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The Fall of France 1940

Lille 6 nights Price from £2,546 per person
Departs: 29 Apr 2023
Departs: 29 Apr 2023

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On 10 May 1940, the day that Winston Churchill became Prime Minister in the UK, German forces launched their invasion of the Low Countries, by which they outflanked the heavily-fortified Maginot Line and entered northern France within weeks. By the end of the month the British Expeditionary Force was being evacuated from the beaches of Dunkirk in a seemingly miraculous endeavour, and the German army was on the Champs-Elysees by 14 June, where they would remain for four years. Join expert historian Hugh Macdonald-Buchanan on a journey through northern France to explore the remarkable course of events and the innovative tactics and technology which made the Fall of France one of the most dramatic events in military history.

What's included

...when you travel with Kirker

  • Return Standard Premier (first class) Eurostar tickets
  • Six nights’ accommodation with breakfast
  • Four dinners
  • Two picnic lunches
  • All sightseeing, entrance fees and gratuities
  • The services of a Kirker Tour Lecturer

Itinerary

  • Day 1 - Eurostar to France

    Travelling by Eurostar from St. Pancras to Lille, we will be met by our coach for the drive to Reims, where we stay at the Best Western Hôtel Centre Reims. Hugh will introduce the tour before dinner this evening in a local restaurant.
  • Day 2 - Battle of Sedan, Stonne & the Maginot Line fortress

    This morning we will visit the site of the Battle of Sedan, where a combination of extraordinary air bombardment and a concentrated armoured attack by the Panzer divisions punctured a hole in the strong defensive front and enabled German forces to cross the Meuse River. We will also see the site of the tank battle at Stonne, where the French Second army made a fierce counter-attack, and the Maginot Line fortress, Ouvrage La Ferté, close to the Belgian border.
  • Day 3 - Reims

    The site of the coronation of Kings of France for many centuries, Reims Cathedral is a magnificent landmark in the centre of the city and we will start this morning by visiting the Cathedral on foot. We will then continue to Eisenhower’s headquarters in Reims where the German surrender was signed in 1945.
  • Day 4 - Retreat of the British Expeditionary Force

    Following the retreat of the British Expeditionary Force from France, today we shall start at the site of the sacrificial British rearguard action at Cassel. We will see the locations where a series of heroic rearguard actions were fought en route to the Dunkirk beaches. Only a third of the soldiers evacuated in Operation Dynamo were picked up from the beach itself; about 200,000 were evacuated off the East Mole, and today you can still see a concrete section of the mole.
  • Day 6 - Audinghem, German Batterie Todt & La Coupole Museum

    We will visit a number of key sites in the Calais area today, including the site of Adolf Galland’s airfield at Audinghem, the massive German Batterie Todt on the coast, and the fascinating La Coupole Museum in the bunker designed for the V2 attack on Britain.
  • Day 7 - Ypres & Eurostar to London.

    On our final morning in France we shall visit the site of the British rearguard actions around Ypres, before boarding the Eurostar in Lille for the journey back to London.

Departure Dates and Prices

29 Apr 2023

Status Available

Price from£2546

Single Supp.£480

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Included Hotels

Hotel

Hermitage Gantois
Superior
Highly Recommended
Lille, France, Europe

Located in a quiet, residential area of the city, just 10 minutes’ walk from the Opera House, the Hermitage Gantois, was an ancient hospice dating back to the 15th century. It has an elegant fine dining restaurant (closed on Sundays), a more informal brasserie and a stylish bar.

Champagne, France, Europe

In the heart of Reims, just a few minutes’ walk from the Cathedral, and walking distance from the TGV station, Hotel de la Paix has 163 comfortable, modern rooms.

Hugh Macdonald-Buchanan

Hugh MacDonald-Buchanan

Tour Leader

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