On this site you will discover a little about the German Occupation of the British Channel Islands and see some of my collection of original German helmets from that period.
The German Occupation of the Channel Islands showed to the world that Hitler had broken through a tiny frontier of Britain and stationed German troops on British soil for the first time. It was the only part of the British Isles to be occupied by the German forces during World War II.
There were approximately 36,000 German troops stationed in the British Channel Islands during the Occupation. After the Islands’ liberation in May 1945 there was literally thousands of tonnes of German equipment to dispose of.
Much of it was dumped and sealed up in the German tunnels around the Islands and left to rust away as shown in the picture below. We would spend weeks of our school holidays finding and getting into these tunnels as children.
For the serious German helmet collector the picture below shows a sad waste of a selection of nice German helmets including a Camo Chicken Wire and even a Medic Helmet.
Below is my Kriegsmarine Chicken Wire Camo which was ‘rescued’ from a pile like this in the 1950s before it got so bad.
Other items were dumped over the cliffs into the sea and some bits used as scrap metal but a small amount of gear survived and was kept as keepsakes and put up in lofts and attics to gather dust for many years.
My Grandfather Donald Le Gallais kept a few bits tucked away and passed them onto me along with many fascinating stories of that time.
I have heard many of the elder generation talk about their excitement as young boys when they would go to gun sites or into the many deserted bunkers and tunnels to gather as much equipment including German Helmets as they could carry and described it as an Aladdin’s Cave for collectors.
Most of it has ended up in a number of museums which can be seen around the Islands today. These are well worth a visit with vast collections on show. Follow the links for more information on these museums.
This farm house is across the road from where I live in Jersey. It was taken over as a billet for some of the troops.
With history like this all around it is easy to see why I have always found this period in our history very interesting. I don’t claim to be an expert in this field but I just enjoy collecting as a hobby
As you can see I have a few original German helmets and other items for sale once in a while so please call back from time to time.
I hope you enjoy my collection.