Channel Islands (ePub)
Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, Sark
The only part of the British Isles that can answer the question 'What was it like to be invaded and occupied in World War 2?' are the holiday islands of Jersey, Alderney, Guernsey and Sark. Left undefended in 1940, they fell like ripe plums into German hands.
Thereafter they were turned into the most heavily defended parts of the Nazi Atlantic Wall, with massive fortifications, gun emplacements and underground storage tunnels. An army of foreign 'slave workers' was brought in as well as the 27,000 German troops (known as the 'Canada Division' as it was widely assumed that they would eventually become POWs!)
Amid the routine of occupation came periods of danger and action from raiding parties. After D-Day the German garrison was cut off and 'the Hunger winter' resulted. In May 1945 the Germans surrendered amid much rejoicing.