THE FULL DAY BRITISH TOUR 8.30am – 5.30pm.
Merville Gun Battery/Gonneville. This German strongpoint positioned to the East end of Sword beach posed a great threat to the Invasion armada. Selected for the task of neutralising it, was the 9th British Parachute Battalion. With the chaos of the war, things rarely go to plan and this attack was no exception. Starting at the village of Gonneville we will be able to see leadership can overcome adversity before the attack and visit the bunkered German position and hear about the incredible attack and the bravery of the men that would go down into the annals of the Parachute Regiments history.
The Battle of Breville Ridge. Breville Ridge was to be the location of some of the bitterest fighting for the 6th British Airborne Division during its time in Normandy. The village of Breville was almost totally destroyed in the fighting. See the remains of the church and hear about the sacrifices of the men who fought there. Just to the south we will visit Chateau St Come and see several monuments including the 51st Highland Divisions bronze bagpiper. From this magnificent vantage point we will be able to understand the significance of Breville Ridge in relation to Sword beach landings. We will be looking over the largest Drop Zone/Landing Zone of the invasion.
Ranville Cemetery. Often Referred to as the Airborne Cemetery, this is the final resting place of 2560 men form the Allied and German forces. Listen to the moving stories of the men who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Spend time wondering through the graves and visit the grounds of Ranville church where the first Allied casualty of the invasion is buried.
Pegasus Bridge. The glider assault and Horsa bridges by Major Howard and his Company of men form the 2nd Battalion the Oxs and Bucks, has to be one of the most amazing attacks of any force in the Second World War. Hear about the planning, training and the incredible assault. Listen to the stories about the bravery of the men who defended the bridges from the German counter attacks until British Commandoes from word beach arrived.
At a small extra cost visit the world renowned Pegasus Bridge Museum.
Lunch. Lunch is normally stopping for a sandwich or other quick snack (not included in the price of the tour) and the group will relax for about half an hour.
Sword Beach. The Eastern most landing beach of the invasion was to be assaulted by the British 3rd Infantry Division. Their task was not a small one. They were to break through 3 belts of German defences and push approximately 8 miles in land, take the city of Caen and link up with the 6th British Airborne Division to the East. Hear about the incredible German defence systems and the more incredible British plan of attack that would smash into them.
Hillman strongpoint. The Germans generally defended in depth and Sword beach was no exception. We will visit Hillman German strongpoint positioned on the Perrier Ridge, directly behind the Sword beach landing area. Wecan get an appreciation of what the British Infantry were up against on D-Day. See a good variety of German bunkers at close hand and hear about the incredible bravery of the young men of the 1st Battalion the Suffolk Regiment that went into the assault.
Gold Beach. Visit the beach and be amazed at how the men of the 50th Tyne Tees Division did on D-Day. This was a battle tested Division and many of its men were hardened Veterans. Company Sergeant Major, Stanley Hollis, of the 6th Battalion, the Green Howards, was no exception. The only Victoria Cross recipient for actions on the 6th June. Hear about the man and the heroic acts that were to earn him Britains highest award.
Arromanches/Mulberry Harbour. Home of the remains of the artificial harbour. See this incredible engineering fete and try to comprehend its design, manufacture and construction. The try and imagine the 2500 to 3000 servicemen working on, in and around it. An amazing visual stop with an amazing story.
Longues Sur Mer Gun Battery. This large German gun battery position has to be one of the most impressive bunker complexes overlooking the Invasion frontage. Large German gun casements with the original artillery pieces still inside. These guns were a major threat to the invasion Armada on the 6th of June and would have to be dealt with quickly.