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Occupied between 1940 and 1945, the Channel Islands, just 20 miles off the French coast, were the only British territories to be occupied by the Germans during World War Two. When the Battle of France was lost, Churchill considered the place both impossible to defend and lacking in any strategic value and decided to de-militarise the Channel Islands.
Some 30,000 Channel Islanders (one third of the total population) were evacuated. Once the initial panic was over, the rest decided to stay and tough it out, mainly on Jersey and Guernsey. They were liberated by British forces following the general German surrender on May 1945.