Follow in the footsteps of the French at Verdun as they face the might of the Kaiser's Imperial German Army. Visit some of the most significant sites in the Verdun defences including those along the frontline to the north of the city, those within the ring of forts, and the Voie Sacrée (the Sacred Way).
Follow in the footsteps of the French Forces as they battle to hold back the German Army onslaught at Verdun in February 1916. Begin with exploring the frontline defences as Lieutenant Colonel Émile Driant's 56th and 59th Chasseurs Chasseurs à Pied Battalions strive to hold the advancing German infantrymen as they roll forwards. Then explore the network of defensive forts including Fort Douamont, the impregnible Fortress. Pay your respects at the many memorials, the Douamont Ossuary and French Cemetery.
On 21st February 1916 the German Army launched a massive attack on French forces in the Verdun sector. During the German assault Colonel Émile Driant's Chasseurs held the line valiantly for two-days buying time for their countrymen further back towards Verdun. They bought time for the Frenchmen in the Verdun Forts to prepare an effective defence, but at what a price.
Join one of our team of battlefield historians on a tour of the Battle of Verdun battlefield and forts, follow the action and see how the battle developed.
Our first stop of our tour is the Bois des Caures in which Lieutenant Colonel Émile Driant's 2,200 French Chasseurs à Pied faced the onslaught by elements of the German 81st and 87th Infantrie Regiments on 21st February 1916. Here we spend time walking the battlefield and visiting: The German Frontline; The French Frontline; Lieutenant Colonel Driant's Command Post; The French Memorial; and Lieutenant Colonel Driant's original grave.
Our second stop of the day is the Flabis Reprisals Camp and nearby Flabis Reprisals Memorial where we discuss the brutal regime under which 500 French prisoners of war were kept in a barbed wire fenced compound that was just 50 metres long by 30 metres wide, just 1500 square metres.
Our third stop of the day is Douaumont, Village Detruit, one of the nine "lost villages" of Verdun.
We then visit Fort Douaumont, which is located on the highest piece of ground in the area at just over 1,200 feet above sea level. With its commanding views over the surrounding countryside, Fort Douaumont was considered to be impregnable and the strongest fort in Europe. Here we take time to explore following the fort's excellent audio guide and and discussing what occurred at each location.
Our day's touring complete, we return to your tour hotel where you are free to enjoy your evening.
Day two begins when we depart from our tour hotel reception at 09:00 hrs.
Our first stop of day-two is Fort Vaux, which was the second fort to fall in the Battle of Verdun. Here we take time to explore the fort and discuss its defence that was marked by the heroism and endurance of many, including Major Sylvain-Eugene Raynal the fort's commander.
We then move to the excellent Memorial de Verdun Champ de Bataille where you are given time to wander around its displays and excellent exhibits.
Our third stop of the day is the Bayonet Trench where Colonel Collet's 137th French Infantry Regiment had been overwhelmed whilst preparing for an attack.
This is followed by a visit to the Douaumont Ossuary and French Cemetery to pay our respects to the fallen.
Our day's touring complete, we head back to your tour hotel where you are free to enjoy your evening.
Day three begins when we depart from our tour hotel reception at 09:00 hrs.
We begin the day at Mort Homme (Dead Man's Hill) where a huge monument of a huge skeleton draped in a flag stands upon the summit to commemorate the men of the 40th and 69th French Divisions who bore the brunt of so much of the fighting in the vicinity. Here we explore the surrounding forest, with its trenches and bunker remains, while we discuss the events that unfolded as the Battle of Verdun intensified.
We then head into the city itself where we visit the Citadelle de Verdun that was a sophisticated logistic basis, a dreaded point of departure and a place of comfort very much appreciated by the French soldiers during the battle.
Our next stop is the Voie Sacrée (Sacred Way) Memorial where we discuss this vital lifeline, that connected Bar-le-Duc to Verdun, and enabled the French to resupply and reinforce the fortress city and its defences.
Our final stop of the tour is the Marie de Souilly which was the French Army Headquarters of Generals Philippe Pétain and Robert Nivelle during the Battle of Verdun in 1916.
Our tour complete, we head back to your tour hotel where we bid you farewell.
Please note: Itineraries are subject to change due to operational reasons. Any changes will be advised closer to the time of departure.
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Costs may vary from those shown above due to the availability and selection of hotels, and other associated cost variations at the time of booking.
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