By John Nettles
This publication used to be born of a sequence of documentary movies concerning the German career of the Channel Islands from 1940 to 1945 entitled The Channel Islands at warfare. it's also the fulfilment of an ambition to inform in even more aspect than was once attainable in these documentaries, the real tale of these remarkable years. The Channel Islands have been the one British soil to be occupied within the struggle, the Islanders the single British electorate to fall lower than German rule. How the Islanders reacted to the invaders has lately been the topic of heated argument and impassioned debate and for extraordinarily sturdy purposes that are explored during this ebook. It was once idea that the profession of the Channel Islands used to be a slightly light, even benign affair, completely in contrast to that of, say, France or Holland on mainland Europe. It used to be believed that mainly the German invaders behaved quite good and saved in the phrases of the Geneva conference. for his or her half the Islanders replied by way of providing no resistance to their masters and in simple terms co-operating, now not taking part, with them in response to that very same conference. It used to be definitely uncomfortable yet no longer horrendous. disagreeable yet now not unendurable - the conquerors and the conquered getting alongside jointly in what used to be regarded as the very version of a version career. that isn't the complete fact. the true heritage of the profession is far diverse from that. it truly is extra morally advanced, ambiguous and tough. it's the tale of a sustained and wholesale assault on human values, of serious ache, venality, violence and ugly and hideous homicide. it's also the tale of outstanding braveness, clever and imaginitive management and, strangely, given the bleak stipulations, a lot reliable humour. this is often the tale that is instructed in Jewels and Jackboots. From the bombing raids on St Helier and St Peter Port in June 1940 to Liberation on ninth might 1945 the narrative unfolds mostly in the course of the phrases of these who truly continued these years, these those who have been really there while hundreds of thousands in their neighbours have been taken from their houses and shipped away to camps throughout Europe, there while the slave employees arrived from the jap entrance, truly there whilst the Jews have been rounded up and haled alongside the through Dolorosa and really there whilst after 5 lengthy years the British squaddies back once again to the Islands. along the phrases there are the photographs that illustrate the development of the career each step of ways. photos of the heroes of these instances after all and images from the Island of Alderney the place untold countless numbers of Todt employees labored and died. notable photos too of the Germans as they arrived within the Islands, tall, good-looking, proud, immaculately uniformed. Then, in stark distinction, images of the Wehrmacht within the ultimate days of career. There are the tales too of the yankee PoWs, Clark and Haas and their winning get away from the Islands and of the 3 Jersey boys Audrain, Gould and Hassall who failed so tragically of their test and have been betrayed via the mummy of 1 of the men. each revered authority has been consulted to assist identify the reality of the account of the career that looks during this booklet however it is the voice of the Islanders themselves that's its such a lot interesting and significant function. Their tales as advised to me and released listed here are one of the so much relocating, marvellously funny and clever i've got ever heard. The reader can't fail to be touched.
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Additional resources for Jewels and Jackboots: Hitler’s British Isles, the German Occupation of the British Channel Islands 1940-1945
I am deeply indebted to them all. John Nettles October 2012 Acknowledgements The publishers would like to acknowledge with thanks, permission to reproduce photographs and material supplied by: Jersey War Tunnels German Occupation Museum The Channel Islands Military Museum La Vallette Military Museum The Imperial War Museum The Channel Islands Occupation Society (Guernsey) The Channel Islands Occupation Society (Jersey) Jersey Heritage Jersey Archive Société Jersiaise Photographic Archive Guernsey Archive Services Guernsey Museum Priaulx Library (Guernsey) Adler Archive Bundesarchiv Deane Photographic Archive Damien Horn Collection Festung Guernsey Collection Carol Toms Collection Mark Lamerton Collection David Gainsborough Roberts Collection Franz Zurhorst Collection Alan Allix Collection Channel Island Publishing The Guernsey Press The Jersey Evening Post Gareth Hawker Gerald Palmer Simon Watkins Alan Blampied and the Blampied Family William Ozanne Pug Films Deutsche Inselzeitung, 1943 In the thrilling final days of the Western campaign, Luftwaffe pilots landed in these, the former British Channel Islands.
All protests are ignored by the Germans and thousands of sets are surrendered. July In informal conversation, Hitler mentions his plans for the Islands once the War is over: With the fortifications we have constructed and the permanent garrison of a whole division, we have made certain that never again will the Islands fall into British hands. When the War is over they can be handed over to Ley for, with their wonderful climate, they would make a wonderful health resort for the ‘Strength through Joy’ (Kraft durch Freude) organisation.
19 May The Germans are gearing up for what looks likely to be the final struggle, or ‘Final Victory’ as Goebbels calls it. The German civil administration body, Feldkommandantur 515 is re-titled Platzkommandantur and its numbers severely reduced Its more able-bodied members are absorbed into units of the army and guns thrust into their hands. The fight is imminent. And in Jersey Louisa Gould and her brother Harold Le Druillenec are arrested. June 6th D-DAY The Allies land on the Normandy beaches.