The cost – includes breakfast, hotel accommodation, coach, museums and guide, although food and drinks are not included – is £2,950 per person.
This special tour, led by historian Dan Hill and special guest guide Major-General Patrick Donahoe, former Commander of 1st Bn 67th Armoured Division in Iraq and later the Army Manoeuvre Centre of Excellence at Fort Benning, Georgia, will follow the story of General George S Patton in both the First and Second World Wars.
Meeting at Charles De Gaulle Airport, we’ll begin at the end. En-route east of Paris we’ll visit the woods near Compiegne and the recreated train carriage where the Kaiser’s armies surrendered to the Allies to end the fighting of the First World War. We’ll continue to the historic city of Reims and view General Eisenhower’s HQ where Field Marshal Alfred Jodl signed the unconditional surrender on the 7th May, 1945.
Our first full day on the battlefields will focus on Patton in the First World War. Visits include the spot on the road to Cheppy where Patton was wounded walking ahead of his tanks in the largest battle that the United States has ever fought – The Meuse Argonne. We’ll then jump back in time a few months to the Doughboys’ first major action of 1st Army and the attack on the St. Mihiel Salient, visiting the locations where a young Lieutenant Colonel Patton and Brigadier General Douglas MacArthur stood shoulder to shoulder braving shell fire.
Sees us parallel the route of Crieghton Abrams, one of Patton’s favourite tank battalion commanders, and future commanding general of the US Army in Vietnam. We’ll visit the Vauban fortress city of Metz and study the fight which stymied Patton in his Autumn 1944 campaign.
Turning north, we will follow the route of Patton’s tanks towards Bastogne and stand on the spot where Creighton Abrams’ lead element, the Sherman tank “Cobra King” met elements of the 101st Airbrone Division south of Bastogne, lifting the siege and spelling doom for the Nazi last-ditch offensive. We will also put our hands on another Sherman, this one being the 11th Armoured Division’s “Barracuda” in Bastogne’s main square and walk through the 101st Airborne Division Museum.
Our Fifth morning will be spent in the Ardennes following a number of actions, both large and small in which US Armour was involved in driving the enemy back towards Germany, followed by a visit to Luxembourg City (ABMC) Cemetery to visit the grave of Patton himself, tragically killed in a car accident in late 1945. Travelling on this afternoon, we reach Mannheim in Germany and the actual location where Patton’s accident occurred. Our accommodation this evening will be in the beautiful city of Heidelburg.
Our final day will involve a unique study of the famous and controversial ‘Hammelburg Raid’ in April 1945 to liberate Oflag XIII-B, a much-understudied action with plenty of fascinating locations to visit. Our tour will end in the nearby city of Frankfurt with its excellent global rail and air connections.