Uncover the beginnings of espionage and explore dramatic real life events that inspired a legend
3 days/2 nights from London
For decades, the Raid on Dieppe was considered to be nothing but a general rehearsal for the real thing to come in Normandy. But was that really the only objective to off-set the immense loss of lives? Join us and explore the possibility of the Dieppe raid being a cover for a “pinch” by the Commando’s to steal the German Enigma code machine. Find out about Ian Fleming’s involvement, from the Whitehall offices where he encountered the real life ‘characters’ that inspired the James Bond stories to the double agents from the XX-Committee that would provide him with the 00-moniker used in the naval department.
Why not ‘link it’ with the scheduled Wartime Kent & Ian Fleming/James Bond Weekend tours…and/or the weekly Thursday Cambridge and Duxford RAF Aviation Museum London day trip!
Oct/Nov dates would also ‘link up’ with our Saturday day trip to Bletchley Park, where the Enigma Code was broken…made popular recently by the TV show “The Bletchley Circle” and the new Benedict Cumberbatch film “The Imitation Game” about British logician and cryptologist Alan Turing at Bletchley.
Day 1 Monday
A day in London, exploring what life was like for Londoners during The Blitz – the Home Guard, Allied soldiers on leave, women workers like then Princess Elizabeth in the ambulance corp and the future author Ian Fleming. See some war damage that still exists in the city. Discover real life experiences and some Bond film sites.
A walking tour around Whitehall will introduce you to the Admiralty where Fleming worked as personal assistant to Britain’s head of naval intelligence Admiral John Godfrey, also home of the Bond-embryo and ‘Goldeneye’ connections.
Westminster was the setting for many triumphs for Churchill during his ‘Finest Hour,’ his 5 years as Prime Minister during WWII. In 1937, a purpose built ‘bombproof bunker’ was constructed so that in the event of heavy air bombardment, key personnel could continue to run the country – ‘The Cabinet War Rooms.’ Much has been left ‘as is’ from those war years including the spartan bedroom used by Sir Winston, the map room and Transatlantic Telephone Room with its ‘state of the art’ direct connection to President Roosevelt.
This afternoon, drive through the Kent countryside to our accommodation near Folkestone. Dinner is included this evening.
Overnight: Near Folkestone, Kent
Day 2 Tuesday
An early start as we make our way to France via “The Tunnel” – the EuroTunnel train will whisk our vehicle under the English Channel.
Dieppe, 19 August 1942 – Operation Jubilee was an Allied force of 300 ships, 800 aircraft, 5,000 Canadian and 1000 British assault troops that attacked the French port of Dieppe. The official purpose was to make a successful raid on German-occupied Europe over water and then to hold the line. New research suggests the real intent of this historic raid was to steal the German-made Enigma code machine, used for the encryption and decryption of secret messages. If this secret ‘pinch’ mission had been successful, it most probably would have changed the course of the war.
During our time in Dieppe, visit troop landing sites, the Canadian cemetery and get in depth into the, until very recently revealed, top secret true history of the raids and the connections to the birth of cold war era espionage.
Today Dieppe is a quaint seaside resort and bustling fishing port town. There are plenty of traditional French restaurants, especially seafood restaurants, around the quayside area so we are sure to have a lovely evening out sampling the local pleasures.
Day 3 Wednesday
Another day spent uncovering the secrets of Dieppe. Ian Fleming was among the naval intelligence officers behind the secret ‘pinch’ mission. Although not known to the general public at the time, he used his ‘insider knowledge’ of the Enigma machine as fiction in the Bond novels. From Russia With Love (1957) offered the ‘Lektor’ cipher machine as a plot focus and he returned to the topic briefly in You Only Live Twice (1964).
This afternoon, we make our way back across the Channel via EuroTunnel to London. Those that wish it, instead have the opportunity to be dropped at Calais rail station for easy rail connections to your choice of Paris or Lille and onward to Brussels or Amsterdam.
Oft imitated, never duplicated! This is an original SGT itinerary, property of Special Group Tours and to be used only with express permission/in conjunction with SGT.