20 Facts About the Nazi Occupation of the UK's Channel Islands
20 Facts About the Nazi Occupation of the UK’s Channel Islands

20 Facts About the Nazi Occupation of the UK’s Channel Islands

Shannon Quinn - February 16, 2019

20 Facts About the Nazi Occupation of the UK’s Channel Islands
The Nazi tunnels have been turned into a museum. Credit: JerseyWarTunnels.com

2. Today, Channel Island Citizens Want to Preserve The History of Occupation.

Even though the Nazi occupation was a dark time in the history of the Channel Islands, locals who stayed behind to defend their home are incredibly proud of the fact that they survived living with the enemy for five years. This is why they never tore down the Nazi bunkers, and chose to repurpose them, instead. Many of the structures above ground that were created by the Nazis have become restaurants and cafes, while others were preserved as museums. Today, it is possible to take a tour of the underground Nazi tunnels and bunkers. Even their incomplete underground hospital was left exactly was it was, complete with beds and uniforms hanging in the closet.

The modern-day Channel Islands Occupation Society has a huge group of historians and volunteers who work together to comb through old records and artifacts to discover any new information that may uncover. They are also passionate about sharing the stories of the occupation with students and tourists, hoping that they can pass down the history to every new generation.

20 Facts About the Nazi Occupation of the UK’s Channel Islands
This sign was put in front of a store after British people were liberated from the Germans. Credit: TheIslandWiki

1. The Channel Islands Occupation Is A Look Into An Alternate Universe

History buffs love to ponder the “what if” questions about the many different things that could have happened before, during, and after World War II, and authors like Philip K. Dick have made their living writing about alternate history. And since they struggled so much after Dunkirk and the London Blitz, it is understandable that British people breathed a huge sigh of relief that the Nazis did not actually manage to occupy England.

Today, the story of the occupation of the Channel Islands is still fascinating to a lot of British people, because it is an example of what would have actually happened to England if they had lost to the Germans. People don’t really have to imagine it, because they could see a real example of what really happened in real life. We can be thankful to know that it never actually became a reality.


Where did we find this stuff? Here are our sources:

Red Cross ship saved Channel Islanders from WW2 starvation. BBC. 2014.

The Guernsey Jew who hid from the Nazis in plain sight. Rob Byrne. BBC. 2017.

Defending Jerrybags. Colin Smith. Prospect Magazine. 1997.

The Bitter Years (Documentary). ITV Channel. YouTube.

The True Story of Louisa Gould. Jersey.com

Discover Jersey’s Occupation Story. Jersey.com

Occupation Life. BBC.

Guernsey files reveal how islanders defied Nazi occupation. Stephen Bates. The Guardian. 2010.

Alderney Camps. Wikipedia.

Walking through History: Nazi Occupation The Channel Islands. Channel 4. 2015.

How Jersey’s Nazi children disappeared. JoJo Moyes. The Independent. 1996.

Operation Ambassador. Wikipedia.

Cambridge Ideas – Forgotten Heroes. Cambridge University. 2010.