August 3, 2023. Knee Deep Into History, LLC is pleased to announce its 2024 WW1 and WW2 battlefield tour schedule. It is currently anticipated that the season will include eight tours—five WW1 tours and three WW2 tours in Western Europe. The 2024 season will include two unique tours and two tours in a new format.
Researchers and historians Graham Gaulke and Patrick Brion will share their knowledge of the Third Reich’s efforts to move key armaments production underground to avoid Allied bombardment in a Third Reich Underground—Rockets, Aircraft and More Tour. This is a side of Third Reich History in Thuringia, Germany that is not often covered by battlefield tours, and it will feature considerable time underground in quarries and mines. It will also examine the issue of concentration camp labor.
The reburial ceremony for well-known U.S. Air Service Aviator, Captain Hamilton Coolidge, 94th Aero Squadron, will be the catalyst for the September 2024 Capt. Hamilton Coolidge WW1 U.S. Air Service Airfield and Battlefield Tour. It is rare that WW1 soldiers are reburied, but the erosion caused by the Aire River near his current grave is relentless. This tour will also explore how the Air Service supported the ground war by including a mix of airfield and battlefield sites.
Knee Deep Into History is offering two overview tours, which cover more battlefields in less depth. The WW1 Doughboy Overview Tour will cover all major WW1 American Expeditionary Forces battlefields, including Cantigny, the Hindenburg Line, the Marne, the St. Mihiel Salient and the Meuse-Argonne, while the WW2 GI Overview Tour will cover key WW2 battlefields, including Normandy, Arnhem, the Hürtgen Forest and the Ardennes.
With the 80th Anniversary of the Normandy Landings, KDIH is offering a Normandy Beach and Airborne Tour just after the June anniversary. KDIH rarely offers tours during key anniversaries because crowds and VIP travel restrictions limit access to historic sites.
Standard WW1 tours will include a Verdun 1916-17 Tour and Flanders Fields and the Somme Tour. In addition, KDIH is tentatively planning a 102nd Infantry Regiment / Yankee Division Tour that will focus on this storied division and the friction between its leaders and other AEF leaders.
The 2024 schedule is shown below, and it can also be found online at 2024 WW1 and WW2 Battlefield Tour Schedule – Knee Deep Into History. Brochures and details for each tour will be available online by the end of August 2023.
The 2024 Battlefield Tour Schedule
5 – 7 May Verdun 1916-17 Tour (3 days / 2 nights)
13 -18 May NEW: Third Reich Underground—Rockets, Aircraft and More Tour (6 days / 5 nights)
21 – 28 May NEW: WW1 Doughboy Overview Tour (8 days / 7 nights)
10 – 16 June Normandy Beach and Airborne Tour (7 days / 6 nights)
13 – 19 July 102nd Infantry Regiment / Yankee Division Tour (7 days / 6 nights)
22 – 29 July WW2 GI Overview Tour (8 days / 7 nights)
4 – 7 Sept. Flanders Fields and the Somme Tour (4 days / 3 nights)
10 – 16 Sept. Capt. Hamilton Cooldige WW1 U.S. Air Service Airfield and Battlefields Tour (7 days / 6 nights)
Knee Deep Into History, LLC offers small-group battlefield tours designed to get you into the field and designed for those with a strong interest in military history.
KDIH attempts to tell both sides of the story. Unless otherwise noted, the tours are guided jointly by American, Randy Gaulke, and retired German Bundeswehr Officer, Markus Klauer. Both have been visiting the battlefields and guiding tours regularly for decades and both speak English, French and German. Markus also brings his experience in an armored battalion to the equation. Randy and Markus have known each other for 30 years and have been collaborating on tours since 2018.
Finally, KDIH tours emphasize bridging cultures. To achieve this goal, the tours select traditional family-owned hotels and restaurants, and cultural events, such as wine tastings, visits to cathedrals, etc. are worked into most tours.