The Channel Islands are an archipelago in the English Channel off the Normandy coast of France. Why aren't the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands (Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, etc.) 1; 2; 3; First Prev 3 of 3 Go to page. Belgarion-a new British war movie has just been released in the U.K. called 'ANOTHER MOTHER'S SON' .It is about true Channel Islands heroine Louisa Gould, a middle aged mother who took pity on escaped Soviet POW Feodor Buirry a former pilot,who had been brought to Jersey to work as a slave labourer. It is because of this link to the crown and associated history that the Channel Islands are part of the British Isles (bizarely) but NOT part of the United Kingdom. Prev . Marriage scandal inspired woman ahead of her time, Rum rise and rapid fall of a Darlinghurst empire. The Islanders made the best of situation and with a decent German occupying force it was not too difficult. Britain had no choice to abandon the Channel Islands because they were indefensible from a military point of view. Instead they settled down, with few overt signs of resistance, to a hard, dull but relatively peaceful five years of occupation, in which more than half the population was working for the Germans." Hitler became obsessed with the idea that Britain would try to recapture the islands and issued a personal directive that they be turned into an "impregnable fortress". We’re not part of the UK, or the British Isles – we’re Manx,” said Phil Gawne, a former politician on the island and leading advocate for Manx heritage. The Channel Islands are very close to the French Coast and Germany would have easily been able to maintain air supremacy. Locals derived their income from tourism, fishing, agriculture and horticulture. The Channel Islands lay in the English Channel about 161km from England and 22km from Normandy. Mothers and men of military age could evacuate, resulting in about 30,000 residents fleeing. Overall I do analyse Jersey and Guernsey as a case of submission on the grounds of superior force . They were liberated by British forces following the general German surrender. Its southern tip caved in to a huge crater, that is today a celebrated tourist spot. Why do you think they should be? None among the 100,000 population on seven small islands foresaw events of June 1940, when Britain’s war cabinet voted to leave them to fend for themselves in the face of a German invasion. At the outbreak of World War II, although the islands were not part of the UK, for many years the British Consitution had included a provision to defend the Islands. “We must recover the Falkland islands for Britain and for the people who live there who are of British stock,” Thatcher said in an April 5, 1982 interview with ITN. The Channel Islands are not part of the United Kingdom, nor the European Union – they are Crown Dependencies. Discover why they were the only part of the British Isles to suffer German occupation. Jul 2011 7,451. How come Burma ended up being poor but Canada didn't even though they were both British colonies? They did not commit suicide, and they did not kill any Germans. The Jerrybags who slept with German soldiers are a reminder that the bulldog breed collaborated too. Copyright © 2006-2020 Historum. Did it help shape the nation? Like Bermuda, a British Overseas Territory, the Chanel Islands are dependent upon the UK for defense and management of their foreign policy. World War II: British Channel Islands--German Occupation (July 1940-May 1945) Figure 1.--: Two boys in German occupied Guernsey, grinning at the German photographer who took the picture. Interactive exhibits, interspersed with wartime footage, sound effects and displays of household objects, walk you through the British government's decision not to defend the Channel Islands, privations suffered by locals, the slave labour used to build these tunnels, the deportations of British-born families to Germany, and Jersey's subsequent liberation. The islands had long had a strategic importance in naval warfare that far exceeded the intrinsic worth of the farming produce of the islands. LONDON — When the Germans invaded the Channel Islands in June 1940, at least one resident was determined to show that she would not be intimidated. Why didn't the British try to reconquer the US after 1812? Considered not defendable by the British government in 1940, the islands were demilitarised and some civilians were given the opportunity to evacuate to England before the German forces arrived. The German occupation of the Channel Islands still haunts Britain's image of itself at war. The residents do not vote in UK elections (unless they are resident in the UK at the time). Shopkeeper Louisa Gould, who lost a son serving in the Royal Navy, sheltered an escaped Russian prisoner of war for 18 months, telling a friend, “I had to do something for another mother’s son.” Arrested in 1944, she was sent to Ravensbruck concentration camp where she was gassed to death in 1945. betgo. Chart the