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#1 topdeadcenter



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Posted 17 August 2007 - 02:11 AM

Going back to some time pre the outbreak of WW2, I was just a kid and starting to have an interest in reading the daily newspaper, we had no radio or Redifussion in those days, I remember reading about HELIGOLAND and some dispute between England and Germany.

Do some of you remember some detail as to what it was all about ?

#2 Skipper



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Posted 17 August 2007 - 04:34 AM

Her eis some info found on Wikipedia:

Heligoland - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

During World War II the islanders remained on the main island. The first bomb dropped on German soil during the war landed here on 3 December 1939 by mistake from a British bomber. There was also a large allied air raid on the island on 15 October 1944, destroying many of the buildings of the Unterland. Then, on 18 April, 1945, over a thousand Allied bombers attacked the islands, leaving nothing standing. The civilian population was protected in rock shelters, most of the 128 people killed being anti-aircraft crews. The islands were evacuated the following night.

From 1945 to 1952 the uninhabited islands were used as a bombing range. On 18 April 1947, the Royal Navy detonated 6,800 tonnes of explosives ("Big Bang" or "British Bang"), creating the biggest non-nuclear single detonation in history. While aiming at the fortifications, the island's total destruction would have been accepted. The blow shook the main island several miles down to its base, changing its shape (the Mittelland was created).

In 1952 the islands were restored to the German authorities, who had to clear a huge amount of undetonated ammunition, landscape the main island, and rebuild the houses before it could be resettled.

Heligoland is now a holiday resort and enjoys a tax-exempt status, as it is part of the EU but excluded from the EU VAT area and customs union, and consequently, much of the economy is founded on sales of cigarettes, alcoholic beverages and perfumes to tourists who visit the islands.


#3 PzJgr


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Posted 17 August 2007 - 12:53 PM

Heligoland is an island in the North Sea, strategically placed vis-a-vis the mouths of the Weser, Elbe and Kiel Canal. Heligoland, previously part of Schleswig, was ceded by the Danes to Britain in 1814 as part of the post-Napoleonic settlements. In 1890, as a result of the Zanzibar Treaty, it was ceded to Germany in exchange for commercial rights in Zanzibar and annexed to Schleswig-Holstein (at that time part of Prussia).

Perhaps you read about the Heligoland Treaty. What was the Heligoland Treaty? In return for the island of Heligoland the British Prime Pinister, Salisbury, demanded several things: that Germany recognise the British protectorate over Zanzibar and Pemba (previously a semi-independent Sultanate), that Germany renounce its claims to the regions of Witu and Uganda (a clause which aggravated Carl Peters tremendously), that Britain have access between Lake Tanganyika and Uganda, and that Germany leave the region to the west of Lake Nyasa to Britain. Despite the Kasier's overwhelming desire to obtain Heligoland, the German ambassador, Count Hatzfeld, managed to obtain a few concessions.

The frontier was to run parallel to 1°S west of Lake Victoria until it met the Congo Free State border - this effectively blocked a continuous 'Red Route' of British holdings from the Cape to Cairo. (Britain was unable to persuade King Leopold to give them access rights through the Congo Free State because of protest by Germany and France.) To the east of Lake Victoria the border was to run in a straight line to the coast, to a point opposite the island of Pemba. In addition Germany obtained a narrow strip of land extending from German South West Africa (now Namibia) to the Zambezi River, to be known as the Caprivi strip (named after the German Chancellor at that time). The treaty was ratified on 1 July 1890.

What was unusual about the Heligoland Treaty? The most Euro-centric aspect of this treaty was that Queen Victoria insisted that her grandson, the German Kaiser Wilhelm II, be given a mountain in Africa - Britain had two, Germany had none. So the border from Lake Victoria to the coast has a kink in it, putting Mt. Kilimanjaro in German East Africa (now Tanzania).

But this was way before WWII as well as WWI. The only other reference and one that I have heard of was the battle of Heligoland during WWI. It was a German defeat and one that made the Kaiser refrain from using his navy in large naval engagements.
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#4 Jan7



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Posted 21 August 2007 - 07:39 PM

Some photos of the U-Boat Base of Heligoland in this post of our Forum of U-Historia Base de Ub de Heligoland
click in the links
La llave de la libertad es la sabiduria. El cerrojo de la esclavitud la ignorancia
U-Historia, Ubootwaffe 1939-1945 History of UBootwaffe in Spanish
http://www.forospyware.com In Spanish

#5 PzJgr


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Posted 22 August 2007 - 12:33 PM

Excellent find! I did not know it consisted of more than one island and the target island looks like it had an airfield.


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