Knee Deep Into History… In planning since 1942, the Allied landings on the beaches of Normandy on 6 June 1944 would go down in history as the largest amphibious invasion ever attempted. The first day landings alone would involve three American infantry and two airborne divisions, three British infantry divisions, two Canadian infantry and one airborne division as well as other specialized units. The landing would be accomplished using more than 4,100 landing craft supported by more than 1,200 naval combat vessels, 1,500 other ships plus more than 11,500 aircraft! The above-mentioned numbers do not reflect the role of intelligence gathering, deception and the French resistance.
In spite of the overwhelming numbers, success was far from insured: Field Marshall Erwin Rommel, who became General Inspector of the Western Defenses in November 1943, embarked upon a rapid expansion and strengthening of the Atlantic Wall. Even if thinly manned, the fortifications and obstacles along France’s coastline posed significant threats to any invasion attempt. Also, there was the risk that German intelligence would discover the plan.
In hindsight, it is easy to see that weather, Allied boldness and deception won the day. Convinced that the landing would not take place in the unsettled weather of early June, key German leaders were away at a war game; Rommel was in Germany celebrating his wife’s birthday. Also, Hitler’s conviction that the main Allied invasion would take place near Calais resulted in an unfavorable disposition of enemy forces, thus delaying German response time.
Nevertheless, the Allied hold on Northern France remained tenuous until the Allied breakouts in July..
Prepare to get knee deep into history as we explore the various aspects of this monumental invasion! This tour will take place JUST AFTER the 80th anniversary celebrations. We do not plan on offering a tour during the commemorations because of the massive increase in traffic. Of course, participants could attend the ceremonies on their own and get knee deep in the Normandy battlefields thereafter.
Brief Schedule (See Brochure for Full Details)
Monday, 10 June. Pick up at CDG. Drive to Normandy. Evening briefing and introductory dinner. Hotel TBD.
Tuesday, 11 June. Utah Beach, Airborne Operations, German Cemetery at La Combe and a German battery in the Cotentin Peninsula. Afternoon tour of a famous Normandy cookie or caramel factory.
Wednesday, 12 June. Omaha Beach, German battery at Longues-sur-Mer, Point-du-Hoc and the Normandy American Cermetery. Afternoon Calvados tour.
Thursday, 13 June. British and Commonwealth landing beaches and Arromanches.
Friday, 14 June. Pegasus Bridge (Airborne Operation), Hillman Bunker, Canadian Cemetery at Beny-sur-Mer. German radar station at Douvres.
Saturday, 15 June. Partial coverage of the push inland: The Falaise Pocket and the story of German Panzer Ace Michael Wittmanm. Depart for CDG Airport.
What Makes This Tour Unique?
The Normandy Landings are fascinating in their complexity and detail prior to today’s modern computers. Randy and Markus hope to explain this as well as the Third Reich’s efforts to improve Atlantic Wall defenses prior to any invasion and to explain the German response on the ground once the invasion commenced. There are thousands of individual stories of heroism to be told that contributed to the ultimate success of this risky venture!
We will do this tour just after the 80th anniversary commemorations, so wreaths, etc. will likely be in place still. However, the crowds should be significantly smaller.
Download the Tour Information Here and Sign-up Today!
Have a question? Email KDIH.