The evacuation of more then 330,000 British and French troops from Dunkirk in May 1940 following the critical Battle of France was one of the turning points of the Second World War. Four long years of occupation followed, a period which included the construction of the Atlantic Wall to prevent any Allied return. Join us on a new version of this classic battlefield tour as we follow the fighting in France in 1940, the Miracle of Dunkirk and explore bunkers and V-weapon sites across northern France and Belgium.
- Day 1 – Local departure by coach, then to Belgium for a four-night stay.
- Day 2 – Battle of France: Retreat To Dunkirk - We at the fighting in the Battle of France in May 1940 following the story of the Durham Light Infantry and Royal Welch Fusiliers at St. Venant, seeing the memorial and nearby graves. At Cassel Hill we examine the last stand here by the Oxs & Bucks and Glosters. Following lunch we visit the site at Wormhout where a massacre of British troops took place by the SS then in Dunkirk visit the excellent War Museum of Operation Dynamo, followed by visit to the East Mole. We end the day in the dunes to remember the sacrifice of French troops in May-June 1940. B
- Day 3 – Miracle of Dunkirk: The V-Weapons - We return to Dunkirk to see the Dunkirk War Cemetery and the Dunkirk Memorial to the Missing. At Bray Dunes we look at the story of the evacuation beaches and the 'little ships', forever connected to the Dunkirk story. At Eperlecques we see the massive Blockhaus, built as launch site for V2 rockets. We then see a typical VI Doodlebug ski-ramp site, hidden in the woods near Morbecque and constructed to fire more than 2000 VIs a day at London. In the evening join us on an optional trip to Ypres for the moving Last Post Ceremony. B
- Day 4 – The Atlantic Wall: Liberation - On the Belgium coast at Raversijde we see how the WWI Aachen Battery was turned into a section of the Atlantic Wall by the Germans, seeing the bunker, trenches and many original features. We then travel to the French coast for lunch and in the afternoon visit Batterie Todt, a massive bunker that housed a huge artilery piece which bombarded Britain and could be used to fire on any invasion fleet. We see the museum here which includes a very rare German 280mm Railway Gun, then visit the V3 super-gun system at Mimoyecques. Here we'll go through tunnels built to house this incredible weapon which was never fired in anger due to Allied bombing. We end the day looking at the liberation of the coastal region in northern France in September 1944 with a visit to Calais Canadian Cemetery. B
- Day 5 – To Calais, then return home. B
Included Meals: B=Breakfast
Please Note: Entrance fees to museums and places of interest are at extra cost.