We are regularly working on concepts for future tours. What follows is a list of tours we plan to offer in the coming years. At present, we cannot tell you exactly when these tours will be scheduled, but we wanted to provide a taste of “upcoming attractions.” If these topics interest you, you are encouraged to drop us a line and we will add you to our contact list; you will receive updates when these and other tours are offered.
This tour would focus on a few of the crucial contests of European history, and we would spend 1-3 days examining each in detail. We anticipate the following sites will be included in our itinerary.
The culmination of two decades of war, Waterloo ended the Napoleonic era. It would be another 99 years before Europe had another continental war. You will walk the hard-fought fields where the history of 19th century Europe was shaped.
The Ypres Salient is a place that evokes the worst horrors of World War One, and the courage and endurance of those who fought it. Our tour will visit several battlefields around Ypres, encompassing four years of the war on the Western Front. The past is very present here, through preserved trenches, rusting barbed wire, memorials, and the many cemeteries.
Operation Market-Garden (‘A Bridge Too Far’):
Planned as a bold stroke to “end the war in ‘44”, Market-Garden instead highlighted the pitfalls of Allied overconfidence and the ability of the German Army to recover from defeat and prevail on the battlefield. We will visit the peaceful, verdant fields of Holland, and learn how the great courage and daring of British, American, and Polish soldiers proved insufficient to end the war by Christmas.
The Holocaust in Poland
Poland was the epicenter of the Holocaust: Six million Poles died from 1939 – 1945, half of them Jews murdered by the Germans. Going to the places where that happened is not always easy, but it is vitally important that we do so. These are sites everyone should visit at least once, to remind us all of what happens ‘when good people do nothing’ and depravity and evil are allowed to hold sway.
Our tour would originate in Warsaw – a grand, tortured place synonymous with the best and worst of modern human history. Here we would visit the most important sites of this rebuilt city, including those associated with two courageous uprisings against Nazi rule: the Ghetto Revolt of 1943 and the Warsaw Rising of 1944. Afterward, we travel by coach to the site of the Treblinka death camp, second only to Auschwitz in the sheer scale of murder committed there, and then continue on to Lublin and the preserved Majdanek concentration camp. Traveling on, we would spend three nights in beautiful Krakow – mercifully undamaged by war – and its Old Town, containing a wealth of historical and architectural treasures.
We would also visit the site of the Plaszow labor camp, made famous by Schindler’s List, as well as the ‘Schindler Factory’. A full day will be spent at the Auschwitz-Birkenau camps. Our final stop will allow us to decompress at the amazing Wieliczka salt mine, a seven-century-old wonder with 200 miles of tunnels, subterranean lakes, and an entire cathedral, all created by centuries of Polish miners.
The Italian Campaign
Fresh from their victories in North Africa and Sicily, Allied forces landed on Italian coast in September 1943. Winston Churchill believed the country to be the “soft underbelly” of Europe, a quick and economical means to knock Italy out of the war, establish a foothold on the continent, and open an avenue to invade Hitler’s Third Reich. The Allied troops who fought the campaign over the next twenty months soon learned there was nothing soft about Italy’s rugged terrain or its tenacious German defenders. By the time the war ended in the spring of 1945, over three-quarters of a million men of both sides were casualties and many of the battlefields where they fell had taken their places among the hardest-fought clashes of the war.
Our tour will pay homage to the brave men who fought a campaign that was often overshadowed by events elsewhere in a massive global war, but not exceeded in ferocity.
Some of the key points of our itinerary include:
Salerno, where US-led forces landed in the Bay of Naples in September 1943, bringing on a hard-fought battle, the outcome of which teetered in the balance before the Allies finally secured their foothold on Italian soil.
Monte Cassino, scene of four bloody battles from January – May 1944, and of the famous Benedictine abbey, destroyed in the fighting and now rebuilt. Soldiers from nearly a dozen nations repeatedly attempted to pry the Germans from dominating terrain; Polish forces finally succeeded, opening the way to Rome. We will spend three days in the Cassino area, taking in many key sites including the Rapido River and Albaneta battlefields, cemeteries from several combatant nations, and of course the abbey.
Anzio: Allied troops landed here in January 1944, hoping to outflank the German defenses around Cassino. Cautious tactics combined with an aggressive enemy response led to a bogged-down beachhead and over four months of bitter fighting.
San Pietro Infine: American forces fought an intense battle for San Pietro in December 1943, resulting in heavy damage to the once-picturesque village. Today the uninhabited ruins remain much as they were when the war moved on, providing a stunning look at the aftermath of urban combat.
Rome: Taking a break from our battlefield trekking, our itinerary will also include a guided tour of many of the Eternal City’s ancient places, including some of the most iconic landmarks in Europe such as the Colosseum, Forum, Vatican, and Pantheon. We will also spend part of a day focusing on Rome’s World War 2 sites.
Our itinerary will also include a visit to Pompeii and our travels take us through stunning landscapes and beautiful towns.
This tour is not yet scheduled. We anticipate offering it during the 75th anniversary of 1944 – in the autumn of 2019 – but this will be confirmed by the end of 2017.
Should you desire additional information and updates when this tour is scheduled, we will be happy to provide it. Please contact us and we will place you on our list for further details.