2nd February 1882

Birth of Generaloberst Friedrich Dollmann

Friedrich Dollmann was a high-ranking officer in the German Army, who was put in command of Normandy throughout the Second World War.

Although he didn’t take part directly in the occupation of Guernsey, his name was used for Batterie Dollmann, which defended the headland at Pleinmont. The Batterie was the site of a 22cm, 10-tonne gun.

Batterie Dollmann

The gun that the Batterie housed had originally been a French weapon built during the First World War. It was one of four captured by German forces as they overran northern France. It was shipped to Guernsey for incorporation into Hitler’s Atlantic Wall, and was in use by 1941, defending the island against possible British efforts to take back the Channel Islands.

The original gun’s range was 22km, although the one currently sited in the Batterie isn’t the original. The example now on display was recovered from the coast of Jersey.

Batterie Dollmann

Friedrich Dollmann

Dollman joined the army aged 17 and was promoted to batallion commander during the First World War. He remained in the army during the inter-war years and, at the start of the Second World War, was appointed commander of the German 7th Army upon its creation. This division pushed through northern France during its initial occupation, eventually reaching Normandy, where it spent the rest of the war.

The 7th Army was still holding this territory during the Allied D-Day landings, and inevitably suffered heavy losses.

By 28 June 1945, almost 100,000 of the 7th Army’s men had been killed. The blame was placed upon Dollman for not having done enough to build up German defences throughout the war. Both tactics and defensive structures were considered to be lacking by the German high command. As a result, he was to be court martialed.

There is disagreement over what happened next. By some accounts, Dollmann had a heart attack on hearing the news, and died. Others state that he took poison to save himself the indignity of the court martial. Either way, he died and was buried in France, aged 62.

 

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Other events that occured in February

Mail ship wrecked on Black Rock 1st
Oil rig stranded at Grandes Rocques
Birth of Generaloberst Friedrich Dollmann 2nd
Death of Sir Charles Hayward 3rd
St Martin’s parish church consecrated 4th
Guernsey suffers its worst storm in 35 years 5th
Guernsey watchmaker helps Stone of Scone manhunt 6th
Guernsey Language Commission formed 7th
Queen Mary executed while wearing Guernsey stockings 8th
Guernsey gets its first postbox
Guernsey Society celebrates its 70th anniversary 9th
Guernsey’s last execution didn’t go according to plan 10th
The last issue of GUNS was distributed 11th
Alderney gets its first full-time radio station 12th
Guernsey’s last duel 13th
Specsavers’ Mary Perkins was born 14th
Blue Islands takes to the skies
Guernsey gets its own flag 15th
Birth of concrete poet Dom Sylvester Houedard 16th
HMS Guernsey launched in Aberdeen 17th
Guernsey’s first Methodist minister arrives 18th
Aurigny Air Services founded 19th
Guernsey Railway Company runs its first services 20th
The Channel Islands were cut off from the outside world 21st
St Sampson was ordained a bishop 22nd
Death of Thomas Fiott de Havilland 23rd
Murder inquiry ends with suicide 24th
Death of occupation resister Marie Ozanne 25th
Guernsey’s first banker dies 26th
Release of Reverend Harry Samuel 27th
Plans for St Sampson power station approved 28th
Second World War bomb detonated 29th