Winston Churchill worked up plans to bomb the Channel Islands to try and bring an end to the Second World War which could have cost tens of thousands of civilian lives, a new book has claimed.
The UK's Prime Minister and others were said to have proposed "shower[ing] more bombs on the Channel Islands than Dresden" during the summer of 1943, which could have cost 20,000 civilian lives.
This was midway through the Nazi Occupation of the Channel Islands, when Jersey had a population of just over 40,000 people, Guernsey had a population of 20,000 and Alderney was home to hundreds of slave workers and German soldiers.
The only bombing raid Jersey suffered during the war was on June 28 1940, when German bombers attacked St. Helier and La Rocque, claiming nine lives.
However, a new book published earlier this year called 'The Allied Assault on Hitler’s Channel Island Fortress' by historian John Grehan sheds new light on plans approved by the Allies which could have seen the Channel Islands subjected to an unforgiving bombing campaign intended to soften up Hitler's Atlantic Wall.
At the Casablanca conference in January 1943, Winston Churchill and US president Franklin D Roosevelt approved plans for an invasion of the Channel Islands, codenamed 'Operation Constellation'. The plans were only aborted as Allied forces were needed for the upcoming Sicily invasion.
Pictured: Over two nights in July 1943, the Allies would have dropped 500 tonnes of explosives per square mile across Guernsey, Alderney and Jersey.
Mr Grehan's latest book claims that over two nights in July 1943 the Allies would have dropped 500 tonnes of explosives per square mile across Guernsey, Alderney and Jersey.
The Dresden bombing in 1944, which caused the deaths of 25,000 people, involved 467 tonnes of explosives per square mile.
The first phase of the operation was to target Jersey, and would have involved 31 squadrons of British and US heavy bombers blasting the island before infantry, tanks and artillery landed.
Pictured: St. Helier and La Rocque were bombed in June 1940, resulting in the deaths of nine people.
Destroyers would have then shelled the island before a brigade of paratroopers dropped behind coastal defences. Close combat fighting in the streets was envisaged against the 8,000-strong German garrison.
Alderney alone would have been targeted by 600 heavy bombers carrying 900 tons of explosives.
Speaking about the discovery in his book, Mr Grehan told the Mirror: “Though it is hard to believe Allied leaders could have devised plans which would see British and American forces killing British civilians, it is all horrifyingly true.”
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