The discovery was made along the coast of Guernsey, an island in the English Channel occupied by German forces during World War 2. Since its liberation, alongside Jersey, on May 9, 1945, there have been a number of incredible discoveries, including a huge haul of relics found dumped in a quarry. Historian Dan Snow visited the island to take a look at one of the newly renovated bunkers during History Hit’s “The islands of Guernsey – Secrets of Hitler’s Island Fortress” documentary.
He said in 2019: “I’ve come back to the coast of Guernsey now and I’ve come to see a bunker that was part of this coastal defence network.
“It is being restored and the plan is to open it to the public, but before they do, I’m going to have a sneak preview because in it there are some fascinating wartime features.
“It’s incredibly strong construction, big concrete walls underground and steel doors leading to an anteroom where they’ve got the rifle rack.
“The Mauser K98’s here ready for the infantrymen to come out of their barracks, gas masks too.
The discovery was made in Guernsey
Dan Snow explored the bunker
Let’s go into the main accommodation here, it’s astonishing
“Let’s go into the main accommodation here, it’s astonishing.”
Mr Snow took cameras inside the bunker to show how German forces would have lived.
He added: “It’s been reconstructed, but this is exactly what it would have been like.
“What’s so special about this one is it has the original murals from the soldiers that were stationed here.
“There’s something quite beautiful about this sword, it says: ‘comrades remember to be brave’.
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The bunker has been restored
“Here are the bunks, suspended off chains from the ceilings, there would have been 12 men stationed here – some of them on duty around-the-clock, the others taking their turns to have a rest.
“You get a sense here that you don’t get elsewhere of the humanity of the people that would have been posted here.”
Then, Mr Snow explained what some of the markings on the walls meant.
He added: “They would draw to make their surroundings a little bit more enjoyable – here’s a mural of a pot of flowers.
“But this is the really chilling bit over here, this is an area which we know from other bunkers and have the evidence here was reserved for pictures of senior political and military figures.
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Beds were used by the German soldiers
A mural to Hitler was found
“This says ‘loyalty is the mark of honour,’ and in this border here we know there would have been a picture of Adolf Hitler.
“I’ve visited so many sites in the Channel Islands, but what really strikes me about this one is that for the first time, I feel connected with the individual Germans who served here in the garrison.”
From June 30, 1945, the Channel Islands were occupied by German troops, under Adolf Hitler’s masterplan to fortify the French coast.
The occupying German forces deported over 1,000 Guernsey residents to camps in southern Germany thanks to the island’s strategic value.
German defences and alterations remain visible, particularly to Castle Cornet and around the northern coast of the island.