During World War 2, although the German plans for the wholesale invasion of Great Britain - Operation Sealion - came to naught, one small part of the King's realm was occupied by hostile forces - the Channel Islands. Almost 60 years since these islands were occupied and more than 50 years since they were liberated, the history of the wartime occupation of the Jersey, Guernsey et al is still full of controversy. How far did the islanders co-operate with the occupying forces? What was the nature of the various camps established? How did the Germans run the islands? What was the level of resistance like? There have, inevitably, been a number of publications produced over the past 50 years, including a number that have appeared in recent years that have used previously unreleased documentation. The controversy, however, still rolls on.
One area that has, however, received relatively little coverage is the German perception of the occupation and Channel Islands at War is designed to fill this gap, providing the reader with a comprehensive portrait of life in the Channel Islands between 1940, when the Germans arrived, and 1945 and their surrender, much of it from the standpoint of the occupying forces. Drawing upon first-hand reminiscences and a superb selection of historic photographs drawn from a large number of sources, the book is a graphic portrait of one of the more controversial aspects of recent British history. In addition to providing a fascinating account of the period, the book also includes details about surviving relics from the Nazi occupation. Almost 60 years after the German surrender, the issue of the Nazi occupation of the Channel Islands is still one that arouses controversy both locally, within the Channel Islands, and more widely through military historians.
When first published in 1999, Channel Islands at War was widely praised as an important contribution to the history of this controversial period; this new paperback edition - published to coincide with the 60th anniversary of liberation later in 2005 - makes available again this fascinating account of a troubled era.
Lt-Col George Forty is the retired curator of the Tank Museum at Bovington where he took over after a career with the Royal Tank Regiment stretching back to the early 1950s. He is a well-known military writer, who has contributed numerous books to the Ian Allan Publishing list over the years. His most recent titles include Fortress Europe, Battle for Malta and Battle for Monte Cassino.