New heritage trail map highlights World War Two occupation of Jersey

By Culture24 Staff | 28 May 2009
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a photo of a concrete tower looking out to sea

A WWII German observation bunker on Jersey still looks out across the English Channel. Photo Man vyi. © Public domain

A new map, which brings to life the history of Jersey during the World War Two German occupation has been launched by Jersey Heritage.

Fortifications left by the Germans as part of Hitler’s Atlantic Wall complex are in evidence right across the island but until now they have never been brought together in one handy map to offer tourists an insight into Jersey’s occupation history.

The new map, which has been collated by journalist Christopher Somerville with illustrations by Claire Littlejohn, is intended to highlight 26 of these major fortifications found on the island.

a photo of a map trail with locations, drawings and writing on it

The illustrations on the map are by Claire Littlejohn

“I have been to Jersey on many occasions and enjoy the variety of walks available on the island,” said Christopher. “Of particular note is the history of the German Occupation and the resulting fortifications. It seemed only right and proper to put them all together in one beautifully drawn map.”

In a five year period that stretched from June 1940 to May 1945, the Germans embarked on a series of major building works that turned Jersey into a fortress of interlinked bunker systems housing everything from radar and observation units to heavy artillery and hospitals.

a photo of a tunnel entrance

Jersey War Tunnels tells the story of the occupation.

One of the latter, which is featured on the new map, is now the Jersey War Tunnels, a vast and fascinating underground museum that has become a particular highlight for any visit to Jersey

Paul Simmonds, Director of the War Tunnels commented: “We are delighted to be involved in the production of this map; it is the ideal way to encourage visitors to gain a accurate understanding of the Occupation period and also to explore our island in greater detail.”

Download the map in pdf. format and find out more about the German occupation of Jersey at The Discover Jersey website

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