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The Normandy battles on D-Day
Join us on a journey through the landings and battles that changed the course of history. We will underpin some stereotypical views as almost accurate, while debunking other myths, whilst taking you to all the iconic D-Day locations. One such location is Omaha Beach where so many young Americans lost their lives on a windswept stretch of sand. Another is the Airborne parachuting in the dark of night to take and hold the vital Pegasus Bridge crossing. This is a voyage of discovery and understanding for every member of our group. This is an exciting opportunity to walk in the footsteps of heroes. (The itinerary is subject to change to take in any special anniversary or special commemorations that take place from time to time.)
Midday. Meet Guide and coach at Caen Station. Check in to Hotel. Guided tour of Caen centre. Opportunity to explore Castle, Abbey of SaintÉtienne, also known as Abbaye aux Hommes and city centre bombed during WW2. Welcome dinner.
Breakfast in Hotel. Depart hotel for tour (which will include a campaign briefing) of 6th Airborne Division area:
. Merville Battery – D Day Parachute assault by 9th Bn The Parachute Regiment
. The Battle for Breville – D plus 6. Attack by 12th Bn The Parachute Regiment & one Company 12th Bn Devonshire Regiment, 13th/18th Hussars
. Ranville War Cemetery – 6th AB Division. Introduction to the work of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
. Pegasus Bridge – D-Day Glider borne assault on River Orne/Caen canal bridges by D Company, 2nd Bn Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry.
. Lunch at own expense in Café Gondrée area – first building to be liberated in France.
. Visit Pegasus Memorial Museum.
After lunch we drive to SWORD Sector starting at QUEEN RED Beach. We start at Strongpoint COD and look at the landings of 2nd Bn East Yorkshire and 1st Bn South Lancashire Regiments.
We then follow the advance inland including the attempt to seize Caen on D-Day – the battle for strongpoints MORRIS & HILLMAN and actions of 1st Bn Suffolk Regiment and 13th/18th Hussars. We return to hotel for overnight. Dinner at own expense.
Breakfast in Hotel. Depart hotel for British/Canadian sector via Lion-sur-Mer. Visit:
JUNO Beach – 3rd Canadian Division D Day: Courselles-sur-Mer & the Cross of Lorraine
GOLD Beach – 50th Division - D-Day Landing by 6th Bn Green Howards and initial advance inland to Crépon. The story of CSM Stanley Hollis VC.
Arromanches – Lunch in Arromanches at own expense. Optional visit at own expense to D-Day Landings Museum, View offshore remains of Mulberry Harbour.
Longues-sur-Mer – View German Coastal battery.
We move on to the Bayeux Memorial Museum. (Those who would prefer to visit the Bayeux Tapestry may do so at own expense.) At the nearby Bayeux War Cemetery & Memorial an Act of Remembrance will take place. We return to hotel for overnight. Dinner at own expense.
Breakfast in Hotel. Depart hotel with packed lunch. We head for the American sector where we will visit:
Ste Mére Église – 82nd US (All American)Airborne Division.
UTAH Beach – Pass 101st US (Screaming Eagles) Airborne Division drop zones en route. See landing beaches of 4th US Division.
La Cambe German War Cemetery.
Pointe du Hoc – German cliff top battery attacked by US Rangers.
OMAHA Beach – See German defences and landing area of US 29th Division. St Laurent US National Cemetery.
We return to Caen. Farewell dinner is included in itinerary.
Meals: B L D
Breakfast in Hotel. Check out of hotel. Load baggage and depart for any ‘Special Visits’ requested. In the morning we will also look at the Cristot – Bocage fighting – 6th Green Howards D+5. This afternoon we return to Caen Station where your tour ends.