Travel back in time as we get knee deep into history with the American Doughboy of WW1. This overview tour will focus on the key offensive actions in which the American Doughboy participated in 1918, starting with the 1st Division’s assault at Cantigny on 28 May and ending with the Meuse-Argonne Offensive that began on 26 September and ended on 11 November. In between these bookend dates the tour will also focus on the use of American units to help stop the German advance on the Marne in late May and early June; the last German Offensive, Operation Marneschutz-Reims, on 15 July; Foch’s counterattack known as the Aisne-Marne that began on 18 July; and the St. Mihiel Offensive in mid-September.
It will also explore the often overlooked 27th and 30th Divisions, who advanced alongside other BEF troops against the Hindenburg Line on the Somme in late September 1918. A total of eight Medals of Honor were awarded to soldiers of those two divisions for these actions. Finally, it will explore the role of the 2nd and 36th Divisions in the Champagne, just west of the Meuse-Argonne in September 1918 as well as the 93rd Division’s actions in the Champagne.
Besides visiting key battle sites during this overview, the tour will stop at key American and international memorials and cemeteries. The dates and itinerary have been arranged to allow participation in the 2024 Memorial Day Ceremony at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery, the largest of the WW1 American Battle Monuments Commission Cemeteries.
Brief Schedule (See Brochure for Full Details)
Tuesday, 21 May. Pick-up at CDG. 1st Division assault at Cantigny and 27th and 30th Divisions on the Hindenburg Line in September 1918. Visit to Bony American Cemetery. Hotel TBD.
Wednesday, 22 May. Visit Chateau-Thierry and Vicinity, including Belleau Wood, the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery, the Memorial on Hill 204 and 3rd and 28th Infantry Division sectors along the Marne River during Operation Marneschutz-Reims. Champagne tasting in the afternoon. Stay in Chateau-Thierry.
Thursday, 23 May. Focus on the Aisne-Marne Offensive, the Oise-Aisne American Cemetery and the action around Fismes and Fismette. Stay overnight in or near Reims.
Friday, 24 May. Morning down time for shopping and visiting the famous cathedral, Notre-Dame of Reims. Afternoon exploration of the AEF battles in the Champagne, including the 93rd Division’s advance. Also, visit to la Main de Massiges for an excellent example of trenches in the Champagne Region. Stay overnight in Vienne-le-Chateau.
Saturday, 25 May. Meuse-Argonne Day 1. Stay overnight in Vienne-le-Chateau.
Sunday, 26 May. Meuse-Argonne Day 2. Morning participation in the Memorial Day Ceremony at the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery. Finish exploring key battlefield sites and trench remains in the Meuse-Argonne.
Monday, 27 May. Drive to St. Mihiel Salient. Explore sites, starting with the Tranchee de Calonne and Hattonchatel and moving to the Montsec American memorial for an orientation. Stay overnight at Lac de Madine.
Tuesday, 28 May. St. Mihiel Salient Day 2. Explore sites in the eastern portion of the Salient. Early afternoon visit to the St. Mihiel American Cemetery. Depart mid-afternoon for CDG.
What Makes This Tour Unique?
Both Randy Gaulke and Markus Klauer have spent decades exploring and studying the First World War in the Meuse-Argonne Region. Both know it like the back of their hand, and there are numerous areas for battlefields walks showing the war’s remains.
Also, participants will have the opportunity to attend the Memorial Day Ceremony at the largest ABMC cemetery from WW1.
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