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German occupation of the Channel Islands

1940–1945 German occupation of the Channel Islands / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The military occupation of the Channel Islands by Nazi Germany lasted for most of the Second World War, from 30 June 1940 until liberation on 9 May 1945. The Bailiwick of Jersey and Bailiwick of Guernsey are British Crown dependencies in the English Channel, near the coast of Normandy. The Channel Islands were the only de jure part of the British Empire to be occupied by Nazi Germany during the war. However, Germany's allies, Italy and Japan, also occupied British territories in Africa and Asia, respectively.

As part of the Atlantic Wall, between 1940 and 1945 the occupying German forces and the Organisation Todt constructed fortifications around the coasts of the Channel Islands such as this observation tower at Battery Moltke.

Anticipating a swift victory over Britain, the occupying German forces initially experimented by using a moderate approach to the non-Jewish population, supported by local collaborators. However, as time progressed the situation grew gradually worse and ended in near starvation for both occupied and occupiers during the winter of 1944-45. Armed resistance by islanders to the German occupation was nearly non-existent. Many islanders were employed by the Germans, and Germany imported thousands of captive workers to build extensive defensive works on the islands. Island leaders maintained some authority, independence, and freedom of decision from the German occupiers.