Duncan Barret
ARRSE Rating
4 Mushroom Heads
There have been numerous books written about the German occupation of the Channel Islands including Jersey Under The Jackboot, Living With The Enemy and The German Occupation of the Channel Islands by Charles Cruickshank. For those excited by reinforced concrete (stand forward ex Sappers) there is the excellent Jersey's German Bunkers. The question is; What does this new book by Duncan Barret bring to the canon of Channel Isles military history?

The author has assembled his material from a large number of interviews with survivors of the occupation, probably the last opportunity to do so as the years roll past. There is not a lot of source material quoted but the author has acknowledged and recommended a number of other books.

The book begins with a delightful introduction as Churchill roars at the need to abandon British subjects to the horrors of the Germans. The rapid French capitulation had left these small islands indefensible from the mainland.

The book then progresses through 33 chapters and 394 pages in roughly calendar order. There is the inevitable hiding a dead pig from inspectors story. Plus some far more serious stuff to remind us how badly the Germans behaved, especially where there were less witnesses. The range of experiences is well balanced, the illustrations well chosen and a decent index. The book is produced by Simon and Schuster and printed to a decent standard. The photographs are on proper glossy paper and there are 4 helpful maps.

The overall result is a very readable book well worth the £8.99 cover price (Amazon from £7.49). It is probably aimed at the generalist reader but should sell well.
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