GERMAN AIR RAID ON THE CHANNEL ISLANDS 28 JUNE 1940

28 June is the anniversary of the bombing of the Channel Islands by the Germans. I thought I would take a slightly different approach to the usual articles on the subject and look at it from the point of view of the reporting in the Newspapers across the UK.

Whilst some aspects of these reports are the same the regional newspapers record the views of those that were there but left the island before the occupation forces arrived or escaped shortly after. As they turned up in different parts of the UK you get some different views based on this.

As a brief overview Frank Falla wrote of the event:

Six enemy aircraft came, it seemed, from nowhere… three swooped down over the harbour dropping incendiaries and high explosive bombs, and machine-gunning ruthlessly along the line of waiting lorries…

The air-raid warning sirens were not set going until at least ten minutes after the first bomb had been dropped, and even then it was not the ARP officials who set them in motion but three cool-headed telephone operators… as a result of this raid on defenceless Guernsey, thirty-four people died on the spot or in hospital soon afterwards, and another thirty-three were injured.

Frank Falla – Silent War

Don’t worry if you aren’t familiar with events as you can find links at the bottom of this page which take you to the usual sources that explain the raid. If you want to skip to these first before reading the rest of the blog click here.

My blog post about a doctor who lived in Guernsey during the occupation has a section about the attack including photographs. The English Doctor’s Occupation Story. Dr Richard Sutcliffe.

50 kg. bomb of the type dropped by the German aircraft during the raid. This example is in the German Occupation Museum in Guernsey. Each of the aircraft carried twenty of these. © Nick Le Huray

The newspaper articles focus on the attack on the area around St Peter Port Harbour but there were other areas of Guernsey that were attacked. This is an example of a bomb which was dropped on the Capelles area.

One of the larger bombs dropped and is in the German Occupation Museum in Guernsey. © Nick Le Huray

Before I move on to the UK newspapers here is the front page of of the Guernsey Newspapers from the next day.

Photo of the newspaper on display at the German Occupation Museum in Guernsey. © Nick Le Huray

The Aberdeen Press and Journal of 8 July 1940 tells the story from the perspective of a bandmaster who was there and had subsequently arrived in Aberdeen.

The Evening Sentinel of 29 June 1940 reported on the Murderous German Raids including the death of a Guernsey Lifeboatman. You can read more about this here Death of a Guernsey Lifeboat Man.

In Warwickshire the Evening dispatch reported on 29 June 1940 about Channel Islanders abandoning their homes.

Strangely the number of casualties had become vastly inflated above the actual number when this article appeared in the Nottingham Evening Post – Thursday 12 December 1940.

Illustrated London News 6 July 1940
Illustrated London News 6 July 1940
Memorial Service 2018. Phil Martin of the Channel Islands Occupation Society says a few words to those gathered. © Nick Le Huray
The Memorial at St Peter Port Harbour. © Nick Le Huray

All newspaper extracts are Image © Reach PLC. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.

Hear Mollie Bihet’s firsthand account of the moment St Peter Port harbour was bombed on Fri 28 June 1940 which killed 33 islanders and injured more.

The German Air Raid  28th of June 1940 

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I will be adding more as time permits. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope you enjoyed it. Please share it on social media or add a comment if you did. Feedback is always appreciated.

Also happy to be contacted with questions about the war in the Channel Islands, media appearances, podcasts etc.

© Nick Le Huray

Author: Nick Le Huray 🇬🇬

Guernsey based amateur historian. Interested in the Occupation of the Channel Islands and wider Second World War history.

4 thoughts on “GERMAN AIR RAID ON THE CHANNEL ISLANDS 28 JUNE 1940”

  1. A minefield was laid on top of one of the German bomb and was only found when the minefield was being cleared by 24 BD coy

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