25 October 2013

Mined Where You Walk - The German Occupation of Sark: 1940-45

Mined Where You Walk, by Richard Le Tissier, is one of a number of books I've purchased which provide a detailed overview of the German Occupation of the Channel Isles.

This title focuses on the small island of Sark. Sark in 1940 was a community of fewer than 500 persons. The then Dame of Sark, Mrs Sybil Hathaway, declared her intention to remain in the island and urged others to do likewise. In the event, very few left.

Prior to the Occupation, the Germans had bombed both Guernsey and Jersey causing many casualties. Such hostility, designed to put fear into the hearts of the islanders, did not occur in Sark. Indeed, when initial representatives of the occupiers arrived in Sark from Guernsey, they were welcomed and shared lunch with the Dame. During the war years, there was one German soldier for every two Sarkees; this small community in a confined space had to find ways to co-exist.

Richard Le Tissier recounts how the islanders and their occupiers fared during those years. He relates newsworthy incidents, such as the Commando raids, information on the deportees, and the murder of a German doctor on the island; as well as everyday life for the islanders - who pulled together for survival and in order to raise their spirits.

The author has produced a very well researched title, which provides a comprehensive account of the occupation of Sark, including information on all aspects of life of both the civilian inhabitants, and the occupying forces. If you have an interest in the Occupation of the Channel Islands, I would recommend this book.

The contents of book are:
  • Prelude to Occupation
  • Early Occupation
  • The Screw Tightens
  • Glimpses of the War
  • Another Grim Year
  • Hope on the Horizon
  • The German Garrison
  • A Cold and Hungry Winter
  • Friends of Sark
  • Appendix
Available from:
Seaflower Books

No comments: