Jersey War Tours

Resistance Nest Bonne Nuit Fort

La Crête Fort is a military construction of the 1830s that evolved from a 16th-century rampart, went on to be a point of resistance for wartime German occupiers, and ended up being a holiday home for the Island’s LieutenantGovernors. Built on a northern headland between Bonne Nuit and Giffard bays, the fort is located in an area where the 1563 Popinjay Map of Jersey pinpointed a boulevard (rampart). In 1778 (three years before the Battle of Jersey), the Royal Jersey Militia recommended a battery of two guns at La Crête, and a map in 1781 shows the battery position. Six years later, the battery was said by an Army Engineer’s Report to have two 24-pound guns on wooden platforms, and the Duke of Richmond Map published in 1795 shows the upper and lower battery and a guardhouse. A survey in 1810 stated that La Crête was due to have a magazine some time that year, and a North West Regiment orderly book covering 1812 to 1817 refers to a battery with two 18-pounders. In his 1993 work about the building of La Crête Fort (A Respectable Little Work), Martin Brice says that the States fortified the site in 1813, and that after the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1815 La Crête kept its 18- pounders. According to Martin Brice, the States completed the fort in 1834, at a cost of £971, the work being done by a contractor called Slater, and provided accommodation for one officer and 40 other ranks from the Jersey Militia. A water tank holding 540 gallons and a magazine for 40 barrels of gunpowder were included. Minor repairs were carried out three years later after the Lieutenant-Governor requested a report, and although the fort was said to be in good order, its intended armoury of six cannon had still not arrived by 1840, according to Brice. When they did, two would be sited on traversing platforms. and four would fire through embrasures. By 1848, six 32- pounders were believed to be at the fort. La Crête lost its military importance a few years later and was abandoned, but less than a century later German Occupation forces revived its intended role as a bar to invaders. They armed it with an anti-tank gun, heavy and light machine guns, a mortar and a searchlight, turning the fort into ‘Resistance Point La Crête’, Brice records. Some of the original battery layouts survived, though. One of the fort’s original disadvantages had been vulnerability to fire from high ground at the rear, although a dry ditch did separate the single-storey, three-roomed guardhouse from the slopes. A bridge would originally have been used to cross the ditch, long ago filled by a series of 20th-century rooms, which, until this year, were at the disposal of the Island’s Lieutenant-Governors as a holiday retreat. Like other forts and towers, La Crête is felt to have retained its authenticity and historical context, and be evidence of how defensive theory developed in a changing military environment. The forts and towers group of the Société Jersiaise regard it as ‘an icon of the Island’s strong sense of individuality and self-determination, demonstrated by the ancient requirement to bear arms in the Island’s defence’. (Extract from from Jersey Heritage Forts and Towers)

Below is from the green book:

Location: The Resistance Nest Bonne Nuit Fort between Resistance Nest Jasmin and Resistance Nest Bonne Nuit Harbour lies in the frontline

Complement: Three NCOs and seventeen Other Ranks

Unit’s Weapons: Two light Machine Gun 13’s and one 8.2cm Russian mortar

Static Weapons: One heavy Machine Gun 34, one 3.7cm Anti-Tank gun and one 30cm searchlight

Battle Orders: The Resistance Nest Bonne Nuit Fort has orders to prevent attacks against Giffard Bay and Bonne Nuit Bay

Battle Command: By attack from the sea work together with Bonne Nuit Harbour, by attack from the land work together with Resistance Nest Jasmin

Exploring bunkers:

  • Always get permission from the owner
  • Take a torch, a spare and one more for luck
  • Don't go alone & tell someone where you will be and for how long
  • You will get dirty as most are often full of rubbish and may have been used as a public toilet
  • Anything you find still belongs to the person that owns the property
  • Unexploded ordnance is still found in Jersey if you see or find anything that looks like ordnance please call the bomb disposal officer on 01534 612 612.

Jargon Help

Widerstandsnest (WN) = Resistance Nest (RN)
Small pocket of resistance, these would be made up of small groups of up to 10 men with light weapons. They would man Anti-tank weapons, an observation post or a field gun.

Stützpunkt St.P = Strongpoint (STP)
Next level up from an RN and consisted of several RN's. STP areas would have a combination of weapons and different branches of the military used. Examples of this can be found with Strongpoint Greve de Lecq and Strongpoint Corbiere

Jäger Casemate was a special design and name for bunkers designed to hold a 10.5cm field gun

Sources of Information

German Documents are housed at The National Archived in Washington or Archive in Kew UK
T-78 Roll 318
T-78 Roll 317
T-315 Roll 1639
T-315 Roll 1643
T-311 Roll 27
T-312 Roll 1545

Operation Green Arrows - Occupation of the Channel Islands MOD 584
Allied Technical Intelligence Reports 1944-45
German Preparations for Invasion of the United Kingdom 1941-42
B-833, 319th Infantry Division (1941-45)
German Seacoast Defenses, European Theatre - prepared by the Seacoast Artillery Evaluation Board
Jersey Occupied by Michael Ginns - ISBN 978-1-905095-29-2
Operation Nestegg Plans
Operation Hardtack Plans
Operation Basalt Plans
RAF Photos care of The National Collection of Aerial Photography
Bundesarchiv - Multiple Photos - and Files
Map of slave labour camps. Kindly Provided by Emilio Pérez
Photo's and information provided by JWT members or fans

JWT onsite visits & internet research

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