story of the Channel Islands during WW2. Richard ‘China’ Jones went from one of colonial Sydney’s wealthiest men to bankrupt but still made his mark on one of Sydney’s most colourful ‘hoods. Founded in 2006, Historum is a history forum dedicated to history discussions and historical events. Dr Philip Sands Author of The British Channel Islands Under German Occupation 1940-45. The British originally expected the island to be totally destroyed. The fortfications were enormous. Forums. The largest, Jersey, is 118sq km and had a population of about 45,000. As Germans marched into Paris on June 14, 1940, the British war cabinet debated demilitarising the Channel Islands, believing Britain did not have the military might to defend an area of no strategic value. British propaganda posters urged locals: “Don’t be yellow, stay at home”. Why didn't the British defend the channel islands in WWII? History Themes. https://amateurtraveler.com/french-and-british-culture-in-the-channel-islands Why didn't Japan invade British and Dutch Pacific territories earlier? Each child could take one change of clothes, nightclothes, a towel and toothbrush. The Channel Islands lay in the English Channel about 161km from England and 22km from Normandy. Alderney and Sark were smaller. No one is really to blame here. During WWII, the Channel Islands were the only British soil threatened by German troops. Our community welcomes everyone from around the world to discuss world history, historical periods, and themes in history - military history, archaeology, arts and culture, and history in books and movies. When France fell, the British decided not to defend the islands and offered evacuation to all residents who wanted it. The Channel Islands were occupied during World War II by German forces from 30 June 1940, until May 1945. WITHIN Liberation The Normandy landings in 1944 heralded the final phase of the of the islands' German occupation. For a better experience, please enable JavaScript in your browser before proceeding. Great Britain - that part of the UK that includes England, Scotland and Wales, but not Northern Ireland - is surrounded by islands. Internee Frank Falla wrote of his imprisonment in a Gestapo-prison in Frankfurt: “Opponents of the Reich of all nationalities who were chained in cellar cells and cried like animals were being executed by the Nazis by guillotine at the rate of 25 per week … In addition to suffering starvation and malnutrition, we were deprived of all human rights … Our relatives were not informed where we were, or even whether we were alive or dead.”. As British Crown dependencies, the Channel Islands are not part of the UK, but they have an allegiance to the British Crown that dates back more than 800 years. "Overall I do analyse Jersey and Guernsey as a case of submission on the grounds of superior force." Why did they have little strategic importance? Life on the Channel Island of Guernsey under German occupation during World War II is the theme of joint British American film, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, opening in Sydney tomorrow. Find out more about our policy and your choices, including how to opt-out. Never before had the United Kingdom been in a state of such uncertainty and possible peril. The islands set their own fiscal policy and have their own judicial systems. IN June 1940 Britain’s war cabinet voted to leave the Channel Islands to fend for themselves during a German invasion. Register, Join the conversation, you are commenting as Logout. World War II - World War II - The Battle of Britain: With France conquered, Hitler could now turn his forces on Germany’s sole remaining enemy: Great Britain, which was protected from the formidable German Army by the waters of the English Channel. This was despite prime minister Winston Churchill’s insistence that Britain should be able to use naval power to protect the islands, arguing it was “repugnant ... to abandon British territory which has been in the possession of the Crown since the Norman Conquest”. On Sunday, June 30, leaflets dropped, demanding surrender of Jersey authorities, with the display of white crosses and white flags on buildings. In fact, they are sovereign territory and not subject to the laws of any other European country. Join the conversation, you are commenting as. Apr 18, 2017 #21 Why did they have little strategic importance? Because they were much closer to France than England? Prior to the invasion, many island children were evacuated to the mainland, and Alderney became uninhabited, later to be used for concentration camps by the Nazis. As the British had recognized when they abandined them, they had no military significance. In principle, the Channel Islands were part of English territory since the battle of Hastings in October 1066. Don't have an account? They were part of the inheritance of William the Bastard, Duke of Normandy, who became King of England after defeating King Harold and his Saxon Army. Ad Honorem. 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