Peter Port on the 28th June As referred to in the film, tomato trucks were mistaken for military vehicles in a bombing raid that tragically killed 33 civilians. There was in fact no British military presence on the island whatsoever when the Germans attacked. Despite reluctance from Prime Minister Winston Churchill, the British government had already decided that the Channel Islands served no strategic importance to Britain and would therefore not be defended.
Once the Germans realised that the island was undefended they arrived with no further force, and Guernsey offered its surrender on June 30th. What followed was an uncomfortable co-habitation of frightened islanders with their new German overseers. The States of Guernsey handed overall control to the German authorities while the day-to-day running of the island became the responsibility of a Controlling Committee, required to enforce new German directive.
Life in Guernsey changed significantly during the Occupation. The island was immediately shifted to Central European time, and a curfew was imposed.
Islanders were cut off from any information and communication with the mainland. All radios on the island were confiscated, meaning that people had very little knowledge of the welfare of their families or how the war was progressing. As the war continued, German soldiers set about making Guernsey one of the most fortified places on the planet. This involved equipment, materials and manpower being shipped from Europe to the island.
Thousands of foreign prisoners and other labourers were brought to the island to complete the construction of hundreds of concrete bunkers, gun emplacements and tunnels that can still be found today. Many of these prisoners were effectively treated like slaves, housed in inhumane encampments and deprived of food and rest. Food was a huge problem throughout the occupation, as the island was eventually cut off completely from any mainland supplies.
There was precious little to feed the local residents, German soldiers and European labourers alike.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
As a result, the day-to-day lives of islanders revolved around queuing for the restricted food supplies. The potato peel pie is actually a true occupation recipe, which made the most of the limited ingredients available! By winter of , Guernsey was on starvation rations with both locals and soldiers at risk. Please refresh the page and retry.
On paper, the whole thing is a bit of a head-scratching melange too: equal parts comedy, travelogue and whodunit, rigged around wartime flashbacks and an urban-rural love triangle. T he year is , and the bright new coats of paint on every other front door speak to a common appetite for fresh starts.
Played by the Game of Thrones actor Michiel Huisman, Dawsey is less of a conventional heartthrob than a kind of stealth hunk, whose sex appeal grows so gradually it virtually qualifies as a plot twist.
Anyway, what began as a ruse soon became a regular pastime, with postmaster Eben Tom Courtenay and his grandson Eli Kit Connor , gin maker Isola Katherine Parkinson and mother hen Amelia Penelope Wilton coming together every week for a momentary escape from the German boots tramping the cobbles outside. B ut Newell excels as a director of well-picked ensembles — which is why Four Weddings and a Funeral worked as well as it did.