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Churchill's plans to bomb us unveiled

Churchill's plans to bomb us unveiled

Wednesday 31 May 2023

Churchill's plans to bomb us unveiled

Wednesday 31 May 2023

Fresh claims have been made about plans to bomb the Channel Islands to try and bring an end to the Second World War which could have cost tens of thousands of lives across Guernsey, Alderney and Jersey.

The UK's Prime Minister and others, were said to be working up plans to 'shower more bombs on the Channel Islands than Dresden' during the summer of 1943.

That was midway through the Nazi Occupation of the Channel Islands, when Guernsey had a population of just over 20,000 people and Alderney was home to hundreds of slave workers and German soldiers. 


Pictured: One of many fortifications which remain from the Occupation.

The bombing of St Peter Port Harbour in June 1940, which immediately preceded the Occupation had killed 34 people, with a further 33 injured. That remains the 'first' and 'only' air raid on Guernsey soil. It lasted for an estimated 50 minutes with Luftwaffe aircraft targeting the Harbour where tomato lorries were waiting to unload their cargo for shipment off island.

The island had been demilitarised but that did not stop the Nazis from launching the attack, before occupying the Bailiwick for the next five years. 

If the Allied forces had launched an air raid three years later to recapture the Channel Islands the loss of life would have been far higher. However, Sir Winston Churchill, US president Franklin D Roosevelt, and Lord Louis Mountbatten were in agreement that the Channel Islands should be recaptured.

The plans were thwarted by the predicted human costs involved though - with the Allied forces needed for the Sicily invasion planned for the same era. 

white rock bombing visit guernsey (occupation archive)

Pictured: The White Rock bombing killed 34 people and left 33 injured.

Deciding that the manpower was needed deeper into Nazi-occupied Europe, the Allied forces instead focused on their Sicily plans, with the Italian island being invaded by British, American and Canadian forces in July 1943. The German and Italian forces retreated, paving the way for the Allied invasion of mainland Italy.

The plans to bomb the Channel Islands have been visited in more detail in a book published earlier this year by John Grehan called 'The Allied Assault on Hitler’s Channel Island Fortress'.

Mr Grehan's literary work has focused on military history, including other books on World War Two.


Pictured: The new book on the Channel Islands war time history has revealed previously unreported claims.

His latest book claims that over two nights in July 1943 the Allies would have dropped 500 tonnes of explosives per square metre across Guernsey, Alderney and Jersey. By comparison, the Dresden bombing in 1944 which caused the deaths of 25,000 people involved 467 tonnes of explosives per sqm.

Mr Grehan claims the Channel Island plans would have seen around 20,000 killed with an estimated 1,000 aircraft dropping 1,500 tonnes of bombs on Guernsey alone. 

Alderney would have been targeted by 600 heavy bombers carrying 900 tons of explosives, writes Mr Grehan.


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