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.

Vital information

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.

Easy entry

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.

 

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Other events that occured in March

Debut of Guernsey-set comedy This is Jinsy 1st
Channel 4 broadcasts Sark-based Mr Pye 2nd
First ever broadcast of Puffin’s Pla(i)ce 3rd
Dead man appointed to run Guernsey Airport 4th
Guernsey’s entire police force is arrested 5th
Isle of Guernsey delivered to its new owners 6th
Guernsey players set darts record
Guernsey heads call for an end to the Eleven-plus 7th
Guernsey’s first governor, Edmund Weston, is appointed 8th
Occupying forces mount a desperate raid on Granville 9th
Guernsey emergency services prepare for a disaster 10th
Birth of Baron James de Saumarez 11th
First publication of Victor Hugo’s Toilers of the Sea 12th
Building work starts on Guernsey Airport 13th
Guernsey’s island-wide police force is established 14th
Guernsey exchange student goes missing in Virginia 15th
The Book of Ebenezer Le Page is published 16th
BBC Radio Guernsey takes to the air
Guernsey clears up after heaviest snow in years 17th
Torrey Canyon spills oil on Guernsey’s beaches 18th
Guernsey issues banknotes featuring famous locals 19th
Guernsey guidebook pioneer Henry Inglis dies 20th
Soldiers staged a mutiny at Fort George 21st
Alderney arrest sparks a “riot” 22nd
Guernsey nurse Elizabeth Lincoln elected to the States 23rd
Famed printer Thomas de la Rue born 24th
Guernsey votes for equal age of consent 25th
Guernsey to UK telephone connection inaugurated 26th
Condor Liberation enters service 27th
Guernsey Post Office is established 28th
Enemy at the Door comes to the end of its run 29th
Guernsey adopts Sterling currency 30th
Guernsey and France tackle the Amoco Cadiz oil spill 31st