9th March 1945
Occupying forces mount a desperate raid on Granville
By March 1945, things were looking bleak for Germany. It was losing the war, and the occupying for on Guernsey was running low on supplies. Fortunately, for them, they knew where to find some: Granville. They just needed to formulate a plan, and find the right team for the job.
Granville lay just 60 miles (95km) away from Guernsey, and 30 miles (50km) from Jersey. By this point in the war, the part of France that included Granville was in Allied hands. The Allies themselves had set up a prisoner of war camp for captured German soldiers, from where two had escaped the year before.
They’d made their way back to the Channel Islands with valuable information. They knew, first hand, that the Allies has stocks of coal, which the Germans desperately needed, and which signal needed to be given to get the sea gates to open.
The Germans plotted a raid on Granville, with the sole intention of taking those supplies, and bring them back to Jersey, Guernsey and Alderney. They put their plan into action on the night that straddled the 8th and 9th of March.
They gained access to the port without any difficulty and attached mines to several Allied ships that were moored there. The charges blew, and caused severe damage, but not enough to complete sink them.
Realising what had happened, the Allies put up a fight. The allies lost 22 men, with several others taken back to the Channel Islands as prisoners of war. The Germans lost just six.
Even so, the raid was not a great success. The German raiders managed to take away just a single load of coal which, though useful, would have been short of what they’d been aiming for.
Just two months later, the occupying forces surrendered the Channel Islands to the Allies, and for them the war was over.
What else happened in Guernsey in March?
A body on a beach, an impossible alibi and an unstoppable race against time!
Check out the first book in The Sarnian series, set on the Channel Island of Guernsey.