Discover Jersey’s occupation history

See wartime history up close and visit Jersey’s occupation sites

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The Channel Islands were the only part of Britain to have been occupied by German forces in World War II. Explore unique wartime history and see the traces the five-year-long occupation left behind, from concrete defences, bunkers and fortifications to a network of underground tunnels. Visit historical sites or join a expert-led tour to cast light on this dark side of Jersey’s history.

JERSEY WAR TUNNELS

Jersey War Tunnels or Hohlgangsanlage 8 as the location was known during the war, is over a kilometre of German underground tunnels that were built - mainly by slave workers. Today, it’s a thought-provoking experience that tells the many stories of Jersey’s occupation through installations, soundscapes and relics of the time. Designed to capture attention with its powerful content, the atmosphere of Jersey War Tunnels impresses on visitors the importance of reflecting on these curated stories.

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THE CHANNEL ISLANDS MILITARY MUSEUM

It’s a fitting home for this fascinating collection of Occupation history; housed in a WW2 German bunker on St. Ouen’s Bay, this museum is a rich source of insight into history, from German military artefacts to memories, recounted and recorded by locals who lived through the Occupation years. The bunker itself once formed part of Hitler’s Atlantic Wall defences, and is now used as a space for visitors to experience the past.

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NOIRMONT

It’s only up close that you’ll appreciate the size and scale of this Battery, a giant observation tower and underground command post at Noirmont Point. It’s open to the public - visit the Channel Islands Occupation Society for times and dates. The underground command bunker extends to two floors, reaching a depth of 40 feet, and has been completely restored.

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LES LANDES - BATTERY MOLTKE

Hitler ordered the island to be turned into an impregnable fortress, and that’s clear to see when you walk in the footsteps of the occupying forces along Jersey’s northwestern corner. The island’s most heavily fortified coast, at Les Landes you’ll pass bunkers, gun emplacements, underground tunnels and one of the original field guns, retrieved from the cliffs where it had been pushed after the island was liberated.

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BUNKER TOURS

Keen to see more? Through the year, visitors and locals have a chance to delve deeper into the island’s wartime history with tours of Jersey’s many bunkers from the guides at the Channel Islands Occupation Society.  It’s a unique glimpse into this period of history, and a chance to see traces of the occupation years for yourself. Contact the Channel Islands Occupation Society for the next available bunker tour.

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RADIO TOWER

How about getting a unique insight into wartime architecture, and staying in the restored Radio Tower overlooking Jersey’s Corbière Lighthouse? Climb the winding spiral staircase at the tower’s heart past bedrooms and a kitchen to reach a panoramic glass-windowed lounge with almost 360° bird’s-eye views over the coastline. The Radio Tower is available to hire all year-round from Jersey Heritage.

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THE OCCUPATION TAPESTRY

How did a local community react to the German invasion? That’s the question answered by the artists who created the award-winning Occupation Tapestry to mark the 50th anniversary of the island’s liberation. Inspired by the stories and memories of those who experienced the occupation first-hand, you can see it for yourself at Jersey’s Maritime Museum.

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LIBERATION DAY

To mark the day Jersey was liberated from its five-year occupation, the island celebrates Liberation Day every May 9th. It’s a bank holiday and features events that evoke the patriotism and spirit of the time as well as providing an opportunity for all to reflect and remember.

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Explore the past.

In Jersey, history is all there to be discovered. For more inspiration on where to visit, tell us more about you.
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