Saturday September 2, 20172:00 p.m.: Pick up near Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris with coach, driver and guides
3:30 p.m.: Visit to Meaux Museum (1 hr. 30 min.)
4:30 p.m.: Stand at Marne Memorial, Oulchy-le-Château (1 hr.)
6:00 p.m.: Check into Chateau Thierry Hotel
7:30 p.m.: Group evening meal at the hotel
Tour participants will be met nearby Charles de Gaulle Airport by the guides and a 35-seat luxury coach, proceeding directly to the Museum of the Great War at Meaux. (It is the responsibility of participants to arrive on time at 2 p.m. on Sept. 2, so consider an earlier flight if necessary.) Then we will drive across the Marne to the remarkable memorial of Les Fantômes at Oulchy-le-Château (sculpted by Paul Landowski, creator of the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro) which will provide us with the backdrop for our first stand before we proceed to Chateau Thierry and our hotel.
Sunday September 3, 20179:00 a.m.: Full day's tour of Belleau Wood (June 1-26, 1918) following the 2nd and 3rd Divisions
5:00 p.m.: Return to Hotel Ibis Chateau Thierry
This will be a full day of exploring Belleau Wood, following the exploits of the 2nd and 3rd Divisions who were rushed into action to stem the German offensive which threatened to break through the Allied lines and reach Paris in June 1918. The subsequent month-long battle to secure the Wood, which the French re-named Bois de la Brigade de Marine in honor of the Doughboys who fought here, is a story of confusion and great personal heroism as the Doughboys learned the realities of attritional warfare. We will seek to make clear the real significance of this seminal battle before returning to our hotel in Chateau Thierry.
Monday September 4, 20179:00 a.m.: Morning study of the Chateau Thierry action
11:00 a.m.: Transfer to Cantigny (1 hr. 30 min.)
12:30 p.m.: Lunch in a local café
2:00 p.m.: Tour of the Cantigny Battlefield (May 27-31, 1918) studying the 1st Division attack
5:00 p.m.: Check into central Amiens Hotel
In the morning the group will visit Chateau Thierry where the men of the 3rd Division and two young American Lieutenants saved what could have been one of the great disasters of the war, transferring afterwards to the village of Cantigny where the 1st Division attack heralded the awakening American giant, as the A.E.F. made their first major challenge in battle to the German army. The evening's hotel will be in Amiens with an opportunity to visit Amiens Cathedral and admire the magnificent western facade of this Gothic masterpiece.
Tuesday September 5, 20179:00 p.m.: Depart hotel for a morning study of the Battle of Le Hamel (July 4, 1918) and US involvement
12:30 p.m.: Lunch stop Villers Bretonneux
1:30 p.m.: Tour of the Battle of Amiens ( August 8, 1918)
5:00 p.m.: Transfer to Hotel Beatus, Cambrai (1 hr.)
The first stop will be at Le Hamel, where a small contingent of Doughboys marked Independence Day in 1918 by collaborating with the ‘Diggers’ of the Australian Army in what is often regarded as the first modern ‘all-arms’ battle that set the pattern for warfare in the 20th century. The group will have lunch at Villers Bretonneux where the Australians halted the German offensive in April 1918. Afterwards will be a tour the battlefields of Amiens which saw the start of the final ‘One Hundred Days’ Allied offensive which culminated in their final victory and visit the crash sight of ‘The Red Baron’ before proceeding to the hotel at Cambrai.
Wednesday September 6, 20179:00 a.m.: Full day study of the Breaking the Hindenburg Line action (September 29, 1918) covering the 27th & 30th Divisions and a visit to Flesquières to see the D51 Deborah tank.
5:00 p.m.: Return to Hotel Beatus
7:00 p.m.: Final group meal at Hotel
The group will spend the day examining the actions of the 27th and 30th Divisions as they helped break the Hindenburg Line in September 1918. A visit to Flesquières to see the iconic WWI tank D51, known as Deborah, will reveal the story of how one man, Phillipe Gorczynski, single-handedly found and preserved this extraordinary reminder of the conflict. The day will conclude with a visit to the grave of a British officer and the tragic story behind one of the most poignant poems of World War I before proceeding back to the hotel and a final group meal.
Thursday September 7, 201711:00 a.m.: Transfer to Charles de Gaulle Airport
We will proceed directly to Charles de Gaulle Airport to ensure that you have ample time to prepare for your homebound flights.