The Road to Liberation - 9th February 1941
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
80 years ago today in Jersey 9th February 1941
Today would be the 222nd day of the Islands Occupation with 1,550 days remaining.
A very quiet Sunday 80 years ago no diary entries.
9th February 1941
The commonwealth graves commission record 138 deaths this day 80 years ago, the average age was 27.
German submarine U-37 attacked Allied convoy HG-53 435 miles west of Gibraltar at 0430 hours, sinking British ships “Estrellano” (5 killed, 21 survived) and “Courland” (3 killed, 27 survived). U-37 had also reported the sighting to aircraft based in Bordeaux, France. Five Fw 200 ‘Condors’ from the newly formed 2./KG 40 take off from the airfield at Bordeaux, led by Obst. Fritz Fliegel. Contacting the convoy, HG 53, off Lisbon the bombers sink five freighters – the HMS “Jura”, “HMS Dagmar I”, HMS “Varna”, HMS “Britannic” and HMS “Tejo”.
German battlecruisers “Scharnhorst” and “Gneisenau” detected Allied convoy HX-106 off Newfoundland at 0830 hours. Because it was escorted by British battleship “Ramilies”, the German fleet withdrew at 1000 hours per orders not to engage British capital ships.
13 British aircraft from Scampton, Lincolnshire attacked battleship “Tirpitz” (below) at Wilhelmshaven, Germany. The air crews reported having caused damage.
The cover of today's blog is the German Tunnel Ho2 Located in St Peter on the German Road.
"Hohlgangsanlage" are a number of tunnel complexes constructed by the German forces using slave and forced labour during the Occupation. The tunnels would have had multiple roles from munitions storage, troop & equipment shelter, hospitals and many other functions.
Hohlgangsanlage 2 or Ho2 was a built for a ration store but was incomplete. Ho2 is not accessible anymore as it is very dangerous. I share these photos so you don't put your self at risk and can view from the safety of your own home. Apart from the risk of constant rockfall, lack of air and death it is a privately-owned site. It is also now completely closed up with regular security checks as well as police patrols. On top of all of the above never forget two young islanders lost their lives exploring this tunnel.
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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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