The German Occupation of the Channel Islands
A collection of militaria from the occupation of the Channel Islands by German armed forces during 1940-1945. There are many items for sale that will interest serious collectors throughout the world.
Museum Entrance, The Five Mile Road, St. Ouen, Jersey
On the 29th of May 1989 The Channel Islands Military Museum opened to the public. It was officially opened by the Connetable of the Parish, Mr. Arthur Queree. To get to this stage I along with a group of willing helpers had worked tirelessly for about three months to clear the bunker of years of rubbish. We then set about the painting, electrics, cabinets and many other numerous jobs that required doing before we were ready to open.
Our initial displays were very basic, but as time went on the quality and quantity of items increased tremendously. I for my part put a great deal of my collection of German equipment into the cabinets for display. The Museum is housed in a 10.5cm casemate that was built right into the sea wall which formed part of Hitler's Atlantic wall defences. The bunker was primarily for beach defence, and in time of action would have worked in conjunction with a 4.7cm casemate further along the sea wall to form a cross fire. The bunker/casemate is known as a 10.5, this is because of the size of the gun housed in it. In our bunker's case it was a 10.5cm WW.1 Schnieder which the Germans had captured in France during their rapid advance. The gun was originally carriage mounted but was altered by the Germans for use in the bunker.
The bunker had a compliment of 12 men, 8 on and 4 off duty. When on duty they lived in the bunker and when off they were billeted in a local commandeered house. The bunker was known to the Germans as Resistance Nest Lewis Tower, being only a number of yards from the Tower itself.
The approach to the bunker was covered by a MG.34 machine gun which was in the Entrance Defence Room. When in use the barrel of the MG.34 would have protruded through the loophole window and when not required it could be withdrawn and the loophole could have been closed off with a thick steel sliding block.
The view of the loophole from outside the entrance, the surrounding area was finished in timber in an effort to reduce the effect of ricocheting bullets flying around in the event of an attack. The picture on the right is the inside view of the loophole, the steel closure block is to the left hand side and is nearly 30mm thick.
Here is the entrance to the gas lock, the large stable door can just be seen to the right hand side in the picture on the left. In the event of a gas attack this door would have sealed the bunker from the outside and the occupants would have been safe inside and able to continue fighting with fresh air being provided by the Hes Pilar ventilation unit inside the bunker.
The picture on the right hand side shows the door to the Standby room from the Gas lock. This is the one piece door, on which you can clearly see the black rubber seal which acted as a further seal to a gas attack. There is also a small viewing window in the door to allow you to look into the room ahead.
This is one of three such stable doors to be found in this bunker - the other two are on each of the ammunition rooms. Although these are original doors, they are not the original ones from this bunker. The original ones were removed in the 1950's in the scrap drive. At this time the gun would also have been removed along with any other substantial pieces of metal work. All the doors that are now in place in this bunker were found in other bunkers around the Island and refitted in this bunker to show how it would have originally looked.
One of the newest additions to the museum's collection is a Flak 38 anti-aircraft gun along with all the different tools and accessories that would have been needed to fire and maintain the gun. We have attempted to recreate an anti-aircraft position similar to the many examples which the Germans had built around the Island to defend larger gun positions from air attack.
Here is a view of some of the medical equipment that has been collected from around the island. There are oxygen masks, surgical items and much more that has turned up over the years. Some of the German bandages came from the Jersey General Hospital where they had been kept back in case of emergency right up to the late 1960s.