The cost – includes breakfast, hotel accommodation, coach, museums and guide, although food and drinks are not included – is £1,250 per person.
The Commandos, were formed in June 1940, following a request from Winston Churchill, for special forces that could carry out raids against German-occupied Europe. Initially drawn from within the British Army from soldiers who volunteered for the Special Service Brigade, the Commandos’ ranks would eventually be filled by members of all branches of the British Armed Forces. By the end of the war 25,000 men had passed through the Commando course at Achnacarry.
Beginning our tour in the UK we cross the coast and head southwards to our first stop at Bruneval to study ‘Operation Biting’, the famous 1942 raid on the ‘Wurzburg’ Radar Installation. A full afternoon following the action in detail provides a great perspective on the operation as a whole.
Our second day sees us move further south again, this time to the heavily defended port town of St Nazaire. It was here in March 1942 that a large-scale Combined Operations raid took place to destroy dock installations and put the ‘Normandie’ dry-dock, the only one suitable for the mighty Tirpitz, out of commission. A fascinating action, it came at very high cost and our tour will cover each aspect of the operation in detail as well as touring the enormous and highly impressive St Nazaire U-boat pens which still stand to this day.
Our third day of the tour sees us turning northwards to Normandy to follow the fortunes of various Commando units and actions on D-Day, including a detailed look at the fighting in and around Amfreville and assaults on the Merville gun battery on the left flank of the allied invasion.
Our final day on the battlefields involves a journey to the coastal town of Dieppe to study the infamous landings and the role of commandos who came ashore alongside Canadians in August 1942, many of whom would not return. Following a detailed exploration of the action from both sides, we return to Calais for our journey back to the UK.