Leger Holidays Battlefield Tours

The UK's Leading Battlefield Tour Operator

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Air War Europe: Colditz, Dambusters & the Great Escape

9 Day Tour from £849.00

Follow the story of WW2 Airmen from the Dambusters to Colditz Castle in Germany and Holland as we look at the battlefields of the war in the air above Europe involving the men of RAF Bomber Command. On this tour we visit the RAF graves in Reichswald Forest

Itinerary

9-Day Tour

  • Day 1 – Local departure by coach or Door-to-Door service, then to Holland for an overnight stay.
  • Day 2 – We travel into Germany and visit Reichswald Forest War Cemetery – the biggest WWII British Cemetery in Europe, nearly half the 7,400 graves are men from Bomber Command. From here, we travel to the Möhne Dam in the Ruhr Valley and examine the daring attack by aircraft from 617 Squadron commanded by Guy Gibson. From the top of the dam we can see where the attack came in and understand what a daring raid it was. We also visit Eder Dam, another of the targets in Operation Chastise, before moving on to our overnight hotel in Jena. Breakfast
  • Day 3 – We visit the famous castle and museum at Colditz, a name forever associated with the story of Prisoners of War in WWII. Perched above the sleepy German town that gives the castle its name, we are able to go inside and explore, and hear the stories of Douglas Bader and Pat Reid, and the many Allied prisoners kept held here. We continue to our hotel in the Dresden area for two nights. Breakfast
  • Day 4 – We spend the morning in Dresden looking at the raid on the city in February 1945 which destroyed almost all of its original buildings and killed nearly 25,000 civilians. We see some of the surviving buildings including the Trinity Church and Frauenkirche, which stand as memorials to the bombing, and visit some of the mass graves of the casualties of the raid. In the afternoon, spend free time in Dresden or join us on an optional visit to the Bundeswehr Military History Museum which has an unparalled collection of WWII artefacts. Breakfast
  • Day 5 – We cross into Poland and visit Zagan where Stalag Luft III was located; an Allied Prisoner of War camp was built to hold nearly 10,000 prisoners, many of them air crew. Here in March 1944 the so-called 'Great Escape' took place, made famous in the Hollywood film, when 80 Allied servicemen got away. We look at the story of the escapees, visit the site of the camp and the tunnels they dug, and the memorial to those who were shot after the escape failed. We then continue to our hotel in Berlin for two nights. Breakfast
  • Day 6 – In Berlin we look at the raids on the city, starting at the impressive air force museum at Gatow, which has a large collection of aircraft from WW1 to the Cold War period. We then visit Berlin War Cemetery where many RAF Bomber Command crews are buried. Around the city we see Flak Tower defences and the air raid shelters used to protect Berliners from the bombs. In the evening, join us on an optional visit around Berlin’s WWII sights. Breakfast
  • Day 7 – We travel to Hannover for an overnight stay and visit the Air Force Museum which has some impressive WWII items as well as a memorial to Second World War air crew. In Hannover itself, we see some of the signs of the bombing raids, ending the day at Hannover War Cemetery with more than 2,000 graves of bomber crew casualties. Breakfast
  • Day 8 – We travel into Holland, stopping at Rheinberg War Cemetery where some of the Dambusters are buried. We end at the grave of Guy Gibson V.C. whose war ended when his Mosquito crashed at Steenbergen. We stay overnight in Belgium. Breakfast
  • Day 9 – Return home. Breakfast

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