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Thread: Did the occupied Channel Islands sufficiently resist?

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    Default Did the occupied Channel Islands sufficiently resist?

    It's relatively well-known that the Channel Islands were the only areas of British territory to come under German occupation during WW2, but the question arises whether the islanders had the potential to resist the demands of the regime? Official responses to the occupation varied significant - the Bailiff of Guernsey, Ambrose Sherwill believed in peaceful relations between his administration and that of the Nazis, his Jersey counterpart, Alexander Coutanche kept a formal, legal distance, while the Seigneur of Sark was the most pugnacious, actively opposing many German demands. The small size of the islands has been cited as reason for the non-existence of a resistance movement, with sheltering of slave labourers and clandestine news circulation mentioned in defence of the islanders. But were the Channel Islanders effectively collaborating through inertia, or were they merely prudent in impossible circumstances?
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    Sufficiently resist?
    They didn't resist at all.
    Germans even organised dance nights with the locals.
    They were treated a helluva lot better than the Bengalis under Churchill btw.

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    Politics.ie Member IvoShandor's Avatar
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    Every regime had to collaborate,the only question was..how much. It was not just up to the individual, all across Europe the authorities realized that attempts at resistance might bring reprisals down on the head of their people.
    Last edited by IvoShandor; 28th November 2012 at 08:15 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FloatingVoterTralee View Post
    It's relatively well-known that the Channel Islands were the only areas of British territory to come under German occupation during WW2, but the question arises whether the islanders had the potential to resist the demands of the regime? Official responses to the occupation varied significant - the Bailiff of Guernsey, Ambrose Sherwill believed in peaceful relations between his administration and that of the Nazis, his Jersey counterpart, Alexander Coutanche kept a formal, legal distance, while the Seigneur of Sark was the most pugnacious, actively opposing many German demands. The small size of the islands has been cited as reason for the non-existence of a resistance movement, with sheltering of slave labourers and clandestine news circulation mentioned in defence of the islanders. But were the Channel Islanders effectively collaborating through inertia, or were they merely prudent in impossible circumstances?
    There was very little resistance but this was normal, most of the occupied countries only really resisted when the end was in sight. Untill then there was almost complete cooperation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FloatingVoterTralee View Post
    It's relatively well-known that the Channel Islands were the only areas of British territory to come under German occupation during WW2, but the question arises whether the islanders had the potential to resist the demands of the regime? Official responses to the occupation varied significant - the Bailiff of Guernsey, Ambrose Sherwill believed in peaceful relations between his administration and that of the Nazis, his Jersey counterpart, Alexander Coutanche kept a formal, legal distance, while the Seigneur of Sark was the most pugnacious, actively opposing many German demands. The small size of the islands has been cited as reason for the non-existence of a resistance movement, with sheltering of slave labourers and clandestine news circulation mentioned in defence of the islanders. But were the Channel Islanders effectively collaborating through inertia, or were they merely prudent in impossible circumstances?
    Judge not and ye shall not be judged.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IvoShandor View Post
    Every regime had to collaborate,the only question was..how much. It was not just up to the individual, all across Europe the authorities realized that attempts at resistance might bring reprisals down on the head of ther people.
    And they went further than just unwilling cooperation, the police in several of the occupied countries actively assisted in rounding up the Nazis enemies: resistance fighters, Jews and other undesirables...its something all these countries try hard to forget...

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    They did get brave after the Germans left, then they beat up some German soldiers' girlfriends.

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    If there was resistance they had nowhere to hide. The Channel Islanders were not liberated until May 1945 because a battle to retake them was seen as not worth the bother. Churchill is reputed to have said about the German garrisons: "Let them rot." Both islanders and German occupation troops were in danger of starvation until some Red Cross supplies were allowed through.
    Everywhere they went Nazis launched merciless reprisals against civilian populations when troops were killed and resistance fighters often gave up voluntarily to save their fellow countrymen (in the famous case of one of assassin of Reinhard Heydrich) or betrayed by others to save themselves in the case of countless collaborators across the European continent.
    Once the invasion of Russia began and the Nazis began to experience defeats and their cities began to be bombed into rubble, few German soldiers would have wanted to be anywhere else except on some nice quiet islands out of harm's way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Truth.ie View Post
    They did get brave after the Germans left, then they beat up some German soldiers' girlfriends.
    Which was a travesty, the whole society collaborated and the these girls paid a heavy price.

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    Politics.ie Member nonpartyboy's Avatar
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    These islands are basically within spitting distance of france, there was no resistance movement to speak of, the germans built some massive fortifications there, including an underground hospital with slave labour.

    All they could do is get on with it i suppose, they would have no effect on the war whatsoever unless the germans had decided to built a rocket or jet engine factory there, so surely the job of the elected reps was to keep the islanders alive whatever way there could, including cooperating with the germans.

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