La Valette Underground Military Museum

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One of the places I visited was Guernsey. It is owned by the British but it is a small island off the coast of France, west of Normany, past Cherbourg.  Guernsey is famous for being the home of Victor Hugo during his exile from France. He lived there for 15 years and it is where he wrote Les Misérables. During WWII, Guernsey was occupied by the Nazis. I arrived there on Sunday the 10th. Just two days after the 70th anniversary of VE Day (Victory in Europe Day).

Near the port, there is La Valette Underground Military Museum. The museum is housed in a converted Nazi fuel depot. Supposedly it is where they stored the fuel for U-Boats. Inside the museum is a collection of Nazi documents, uniforms, badges and other items from the war. They do have a collection of firearms as well, mostly pistols.

 

Polish made FB Radom Mauser.

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They have quite a few older pistols. Some are from the war, others were found or collected and put into the display.

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Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at nicholas.c@staff.thefirearmblog.com


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  • TheNotoriousIUD

    That’s a sweet ass High Power.
    If you like underground stuff check out the catacombs in Paris. Its my favorite thing there.

    • SS

      Wow you made it to Guernsey and didn’t visit Jersey! That’s a pity if you ever make it to Jersey you may be very surprised what you find on the fairer isle :o) very different laws to the”UK” you can see some fantastic items on the range.

      • forrest1985

        Interesting, how do you mean different laws from the mainland?

        • Tom

          Much like the USA the different states in the UK have different laws. So each of the three Kingdoms (England & Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) have their own laws, as does the Isle of Man and the Balliwick’s of Jersey and Guernsey. The Westminster Parliament can make laws that effect the whole of the UK, or just England & Wales and Scotland or just England & Wales. The waters are further muddied by devolution as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own Parliaments/assemblies so can pass legislation outside of the Westminster system.

          Just to add a bit more confusion the Isle of Man and the Balliwicks of Jersey and Guernsey are not technically part of the UK but rather Crown Dependencies that is to say they are possessions of the Crown not the UK. Even though the UK Parliament can in theory force legislation on them this is not done and Westminister only passes laws effecting the Crown Dependencies with their permission.

          So whilst the rest of the world thinks of them as British possessions the islanders themselves certainly do not.

          In terms of firearms this means that the laws banning most handguns in the UK Mainland do not apply in NI, the Isle of Man or Jersey and Guernsey.

          • forrest1985

            Sorry tom, i should have been clearer. i knew the first part (being british) it was just the firearms laws i was more curious about. Are restrictions not as tight i take it?

          • Tom

            I tend to assume everyone else here is an American 🙂

            Essentially the 1997 Act which banned most handguns in GB does not exist in the channel islands so they can still own and shoot centre fire pistols unlike those of us in GB. I think they still need to get a certificate from the local police but its like Dumblane never happened over there.

            As a result the GB Olympic pistol team practice in Jersey which is sort of ironic that we have a team to compete in an international event that is to all intents and purposes illegal in this country.

          • iksnilol

            It’s more sad than ironic if you ask me.

  • PeterK

    That was rad. Thanks for the share!

  • Steve Neisler

    I drive my wife and kid nuts in museums. I can study the weapons for hours.

  • Tahoe

    Very cool collection; I always thought the Channel Islands were an interesting footnote to the war, kind of like the Japanese “invasion” in Alaska.

    But would it kill someone to clean up and oil those firearms every once in a while?

    • Graham2

      You think those exhibits are bad, the ones in the German Underground Military Hospital are literally covered in rust and wooden grips on a PPK were actually rotten! The guy working there wasn’t at all bothered when I asked him why they weren’t being cared for properly, really sad.

      I was on the island last year and it’s a fascinating place to visit. It must have been heartbreaking for the islanders to be still under German control after the D Day landings.

      • Tom

        The island of Guernsey was practically deserted during WWII as the Germans wanted it for a base. The other islands were left inhabited however the German soldiers stationed there were under very clear instructions to play nice with the locals something the locals took full advantage of.

        Of course the Germans were as cruel to the Slavic POWs used as slave labour on the islands as they were elsewhere. But in general the residents of the Channel Islands probable had the most comfortably occupation of the war. The German forces on the islands did offer to surrender on VE day but the British refused it due to some condition or other the Germans had insisted upon. The Germans of course knew the game was up and offered their unconditional surrender the next day.

  • MoPhil

    Hm, interesting. I have never heard of an “Nazi Army”. I only know about the Wehrmacht, consisting of the Heer, the Luftwaffe and the Kriegsmarine. Then there was the Waffen-SS, which could vaguely be called a “Nazi Army”. Did the Waffen-SS occupy Guernsey on its own? I don’t think so. I found, that, when the island was handed over to the British again, it was the 319th Infantry Division, which surrendered. So it was a Wehrmacht-unit, no “Nazi Army” unit. I see, that there is still a very simplistic worldview in the anglo-saxon cultural sphere, where everything regarding German history between 1933-1945 is automatically “Nazi”, although it was a Wehrmacht-officer, von Staufenberg, who tried an assassination. As I said: simplistic.

    • Anonymoose

      Years ago, in a French class I took in college, the teacher got angry whenever I said “allemand” instead of “Nazi” when we had a lesson about the occupation of France.

      • forrest1985

        Just the french and germans. We still refer to them as “zee germans”

        • Dan

          Yea, Nazee Germans, jk

      • MPWS

        In years leading to WWII there were considerable sympathies, among all western nations (including U.S.of A. and G.B.) with national-socialist movement of Germany. In fact there were similar political parties in those countries. One of British royals were directly involved and the story was suppressed by all possible means, yet – informed individuals are aware.

        And you are quite right, this is trend which is here to stay.

    • TheNotoriousIUD

      And who was in charge of the Wehrmact?
      A Nazi.

    • Swarf

      I just rolled my eyes so hard I saw backwards in time.

    • Ben

      ^.

    • MPWS

      Good point. However, no sense of re-teaching history to indoctrinated with no curiosity of their own. They do not give it smack.

      As for record, at height of German military power – in 1941, just 12.5 % (1/8) of all “imperial Germans” were card carrying NSDAP members.

  • USMC03Vet

    Europe has some pretty deplorable WW2 museums/historic sites. Anyone been to the Japanese ones knows exactly what I’m talking about.

    • Chase Buchanan

      Do you mean that the Japanese ones are better?

      • USMC03Vet

        Yes they are far better maintained and don’t look like a dump.