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Jewels and Jackboots: Hitler's British Isles, the German Occupation of the British Channel Islands 1940-1945 Hardcover – Special Edition, 25 Oct 2012

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Channel Island Publishing; 1st edition (25 Oct. 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 1905095384
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905095384
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 2.5 x 30.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 437,411 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Simon on 6 Nov. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A fascinating read and a real thought provoking insight as to what would have happened to the rest of Britain should we have fallen under Nazi rule. Do any of us really know how we would have reacted in such circumstances when faced with the dilemma of self-preservation and that of your family while staring down a barrel of a gun against the honour of your people and your nation? I think John Nettles has done an outstanding job of laying out the facts without being judgemental and letting the reader decide. As indeed a detective would do to let the court and jury reach its verdict! I also enjoyed the DVD by him called The Channel Islands at War [DVD]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mrs Jacqueline M Epps on 6 July 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Whilst containing some interesting information, the writing in this book is tediously repetitive, as if the reader cannot be trusted to remember detail from one page to the next. The book could be a great deal more concise and readable is subjected to a thorough edit.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Póló on 26 Jan. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really didn't know what to expect when I got this book. I had some knowledge of Jersey from having worked there in 1961, knew of the occupation and was aware that it was still, at that time, very much a live issue in the island.

In more recent times I have been following political developments in the island and more particularly the fallout from the revelations about the massive institutional child abuse and its cover up that have been going on in the intervening period.

I was aware that John Nettles was familiar with the islands from a decade of shooting BBC's Bergerac, in Haut de la Garenne, and that his daughter was the none too popular Emma Martins, currently Data Protection Commissioner for the islands.

I wondered if the book would be a knocking job, or simply sensationalist, capitalising on the extreme aspects of the German occupation of the islands.

I was pleasantly surprised. It is a well written and thoughtful book which attempts to portray the occupation from the point of view of the islanders themselves, drawing extensively on their diaries and writings. I can't say how much of it might be new: the bibliography makes it clear that there have been many works dealing with this subject. But, whatever about insiders, much of it will surely be new to outsiders like myself, and Nettles has done us a service by bringing it all together in very readable form.

It is a difficult subject to write about, even today. As he says himself, the UK had no stomach for any sort of serious public inquiry into precisely what went on during the occupation. Its priority was to sweep the shame of it under the carpet and leave it there. The result was "unfinished business from the occupation, years on, hanging unhappily over the islanders to this day".
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. Morrison on 3 Jan. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a good book about the German Occupation of the Channel Islands. John Nettles studied history at university and he brings that experience to this book, which is based on the 3 part documentary he made for the Yesterday TV channel. It is a balanced view of the occupation and covers such touchy subjects such as possible collaboration and the fate of the Jews in the islands. However, there are a couple of things which let the book down a bit. First of all there are a considerable number of typos - the publishers obviously skimped on proof reading to save money. Secondly there are a lot of photographs in the book which is good but what is not good is that many of them are not captioned and none of them are properly attributed and referenced which is frustrating if you want to find out where certain pictures came from. Unfortunately I can attribute one of them. The photograph on page 174 was actually taken in Trafalgar Square and was taken during the filming of Kevin Brownlow and Andrew Mollo's "It Happened Here" (1964). It appears on page 52 of Brownlow's "How it Happened Here" (1968) and also on the back cover of the Connoisseur Video release of the film. The photograph is attributed to Rosemary Claxton. There are enough fascinating picures of the Occupation of the Channel Islands so there is no need to add fictional ones.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A well-written book, if somewhat confusing, due to the timeline not being continuous. The narrative jumps from island to island and in different time frames. The accounts of how the islanders and more especially the slave labourers were treated is harrowing.
Churchill does not come out of this sorry saga covered in glory either, choosing to abandon the islands but failing to inform the enemy that they had been demilitarised, causing unnecessary deaths and destruction.
Post-war judgements left a very bitter taste in the islands which seems to still be resonating to this day.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By P Le Brocq on 29 Jan. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A fascinating mixtures of photos, personal anecdotes and illuminating comments. An important addition to a much maligned episode in Jersey and British history.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I live in Guernsey. This account of the occupation gives an unbiased perspective of what it was like. Very good reading.

Just an update. I do have to agree with another reviewer that the book is tediously repetitive, and did annoy me a great deal. It is such a shame because the book contains a lot of information about the occupation which is very interesting. Please Mr Nettles, make sure the book is re-edited and these repetitions taken out, plus the spelling mistakes, before you release it in Germany in 2014, which I think you intend to do.
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