DDay Tours For War Buffs, Veterans and History Enthusiasts
It was the windswept coast of Normandy in northwest France that was to be the setting of a number of the most significant events that took place during World War II, including the DDay landings through to the Battle of Normandy.
During World War II the Battle of Normandy (June 1944 to August 1944) resulted in the liberation of Western Europe by the Allies from the control of Nazi Germany.
The battle, Codenamed Operation Overlord, began on June 6, 1944. The first day, DDay, was to witness no less than 156,000 British, American, and Canadian forces landing along a 50-mile stretch of the Normandy region in France – at that time a coastal area that was heavily fortified with German artillery.
The DDay invasion was among the largest amphibious military assaults ever seen and called for extensive planning. Prior to the DDay landings, the Allies carried out a large-scale campaign of deception which was designed to mislead the German high command about the actual intended target.
All of northern France, by late August in 1944, had been liberated, and by springtime of 1945 the Germans were defeated. The Normandy landings on DDay are often referred to as the beginning of the end of the war in Europe.
What You Will See and Experience During a DDay Tour
While at Normandy, pay a visit to the Pegasus Memorial Bridge and Museum, both of which have been dedicated to those that fought with the 6th British Airbourne Division.
Next, walk in the same footsteps that many thousands of WWII soldiers did at Gold Beach and Juno Beach, two from five of the Allied invasion’s landing points. At Longues-sur-Mer, you’ll see the German artillery battery which had a highly strategic outlook over the English Channel and was built by the Wehrmacht. Later, this artillery battery was bombarded by the Allies.
Sainte-Marie-Du-Mont/ Sainte-Mère-Église/ Utah Beach
Have a wander around Sainte-Mère-Église village, the location where the paratroopers from the 82nd and 101st Airborne Division, during the night of June 5, 1945, littered the skies as they dropped in their parachutes through a barrage of German gunfire.
See the church steeple in the village where one paratrooper was caught up for hours, then take a tour around the remarkable museum.
Continue on westward to visit La Fière bridge, which was where the 82nd Airborne Division led an important DDay battle. Next, visit a memorial spot that was established in memory of the 101st Airborne Division’s 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment which was known as E or Easy Company. Then you can view the spot in a field nearby where the Commander of Easy Company, Thomas Meehan, together with his crew, were killed after their C-47 Dakota aircraft crashed under enemy fire as was witnessed during a dramatic scene in Stephen E. Ambrose’s Band of Brothers.
Moving onto Sainte-Marie-du-Mont, this was among the first villages in the area to be liberated during the DDay invasion.
Then to Utah Beach, where, during the early DDay morning hours, one of two huge amphibious landings was carried out by the Americans. At Utah Beach, there’s a memorial museum here, too.
Colleville-Sur-Mer/ Pointe Du Hoc
Along the entire Normandy coastline, among the most dramatic DDay sites is Pointe du Hoc. It’s where U.S. Rangers utilised ropes and hooks to scale the 100-foot-high cliffs so they could then destroy prominent German gun positions.
Stroll along the cliff tops which, as you will see, are still cratered with blasts from mortars, and have a look inside the German forces’ concrete bunkers.
Have a meander along Omaha Beach, also known as “Bloody Omaha”, which is where the heaviest Allies casualties occurred during invasion day.
Trace the history of the German stronghold named Vierville Draw, an obvious objective to be cleared by the Allied forces, and witness what remains of the German fortifications and bunkers along the Atlantic Wall.
At Colleville-sur-Mer, an American Military cemetery lay a wreath to pay your respect to America’s fallen heroes. Spend a moment taking in the row upon row of grave markers that stretch acre upon acre.
DDay sites draw in war buffs, armed forces veterans, and history enthusiasts from all around the world. Escorted DDay tours provide travellers with a hassle-free appreciation of the sites while offering a learning experience by way of services of experienced and highly educated tour guides.
Guided DDay tours afford a dynamic way to bring history to life by witnessing the actual spot where historically decisive events took place.
Professors, historians, and sometimes veterans lead DDay tours. Some tours last a single day and visit only a few sites, while the more comprehensive tours visit numerous places over a matter of days.
Prearranged tours are frequent throughout the year, though groups are welcome to book their own private tours that come with customised itineraries to suit.