Following the fall of France the British Government decided that the Channel Islands, located close to the French coast, could not be defended without great loss. They offered the Islanders the option of whether they wished to be evacuated to the British mainland or not, and made ships available for this purpose. The majority on Alderney chose to leave, most on Sark chose to stay, children were evacuated from Guernsey but on Jersey most people stayed.
The islands were demilitarised by the British but this was not communicated to the Germans – they were not ‘invited in’. As a consequence the Germans bombed St Peter Port on 28th June and 44 civilians were killed. Subsequently the islanders were instructed to paint white crosses on the aerodromes and fly white flags – and the occupation proceeded without further casualties.