9th March 1945

Occupying forces mount desperate raid on Granvillle

By March 1945, things were looking bleak for Germany. It was losing the war and the occupying forces on the Channel Islands were 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.

Granville lies just 30 miles (50km) from Jersey, but 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.

Inside information

They’d made their way back to the Channel Islands with valuable information, knowing, first-hand, that the Allies has stocks of coal, which the Germans desperately needed, and which signal should 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 bringing them back to Jersey, Guernsey and Alderney. They put their plan into action on the night that straddled the 8th and 9th of March.

They gained access to the port without any difficulty and attached mines to several Allied ships. When the charges blew they caused severe damage, but not enough to complete sink any of the vessels.

The Allies return fire

Realising what had happened, the Allies put up a fight in which they lost 22 men, with several others taken back to Jersey as prisoners of war. The occupying force suffered just six casualties.

Even so, the raid was not a great success. The German raiders got away with just a single load of coal which, though useful, would have been short of what they’d been aiming for.

Two months later, the occupying forces surrendered the Channel Islands to the Allies, and for them the war was over.


FREE Jersey history newsletter

Don't miss our weekly update on Jersey's fascinating history. We promise never to sell your data to anyone else, and there's a super-easy unsubscribe link on the bottom of each email so you can leave whenever you want.



Other events that occured in March