- This event has passed.
Nov 23, 2023 @ 08:00 - 17:00£20.00
Tour Dates: 22-27 September 2022
Price Per Person:
Hotel Accommodation: (B&B Basis, 2 group evening meals included)
1 Nights in a Chateau Thierry Hotel
4 Nights in a Reims Hotel
The tour is inclusive of:
Pick-up and drop-off from Paris Charles de Gaulle
Executive coach, driver and 2 guides (Clive Harris & Mike Sheil) throughout.
5 nights Accommodation
All Museum & Champagne House entry fees
2 Group Evening Meals
The tour is not inclusive of:
Flights to and from Paris
This often-ignored campaign (June – August 1918) commenced on 27 May with the ‘shock and awe’ of the German Blücher offensive which destroyed three British divisions on the Chemin des Dames. The advance to the Marne directly threatened Paris but was held at Chateau Thierry by an extemporized force of ‘Doughboys’ and USMC which was the first major intervention by the AEF on the Western Front.
The subsequent action of the ‘Rock of the Marne’ and the Mangin offensive were acknowledged by the Germans as the turn of the tide of war with Prof Hans Delbruck writing in 1918 that the turn in our fortunes began with the collapse of our attack on Reims and the successful advance of the French north of the Marne.
This tour will enable people to explore the accuracy of this statement and consider the American contribution to the conflict. Additionally there will be an opportunity to examine sadly neglected British divisional actions in the valley of the Ardre where two British battalions were each awarded the Croix de Guerre.
The 2023 Battlefield Tour will be led by Clive Harris and Mike St Maur Sheil.
Meet at the Citizen M Hotel, Charles De Gaulle Airport Paris and onward travel to our hotel in Chateau Thierry – onroute we visit the American Monument on Hill 204 where its superb engraved map provides contest for the Blucher Offensive and battles of Marne 1918. That evening Mike Sheil will give a talk about the American entry into war before a group evening meal. Overnight Chateau Thierry
A morning study of the battle for Belleau Wood including the advance into the wood, visits to a number of associated sites and the nearby ABMC and German Cemeteries, after lunch, we look at one of the great what if’s of the war, the Battle of Chateau Thierry and the unmanned bridge spanning the town. We end the day by studying the Rock of the Marne a true symbol of American resistance in 1918 before continuing onto Reims. Overnight Reims
Seizing the moment – We begin the day by studying General Mangins counter-offensive and the battle of Soissons, among the sites visited are the crossing of the Ourcq, the Crossing of the Vesle at Fismes and a visit to a unique local museum covering the history of the area and its important river crossing through both wars. Overnight Reims
A full days study of the Battle of Tardennois in July 1918, here we follow the 51st Highland and 62nd West Riding Divisions along the Ardre Valley alongside French and Italian troops. A fascinating episode in the Great war set among the Champagne vineyards to the west of Reims. We end the day visiting a local Champagne grower and sample a tasting in the heart of the Battlefields. Overnight Reims
Starting with a visit to Le Main de Massiges a preserved/restored stretch of the French front line and open aired museum, we then head to Blanc Mont to consider the brilliant 2nd Division action across this ground. We will also visit the ossuary at Naverin before ending at Fort Pompelle, a well preserved citadel containing a fascinating military museum. Finally, back to Reims we make a tour of the cellars and tasting at a major Champagne House with a Great War connection before a final group meal. Overnight Reims
Return to Paris CdeG Airport for onward travel
ADDITIONAL DETAILS TO NOTE
Traveler is responsible for securing own travel insurance.
Flight – We strongly encourage scheduling arrival the day before the tour leaves to avoid any risk of a delayed flight.
Clive Harris –
Raised in Hertfordshire, Clive developed a lifelong fascination with history. He spent seven years with the Royal Corps of Signals, serving operationally overseas in Cyprus, Germany and France before taking a permenant staff in the Signals Wing of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. On leaving the army he joined his local Constabulary, serving 11 years in their Force Operations Room as a specialist communications officer and control room manager. In 1998, he began working as a speaker, writer, researcher and battlefield guide and since then has guided groups to the Somme, Ypres, Arras, Mons, Cambrai, The Hindenburg Line, Verdun, and Gallipoli for the Great War, as well as Normandy, Arnhem, The Italian Campaign, and of course the London Blitz for the Second World War. Clive is a Badged Member of the Guild of Battlefield Guides (No33),and a member of the British Commission for Military History and after obtaining a Masters in Great War Studies is currently preparing his PhD.
Michael St Maur Sheil –
Is the award-winning curator of the Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace 1914-1918. After studying Geography at Oxford, in the early 1970s Mike began his career as a photojournalist covering “the Troubles” in Northern Ireland. Here he became associated with the New York picture agency, Black Star, and over thirty years later he is still in the fortunate position of being paid to do what he loves doing — taking photographs. Mike has visited over 60 countries around the world, working for a wide range of clients such as ABC-TV, BBC, Anti-Slavery International, British Red Cross, European Commission, National Geographic, New York Times, Shell, Time and Time Life.
If you wish to pay by credit card, drop us an email and we will send you the relevant link.
Cheques can be made payable to “Battle Honours Ltd”
Click here to download booking form
Major General Thomas Jones, USA