During the spring of 1940 the army of the Third Reich rampaged westward through the Low Countries and France. As the danger to the Channel Islands became imminent, the British Government arranged evacuations for those who wished to leave. They also withdrew all British troops from the islands leaving them demilitarised and defenceless.
No one told the Germans.
High-level reconnaissance by the Germans proved inconclusive as regards the level of defences in the islands. On the late afternoon of 28th June three Heinkel bombers left Cherbourg to find out. Here at La Rocque they made a low level sweep, machine-gunning the vicinity. Three people were killed instantly outside their homes.
The bombers went on to attack St Helier and St Peter Port harbours with 41 further deaths and many injuries.
They got their answer. There were no defences. Two days later the Occupation began.