:19, Headquarters of the 7,000 strong OT in Guernsey was established at Sausmarez park in December 1941. From October 1941 and especially throughout 1942, building works moved ahead rapidly in hundreds of sites. Ninety-six known graves of these workers are in Guernsey and 397 in Alderney. :190–3, On 16 June 1941 Hitler's instructions to reinforce the islands were transmitted there from Oberbefehlshaber West; the rationale was that an Allied attack "must be reckoned with" in Summer 1941. Find out more about the history that inspired The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society. Supervisors and OT labour was supplied to German construction companies, ten of which operated in the Channel Islands. See more ideas about guernsey, world war, channel islands. Twenty one of the casemates built into the coast were designed for 10.5 cm K 331(f) French guns that had been acquired in large quantities. Camouflaged barrier; 14). Hundreds of reinforced bunkers, gun emplacements One example was a Mirus gun position; another was a 10.5 cm casemate at Houmet.:25. Jump to navigation Jump to search. :196 Reinforced with additional Heer units including 16th Machine Gun Battalion and 213th Panzer Battalion, and Kriegsmarine and Luftwaffe units. 8 half-tracks. A Channel Islands historian tells us, "Most of the OT workers started moving back to France towards the end of 1943 to repair the damage the RAF were inflicting on the railways etc, by 6th June 1944 nearly all the building of fortifications had been done, however in Alderney the slave workers were still there. Gun is … Put up the lookout towers. 60 cm searchlights for illuminating the sea, normally protected in small concrete shelters when not in use. Huge World War Two bunker that Hitler built on Guernsey goes on sale for £155,000 and could be turned into a holiday let. :9 :294, Machine guns protected within casemates, on top in Tobruk pits, or in trench systems, some with thin overhead protection. Several Strongpoint groups made a Verteidigungsbereich (Defence area), Hohlgangsanlagen (cave passage installations) (Ho) were built to store vehicles, ammunition, food, fuel and equipment, Ho. Tiny Guernsey received special treatment. The lowest levels of manual labourers were treated like slaves. The German designs incorporated certain standard features such as entrance door at right angles, armoured air intake, 30mm steel doors, ventilation, telephones,:7 internal walls lined with wood, and an emergency exit. Artillery Regiment 319 was strengthened. After the war, bomb-disposal engineers removed 69,301 mines between 18 May and 19 July 1945. :193 Anti glider poles were installed on potential landing sites. Personnel shelters, such as a Type R621 shelter designed for a section of 10 men, had two concealed exits and a ringstellung or Tobruk pit were used in many locations, as were 5 cm and 8 cm mortars. Bunkers for ammunition stores were constructed as were accommodation bunkers. into an impregnable fortress as part of his infamous âAtlantic Wallâ, heavily fortifying the only British territory he would ever conquer. Its guns had a range of 23 kilometres (14 mi). One of the most significant periods in the Channel Islands’ history was the German Occupation during World War II. OT, formed in 1933, was a construction organization that organised and supervised the work of a number of engineering and const… :115 Detailed death certificates were filled out and the deaths were reported to OT in St Malo. :30, A small number of the obsolescent French Renault FT tanks were shipped in 1941 to the island. Because the Germans expected to invade the United Kingdom in the autumn of 1940, they decided that expenditure on defences for the islands would be a waste. The first mine was laid in November 1940; altogether there were 118 minefields in Guernsey. Reinforced wire obstacle; 11). The route from St Peter Port to St Saviour was modified to accommodate the towing of the Batterie Mirus gun pieces by four heavy Sd.Kfz. This took the troops in Guernsey up to 12,000. They worked 12-hour shifts, seven days a week, and were allowed one half-day a month off.:168. :45 HQ and command bunkers were built for the Fortress Commander at La Corbinerie west of Ville au Roi, connected to one for the 319 Divisional commander. The Regelbau (standard build) system used books of plans for each of over 600 approved types of bunker and casemate, each having a specific purpose. The Channel Islands were seen as a perfect stepping-stone to the invasion of the Great Britain. From October 1941 and especially throughout 1942, building works moved ahead rapidly in hundreds of sites. These employees were paid and provided with accommodation, better food, time off, leave:42 and comforts. All of these were two stories, some were disguised as houses, with tiled roofs and painted windows. Holes through walls for ventilation pipes and cables, doorways and escape routes being put in before the concrete was poured. From April, Tours of Guernsey will be offering walking tours around the Scharnhorst Battery, the bunker network on the Fort Hommet headland, and the not-seen-before site at the Mirus Battery. The battery had its own Würzburg Dora radar position and command bunker. The smaller Freya radar was less visible. Other buildings used as headquarters included the Crown Hotel, which served as the Harbourmaster's office. Apr 8, 2016 - Explore Digital History Archive's board "WWII Fortifications" on Pinterest. Ho. :19 OT would carry out the majority of the work. visits the Guernsey. A number of junctions on the route also had sentry and machine gun positions built into granite walls. He ordered additional men to the Islands and, having decided the defences were inadequate, lacking tanks and coastal artillery, he instructed the Organisation Todt (OT) to undertake the building of 200-250 strongpoints in each of the larger islands. :212–4, Forced workers from overseas only had the clothes they were wearing when taken, often summer clothes. German OT wore OT uniforms; civilians from other nations wore civilian clothes. Fortress Engineer specialist sub-units such as Compressor, Mining, Rock Drilling, etc., would move between the Islands as required. Some elements were stripped from the Westwall and Maginot Line,:192 others manufactured specifically. It’s hard to estimate as I haven’t seen an exact total I think due in part as there really hasn’t been an assessment by any one group of people but estimates have been totaled to be about 12,000 bunkers in France alone. Ruins of German WW2 fortifications at the coastline of Guernsey, Channel Islands, UK Batterie Dollman gun pit, a WW2 German installation on Pleinmont headland, Guernsey. Each location had defences and facilities to suit its specific needs, the thickness of walls, floor, and ceiling were standard. Over 16,000 OT workers were brought to the Channel Islands, of whom 7,000 came to Guernsey.  The original defence order was reinforced with a second order, dated 20 October 1941, following a Fuhrer conference on 18 October to discuss the engineers' assessment of requirements. The Germans repaired the battery within a few weeks.:123. Liberation. Lastly, the Germans produced a map, suitably marked, for their soldiers.:19. 319 Infantry Division (319 ID), which had been created in November 1940 and was designed as a static division for service in occupied Europe, was allocated to the islands. In September 1944 there were 10,980 troops in Guernsey comprising::52. :98–100, Battery Dollmann at Pleinmont is open to the public to visit; it has one of the four 22 cm gun pits and a number of trenches restored. Once the fumes and dust had dispersed, the loose rock could be cleared, loaded onto wagons run out on 60 cm tracks and removed. Work would be split in accordance with Dr Todt's construction orders for the Channel Island works. Fittings such as air purification systems, showers, gas proof doors, telephones, periscopes, and wiring were standardised. :350 Each area in the Islands was examined and priorities for construction set. 10.5cm Gun Casement.JPG 2,560 × 1,920; 1.21 MB Also, each route was given a number. Film Synopsis: Lily James plays free-spirited journalist Juliet Ashton, who forms a life-changing bond with the delightful and eccentric Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, when she decides to write about the book club they formed during the occupation of Guernsey in WWII.In cinemas April 20th. 4 is now an occupation museum. If they were from the Eastern Bloc, a deduction of 55% was made to pay for the cost of overseas reconstruction. This example shows a bunker disguised as a house. On the 30th June 1940 German forces invaded Guernsey. This resulted in damage to three guns in open pits and the deaths of two men from their crews. 319 ID provided the bulk of troops for the whole of the Channel Islands, it became the largest division in the German army. The battery became operational in June 1942. Barbed wire and minefields would have protected the nest.:37. By 1941 the prospect of conquering Britain had decreased and the probability of an eastern war increased, requiring defences to be built to reduce the number and quality of troops required to defend the western ocean areas. :30, Dummy positions were set up, including using logs to simulate guns and dummy minefields. Russian State Military Archives, Inventory 500, Documents of the OB West. See more ideas about fortification, wwii, siegfried line. :66 This compares to the £2-10-0 a week offered by the States of Guernsey. Batterie Mirus was the largest artillery battery in the Channel Islands. :56–9, Land artillery was situated to fire on landing beaches and inland. machine gun posts, observation posts, battery locations, etc.) Netzknotenpunkt (Telephone network bunkers) were built to protect vulnerable exchanges. By 1944 Guernseyâs coastline was covered in concrete fortifications. The work would continue as planned, despite the death of Dr Todt in a plane crash in February 1942. L’Ancresse common has, in the middle of the golf course, the six gun Flak Battery Dolman, in concrete emplacements that could be used for a dual purpose as they commanded sea approaches with a 14,000m effective range. The defence shelter with … They set these gun positions all over. :58, Anti-tank artillery was in short supply. The Allies knew the locations of casemates as the RAF had undertaken photographic flights during the construction years.Aerial photograph of Vazon Bay with Stützpunkt Rotenstein at the top In addition, a few messages giving some detailed information, had been smuggled out of the Islands. The Islands of Guernsey are what’s known as an ‘archipelago’ – a collection of islands located on the English Channel between England and France. 