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It lies roughly north of St Malo and to the west of the Cotentin Peninsula.With several smaller nearby islands, it forms a jurisdiction within the Bailiwick of Guernsey, a Crown dependency.Of these, about 1,000 served in the Royal Guernsey Light Infantry regiment formed from the Royal Guernsey Militia in 1916.For most of the Second World War, the Channel Islands were occupied by German troops.During the Middle Ages, the island was a haven for pirates that would use the "lamping technique" to ground ships close to her waters.This intensified during the Hundred Years War, when, starting in 1339, the island was occupied by the Capetians on several occasions.
During the Marian persecutions, three women, the Guernsey Martyrs, were burned at the stake for their Protestant beliefs.
Life for the civilians on the island was very difficult, especially after June 1944 when the island was under siege.
German defences remain a lasting reminder of those times.
During the late 1940s the island repaired the damage caused to its buildings during the occupation.
The tomato industry started up again and thrived until the 1970s when it hit a sharp, terminal decline. Finance businesses grew in the 1970s and expanded in the next two decades and are important employers.