The cost – includes, hotel accommodation and breakfast, transport, ferries, museums and guides, but not lunch, dinner and drinks.
This tour will be led byDan HillandDr Spencer Jones
Dan is incredibly proud to have worked for over a decade as both a professional military historian and battlefield guide across Europe. Having led thousands of battlefield tourists on trips across battlefields, he understands just how powerful the experience can be. Dan holds a Master’s degree in the History of Britain in the First World War and has worked as a consultant in the media and on a number of national and international military history projects.
Spencer is an award-winning historian and author. He is a Senior Lecturer in Armed Forces and War Studies at the University of Wolverhampton and is the President of the Guild of Battlefield Guides. He also serves as the Regimental Historian of the Royal Regiment of Artillery.
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Our tour begins with an overview of the British Expeditionary Force’s struggle against overwhelming odds in August 1914. By 27 August the BEF had been in constant combat for four days and was reaching its breaking point. German forces continued to pursue the weary Tommies leading to several bloody rear-guard actions. Today we will look at two of these: the last stand of the 2nd Royal Munster Fusiliers at Etreux and the fierce cavalry action at Cerizy.
The Retreat Continues
We continue in the footsteps of the retreating BEF and study two crucial rear-guard actions that protected the army. We will examine 4th Guards’ Brigade’s action in the woodland around Villers-Cotterets and walk the ground at Nery, where 1st Cavalry Brigade snatched victory from the jaws of defeat thanks to the incredible courage of L Battery Royal Horse Artillery, resulting in the award of three Victoria Crosses
The Miracle of the Marne
In early September the Allied armies turned and counterattacked the German invasion. The results were decisive and the battle would become known as the Miracle of the Marne. We tell the story of the battle from two remarkable memorials: Le Ferte-Sous-Jouarre, which commemorates British casualties suffered in the campaign, and the stunning Butte Chalmont, a French memorial which commemorates the Second Battle of the Marne in 1918.
By mid-September the Germans had retreated to a new defensive position on the River Aisne. The BEF advanced assaulted these defences on 13-15 September in the Battle of the Aisne. The BEF attacked with courage and skill, establishing bridgeheads over the river, but were unable to clear the ridge of its defenders. The bloody battle gave the British Army its first taste of trench warfare. The tour will focus on the intense fighting for control of the Chemin-des-Dames.