German Commando Raid from the Channel Islands

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Trotsky, Dec 30, 2009.

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  1. I have been reading "Commando Country" by Stuart Allen, a review of the secret and not so secret commando training that took place in the highlands in WW2.

    In it he says the Germans launched a commando raid from the channel Islands against a UK radar station on the south coast (or just of the south coast) of the Isle of white.

    I have never heard this before..... can anyone shed light on it?

  2. Scillys? Im sure they got that far.
  3. chrisg46

    chrisg46 LE Book Reviewer

    not heard of that, but am no expert. I went to jersey for my honeymoon and saw in one of the museums there that they did launch a raid on a port in france after liberation, late 1944 i believe. Suppose its possible, although wouldnt have rated their chances of getting home...

    Was there a radar station on the isle?
  4. The Isle of Wight was very heavily fortified- The PLUTO ran from Shanklin Chine for starters, and there were a few radar posts there, Tennyson Down etc. MittMayo is the expert on the Island, he's more or less a Caulkhead; if anyone would know, MM will.

    I read the book last year, cracking read. Sfub Sr has it at the moment.
  5. Deleted for being a mong.
    Note to self: must read posts properly before replying. :)
  6. Erm, you've got the wrong end of the stick....
  7. Would be interested in this one, who would the raiders be :?:
  8. According to Robert Laycock's papers, he believed it to be The Brandenburgers.
  9. Andy_S

    Andy_S LE Book Reviewer

    I am from Guernsey and have never heard of this. Certainly, a couple of early, experimental UK commando raids were launched against the islands, but never heard of it happening in the opposite direction, bar the raid from Jersey, mentioned above. IIRC, that was carried out by the resident infantry division on the islands, who had a pretty quiet war.

    Jack Higgins also set one of his books on Alderney and had a unit of German mini-subs based there, which never happened but seemed credible to me when I read it.

    However, there WERE four mini-concentration/labor camps on Alderney (which had been evacuated by civ pop): Norderney, Borkum and Sylt.
  10. There were at least six raids carried out by the British against the Channel Islands but I can find no record of the Germans doing any raids against the South coast, and no record of any Brandanburgers stationed on the islands
  11. Sounds like its part of the ongoing myth of German landings. Hard to believe that 64 years of WW2 research and publishing hasn't mentioned this before...
  12. He was quoting an article written for RUSI in 1947 and conjectures a raid on an IOW Radar station. ... Or are there any islets beyond the IOW?

    I wonder if in fact he means the raid on the french mainland in 1944/5?

  13. I grew up on the IoW and there were no raids carried out against it to the best of my knowledge. Had the Germans attacked a radar station on the Island it would be well documented by now thanks to the German archives.

    The only raid i know of carried out by the Germans from the channel islands, as mentioned by others is the Granville raid, 8\9 March '45.
    Very succesful it was too.

  14. Researching German special forces and units of WW2 is actually extremely hard, improved access to old files notwithstanding.

    The Germans were perfectly capable of undertaking and mounting such a raid, even at the end of the war. The Brandenburg Küstenjäger units, operating mainly in the Adriatic and Eastern Mediterranean were as good as the Royal Navy's SBS. However, the Germans did not really have the resources for raids on liberated coastal ports after D-Day. Their fortress redoubts, like Lorient and Dunkirk, were very effective in tying up Allied manpower, as was the continued German occupation of the Channel Islands. German forces carried out commando-style raids against besieging Allied forces but more ambitious operations were limited to attempts to attack Allied shipping in the Channel and North Sea late in 1944 and into 1945.

    Most of these operations involved the Kriegsmarine's K-Verbände, set up by Dönitz in April 1944. The K-Verbände were not really equipped to transport raiding parties so Bruneval-style enterprises would not have been high on the list.