiteering going on. There have been several plane accidents, but details are lacking, and the Germans are nosing around for iron, tyres, etc. A boy at St. Ouen's found a "canister ", took it home and polished it—eventually, it was found to be an unexploded bomb! Very small supplies of goods have arrived from France during the month."


Leslie Sinel

Civilian Working at the Evening Post


Further afield

31st January 1941


The commonwealth graves commission record 239 deaths this day 80 years ago, the average age was 29.


RAF Action

7 Blenheims Bomber sent to Holland but turned back due to poor weather


Luftwaffe Action

On the 31st January, daylight minelaying raids were carried out by enemy aircraft over the Thames Estuary, particularly in the Barrow Deep. Twenty-four mines were seen to drop, but as visibility was bad there may have been more.


Bombing occurred and London again being the chief objective. More casualties (28 killed) were caused than on any day since the 25th October. There was a 20-pump fire at Taylor's Furniture Depository in Southwark and three Hospitals and the Albany Street Barracks were hit. Damage was caused at Mullards Radio Transmission Equipment, Co., Wandsworth, but production was little affected.


Mediterranean Naval Reports

Two German aircraft bombed *and damaged the s.s. Solium in the neighbourhood of Sidi Barrani. The ship, which was carrying Italian prisoners, drifted ashore and casualties among the prisoners were heavy. H.M. Minesweeper Huntley was bombed and sunk near Marsa Matruh on the same day by two Heinkel 111; one officer and 12 men were killed.


Occupation Focus


The cover of today's blog is the German Resistance Nest Nicolle Tower which is found on the South East coast of Jersey.


Nicolle Tower was built in 1821 for Philippe Nicolle as a folly house on the site of an earlier navigation tower on Mont Ubé. It is adjacent to the Mont Ubé dolmen. During the occupation of the Channel Islands, the German forces made some modifications to this tower, extending its height with a new top floor, including narrow windows, so that they could use the tower as an observation post. There are other structures near-by, including gun emplacements, and bunkers which were constructed during the occupation.


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

The Bomber Command War Diaries: An Operational Reference Book, 1939-1945 Jersey Heritage Archive

CIOS Archive & Publications (become a member here)

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission

American Battle Monuments Commission

If we have used any photos or information which you believe to posted without permission, please contact us at info@jerseywartours.com and we will resolve asap.


Jersey War Tours is Registered with the Jersey Financial Services Commission as a Non-Profit Organisation - NPO1207

Jargon Help

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

Jägerstand

Jäger Casemate was a special design and name for bunkers designed to hold a 10.5cm field gun

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