1. OT, formed in 1933, was a construction organization that organised and supervised the work of a number of engineering and construction companies, as well as supplying a large labour force. Local workers too were recruited. Near Guernsey Airport lies the German Occupation Museum, which provides great insight into everyday life during the occupation, complete with a recreation of an occupation-era street.It is also home to a number of Second World War vehicles and fortifications. The island of Guernsey has been fortified for several thousand years, the number of defence locations and complexity of the defence increasing with time, manpower and the improvements in weapons and tactics.. Sixteen tunnels were planned in 1942, this was increased to twenty nine in 1943. SUBSCRIBE: http://www.youtube.com/c/VicStefanu - Let's visit the WW2 German fortifications of Guernsey. Many of the German works are on private land and so inaccessible to the public. It comprised three bunkers: types V142, M172 and V192. Published. Barges and small ships were brought to the Islands to transport materials to supplement the two ships run by OT. They are the most obvious symbol of German construction. From April to September 1943 shipments by sea to the Channel Islands averaged 20,000 tons per month. 'Wish you were here!' Beach sand and pebbles would be used as a last resort.:43. and tunnels were constructed, transforming the tiny archipelago into the most fortified place on earth. Wehrmacht defence works fell into three categories:, Festungspionierstab 19 (Fortress Engineer Staff 19) arrived in Guernsey in July 1941, to make plans for the construction works. The German Festung Guernsey book recorded 616,000m³ of concrete used in Guernsey, almost 10% of the concrete used in the Atlantic Wall. Fortifications of Guernsey. Each observation slit of a tower observed for one particular battery and was fitted with range finding equipment. Initially the Germans built only feldmässige Anlage (field-type construction) positions. Bruno spiral barbed wire; 7). After the Wehrmacht occupied the Channel Islands on 30 June 1940, they assessed the existing defences to determine if they would be of use. Using the Regelbau standardized plans, each site was excavated normally using manual labour, sometimes needing explosives, the materials excavated generally being kept close by. Alderney was considered too well-protected against aircraft attack so HMS Rodney had the mission of shelling it. :2, Some positions were buried under soil and landscaped with plants and trees. Wood; 16). A few plans were modified to suit the local terrain. By 13 June Hitler had made a decision. The German garrison in the Channel Islands surrendered without a fight on 9 May 1945. Clearance in the wood along t… :31 The supply vessels needed escort and flak ships for protection. The island of Guernsey has … Many roadside walls received painted arrows and numbers in red or yellow to indicate directions. The designs had been updated as captured enemy fortifications were examined; some were even tested to destruction for effectiveness. The OT organisation designated the Channel Islands work area as Insel Einsatze.:29. Radio communication bunkers were built. 4 tunnels at La Valette in St Peter Port, to hold 480 tons of fuel. Mines, controled from the machine-gun nest; 9). :204 The civilian population in Guernsey was 23,000. The plan was finalised and submitted to Hitler. Guernsey recorded 112 deaths of foreign workers: Channel Islands Occupation Society, (1994), This page was last edited on 13 December 2020, at 15:37. Guernsey received two command tanks, 12 normal tanks, and five flame-throwing tanks.:83. Most beach defences were designed to fire across the beach, the embrasures being protected from enemy fire from the open sea. The two Würzburg and two Freya radar units at Fort George, Guernsey,:63 were repeatedly attacked from the end of May 1944 on. Wire on low wooden poles; 8). Würzburg radar units, priority targets for the Allies, were disguised where possible. The system was dropped before all the planned towers were built in favour of stereoscopic rangefinders, making several of the already constructed towers redundant. Mines; 4). :298 Areas overlooked by cliffs had 1,000 roll bombs, 300 lb French shells, suspended on wires that could by cut, resulting in the bomb falling and when a second wire was pulled, detonating, normally at the base of the cliff. The crew room and ammunition store was below each open gun placement. Individual troops – field fortifications, slit trenches etc. Many Russians were liberated by the British in Guernsey and Alderney. Five camps were built, however most OT workers went into requisitioned houses. SUBSCRIBE: http://www.youtube.com/c/VicStefanu - A tour of the German fortifications of Guernsey. The largest tunnel complex, two connected tunnel systems, Ho. Roads going northwest to southeast were yellow; those going northeast to southwest were red. Defensive areas were built to protect facilities or an area. It had the largest artillery pieces in the Channel Islands, tanks, and 12,000 troops::204 one soldier for every two civilians on the island, compared to France which had a 1:80 ratio, or higher. Granite stones were built into some concrete walls to give a natural stone finish. Water had to be drained and the new floor levelled and the track extended. A 90 cm gauge railway was constructed, running from the harbour in St Peter Port north to St Sampson and on to L'Ancresse, before running down the whole of the west coast to L’Eree. WW2 / The Occupation. French Renault Char B1 tanks, destined for Rommel in North Africa in early 1942, also were diverted to the Channel Islands. An additional 13 being mounted in open field positions. Progress reports were supposed to be organised Islands have a unique distinction which them... Off. 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