Before we take a look at the stamps themselves, I would like to examine their status within the philatelic hobby.
UK Catalogues. In the Stanley Gibbons catalogue the Channel Islands issues from WW2 are not mentioned in the Germany Specialised Catalogue (1979). They are to be found in the Stanley Gibbons Great Britain catalogue. In fact the most misleading comment is "Stamps issued under British authority during the German occupation". I have yet to discover what authority Britain had over the Channel Islands during the occupation? Perhaps this is just British post-war pride?
German Catalogues. When for example looking through the "Great Britain" section in the Michel Europa (1961) you will find the comment at the bottom of the page "Channel Islands, see under Germany, German occupations". In fact German philatelists who study the German WW2 Occupations go very deep into the Channel Islands issues and have listed more types and shades than I have seen in the UK catalogues, perhaps that is just Germans being Germans. It would seem that Germans play up the occupation, whilst the British play it down.
Stanley Gibbons "British Commonwealth" 1973. "Stamps issued under British authority during the German occupation".
Senf Katalog 1942. "Channel Islands. Issues, with the permission of the German Occupation Authorities". This 1942 statement differs greatly from the post-war British statement.
In 1940 the German authorities were content to allow the further use of British stamps, but with the post offices on the Channel Islands now cut off from the British mainland, it was only a question of time before supplies of stamps ran low.
The most common stamp in use was the 1 penny stamp and it was this one that ran out first. The authorities issued permission for twopenny stamps to be used cut in half, or in philatelic terms, bicected. This was authorized originally for Guernsey only, but bicects were soon seen in Jersey as well.
The most common bisect was the twopenny orange from January 1938, if you see a twopenney pale orange, it is not an original WW2 bisect as this shade was not issued until 1941/42 and was not known used in the Channel Islands.
The second bisect was the twopenny stamp from the "Centenary of First Postage Stamps" (issued 6th May 1940), they made their way to the Islands seven weeks before the occupation.
Much more rare are the King George V and the King Edward VIII stamps which were also bisected, these come from stamp collectors resident on the Islands during the occupation. Of course the bisects were nothing more than short term until new stamps could be issued.
Guernsey Issues 1941-1944.
Guernsey included the islands of Alderney, Herm, Jethou and Sark. The following issue was designed by E.W.Vaudin and printed by the "Guernsey Press Co. Ltd".
During this time existing British stamps continued in use and are known mixed on covers.
7th April 1941
18th February 1941
12th April 1944
In 1942 a paper shortage meant that some stamps were printed blue French bank note paper normally used in printing money (French watermarked).
11th March 1942
7th April 1942
First Jersey Issue 1941-1942.
Jersey included the islands of Les Dirouilles, Les Ecrehous and Les Minquiers. The first issue was designed by N.V.L.Rybot and printed by the Jersey Evening Post.
29th January 1942
1st April 1941
Channel Islands "First Day Covers" are very common
The Jersey Issues secret.
The stamp designer wanted to hit back at the occupation and this little secret came out after the war......
In the design of both Jersey stamps there is an "A" in each corner, small and difficult to see, but it is there. AAAA = Ad Avernum Atrox Adolphe, or if you want it in plain English, "To the Devil with Hitler".
Second Jersey Issue 1943.
In June 1943 it was decided to print a scenic set of six stamps for Jersey, they were designed by E.Blampied and printed by H.Cortot. The stamps were printed by the French State Printing Works in Paris and shipped back to the island.
A nice cover with the complete set, which cost the sender a lot of money at that time.
All of the occupation issues for both Guernsey and Jersey remained in use after the war and were valid until 13th April 1946.