The Victory in Europe Campaign 1944-5
The Victory in Europe Campaign 1944-5
This tour, conducted by Robert Kershaw in the past, begins at London with visits to Churchill’s Cabinet War Rooms, the Imperial War Museum and HMS Belfast. The following day it incorporates the Bletchley Park Ultra Decrypt Museum at Milton Keynes, General Eisenhower’s Southwick House Headquarters near Portsmouth and the D-Day Museum at Southsea. All these visits set the scene for D-Day the invasion of Europe 6th June 1944.
The Channel ferry from Poole to the Cherbourg Peninsula enables a visit to the US D-Day landing beach at Utah en route to our accommodation. The next part of the trip is three days in Normandy viewing the US parachute drop zones around Ste Maire Eglise, the US Ranger assault on Pte du Hoc, the German coastal battery at Longue-sur-Mer, the Mulberry Harbour at Arromanches and the British landing beaches. It ends with a look at the dramatic British glider coup de main attack on Pegasus Bridge, spanning the Orne River Canal. The material used draws upon Robert Kershaw’s highly successful book D-Day Piercing the Atlantic Wall.
The next phase of the journey is a stop-over in Paris, to explore the French insurrection and the city’s fall to the Allies in August 1944. A day is then spent travelling to Brussels by train and driving ‘Hell’s Highway’, the Operation Market Garden airborne carpet corridor laid across the main waterways to the Rhine. Halts are made at Grave, Nijmegen and Arnhem. A further day is spent visiting and discussing the battles for the famous Arnhem Bridge and the siege of the village of Oosterbeek, where the isolated British 1st Airborne Division was decimated. Robert Kershaw’s acclaimed book It Never Snows in September describes the German view of Arnhem and Market Garden and his more recent book A Street in Arnhem describes the agony experienced by the village of Oosterbeek during the Second World War.
Two days are then follow viewing the ‘dragon’s teeth’ of the much vaunted German Siegfried Line near Aachen before travelling on to the Ardennes. Here we follow the tank tracks of the SS Kampfgruppe Peiper during its bloody advance from Lanzerotte on the German border to the US massacre site at Malmedy, where we disentangle alot of myth from reality. The next day we cover the German advance by the 5th Panzer Army against Bastogne and its heroic defence by the 101st US airborne Division.
The tour concludes with a drive to the Rhine bridge at Remagen, to cover its remarkable capture by US forces and enjoy a boat trip on the Rhine before finally departing from Frankfurt. This is essentially a 12 day tour with an option to proceed further to Berchtesgaden via the preserved Dachau concentration camp, to discuss the final days of the Reich.
Read Robert’s Books
This book covers the near abortive American landings at Omaha Beach on D-Day 6th June 1944, utilizing the ’24 Hours’ format of the experience through sight, sound and smell of the American and German adversaries with helpless French civilians caught up in between. This is perhaps the first time all three perspectives have been juxtaposed together. Tracking individuals from midnight to midnight exposes new ground and disentangles many previously held myths about what happened on that fateful day.
This is the story of the ten-day battle for the Normandy foreshore as seen through the eyes of German and Allied soldiers who fought and died in June 1944. Village fighting in the hinterland developed into stalemate as the Germans began to match the Allied build up after seven days. Bocage hedgerow terrain proved two-edged, favouring defence but stymieing the mobility sought by both sides and unsuitable for armoured sweeps. D-Day vividly describes the battle to get ashore and then for the next hedgerow and hill, a fight for survival and comrades.