German Tunnels, in Guernsey, Alderney and Sark
The Channel Islands were the only British territory to be occupied by Nazi Germany during the Second World War. What locals refer to as ‘The Occupation’, lasted from June 1940 until 9th May 1945. It was a unique experience that has brought the Islands more than their fair share of attention from historians, documentary-makers and novelists. Solid reminders of the Occupation remain in the form of extensive fortifications constructed to make the Islands impregnable.
‘Festung Guernsey’ was to be Hitler’s Island fortress in the English Channel. He was determined that these few square miles of British territory would not be taken back by the Allies. In retrospect, it appears to have been an expensive folly. Like most military fortifications, those in Guernsey were never truly tested and possibly never even needed. The Allies directed their efforts elsewhere, by-passing the garrison and ultimately cutting them off from the continent. We have a duty to remember the lessons of the past, to record evidence before it is lost and to preserve what we can to inform future generations. Festung Guernsey carries out all three tasks with the completion of this book.