Monday, 27 September 2010

I have been to ... Jersey ... but not for some time!

Before my wife and I caught the cruising 'bug', we regularly went to Jersey for our annual holidays.

For anyone with even the slightest interest in World War II, Jersey has a lot to offer. It sometimes appears that there is a relic of the German Occupation around every corner, and although this is somewhat of an exaggeration, there are lots of places visitors can go to see restored German fortifications.

The German Underground Hospital
This underground tunnel complex was build by Organisation Todt using slave labour, and it is now a museum that deals with the Occupation. When we were last there it had been extensively upgraded and re-branded as the JERSEY WAR TUNNELS. The entrance was guarded by a German 37mm Anti-aircraft gun (possibly a SKC/30 single-shot gun used by the Kriegsmarine).

Anti-Tank Gun Casemate, Millbrook, St. Lawrence
This bunker formed part of the German coastal defences on the south coast of Jersey, overlooking St. Aubin's Bay. It contains a very rare example of a Czech fortress anti-tank gun (a 4.7cm Pak K36(t)) that was seized by the Germans after the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia in 1938, and re-used in Jersey.

Batterie Moltke, Les Landes, St. Ouen
This battery was originally being built for the Kriegsmarine but before it was completed it was taken over the the Wehrmacht, who mounted four French 155mm GP guns (15.5cm K418(f)) in open emplacements on the site. The battery was part of the defences in the north west of the island, and is situated near Grosnez Castle and the Les Landes Racecourse.

Batterie Lothringen, Noirmont Point, St. Brelade
This battery was built and manned by the Kriegsmarine (3./Batterie, Marine Artillerie Abteilung 604), and was armed with four German naval guns (15cm SK L/45 guns).

Captured French 105mm guns (10.5cm K331 (f)) are also displayed at Noirmont Point.

A large Command Bunker is also situated at Noirmont Point, and it was able to direct the gunfire from the coastal defence batteries in the area at any threat approaching the south west of the island.

2 comments:

  1. I went to Jersey several times as a kid with my Parents. Thats was... a long tme ago... and I visited the Underground Hospital (as it was known then). It was a facinating and errie place.

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  2. BigLee,

    The Underground Hospital (I still call it that myself as 'Jersey War Tunnels' is a bit of a mouthful!) is still very eerie, especially where they have recreated the working conditions faced by the slave labourers.

    They have now added a lot of exhibits about the Occupation, including some interactive ones that pose some difficult moral problems. For example, at what point does reaching an ‘accommodation’ with the enemy so that you can live become collaboration?

    All the best,

    Bob

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