2016 Americans in World War I & Battlefields Northeast: Harlem Hellfighters, Sgt York & Verdun

June 22nd–June 25th, 2016

Heroes of "the war to end all wars" a Century on...

4 days/3 nights from Paris

2014 – 2018 World War I Commemorative, Special Tours In Remembrance: WWI Centenary

In 1918 the “Doughboys” of the USA joined the European fray of the First World War. Have you ever wondered where they went, ‘over there?’ Although the American Forces saw only about 150 days of combat, they did make a contribution to the Allied victory. In particular the 369th Infantry Regiment, better known by their nickname “Harlem Hellfighters,” served in the trenches alongside French troops, pushed their way through to the banks of the Rhine and captured the important town of Sechault, earning themselves many distinguished medals of honour including the Croix de Guerre for their astounding bravery.

Our tour will focus on the areas northeast of Paris that saw the fiercest fighting, the ultimate war zone Verdun and areas of US involvement including Belleau Wood, Chateau Thierry, Saint-Milhiel and the Meuse-Argonne. The scars of war, even 100 years on, are remarkable and surely something you will never forget.

This tour begins and ends in Paris. SGT recommends enhancing your touring adventure by spending some independent pre/post-tour time exploring this wonderful capital city independently. We are happy to assist you with incoming journey if you wish. Please ask us for details.

 

TENTATIVE ITINERARY

DAY ONE Wednesday

Depart our Paris meeting point at 9am. Chateau-Theirry, First Battle of the Marne and first American offensive will be covered during our day. The battle of Belleau Wood was part of the Allied forces push east against the German Spring Offensive and the first taste of battle for US Marines. General Pershing called this the most important battle for US troops since the civil war. Here, explore trenches, shell holes and relics in and around Belleau Wood itself and nearby local villages. See the magnificent memorial to Hill 204. Pay respects in the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery, where over 2000 lie buried, not far from the place they fell in battle.

As a shift of mood, our overnight stop is in the heart of “Champagne Country,” perhaps choose a visit to one of the caves this afternoon?

ACCOMMODATION: Epernay

 

DAY TWO Thursday

A full day of heroes and remembrances in the Meuse-Argonne region.

Highlights of the day include places associated with perhaps the most famous American Great War veteran, Sgt York, and those of the ‘Lost Battalion.’ Learn of ‘Hellfighter’ Henry Lincoln Johnson, a former porter for the NY subway who virtually single-handedly defeated a 24 man German patrol, at one point only armed with a bollo knife. He was the first American to be awarded the highest honours of the French government including the Croix de Guerre. Venture further east to explore the battlefields where the 369th/Hellfighters rose to the challenge in September 1918, up the heights north of La Dormoise where they advanced under heavy machine gun fire to capture the town of Sechault.

Spend time in the Museum of Mine Warfare with its relics of American participants including Harry S Truman. Explore Crown Prince Wilhelm’s forest bunker Varene-en-Argonne. Butte de Vauquois perhaps defines the sheer destructiveness of war; the village of Vauquois once sat atop this 290 metre hill. Now, not only is there no sign of the village but the entire hill is hollowed out as a result of mining and bombing. The restored French and German tunnels and trenches can be visited here.

ACCOMMODATION: Verdun

 

DAY THREE Friday

Verdun is considered the most sacred of battlefields in France. Although not associated with the American sector, we simply cannot overlook this region and its role in the Great War. During the day, visit the deserted but mostly intact Fort Tavannes and Fort Vaux, where the defenders held out for a month against all odds and in hellish conditions. Pay respects at the tragic and moving Tranche de Bayonettes, the French National cemetery.

Tonight, a light evening out in the attractive town of Verdun itself.

ACCOMMODATION: Verdun

 

DAY FOUR Saturday

Today the St Mihiel Salient, where the Americans fought independently for the first time. Here, in September 1918, the US First Army captured over 200 square miles of enemy-held territory. Spend time in the Bois d’Ailly, exploring the extensive trench system ‘hidden’ in the woods. Return to Paris by early evening. Accommodation is available separately tonight.

 2014 – 2018 World War I Commemorative, Special Tours In Remembrance: WWI Centenary

 

Please Note: All attraction opening times are correct at time of printing this website. While we do our utmost to include all properties, we reserve the right to change an attraction should it become impossible to visit due to change in opening times, days.

 

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.

 

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Paris,+France/Bois+de+Belleau,+Belleau,+France/Aisne-Marne+American+Cemetery,+Belleau,+France/Ch%C3%A2teau-Thierry,+France/%C3%89pernay,+France/La+Dormoise,+Marne,+France/Varennes-en-Argonne,+France/Verdun,+France/Tranch%C3%A9e+des+Ba%C3%AFonnettes,+D913,+55100+Douaumont,+France/Bois+d'Ailly,+Han-sur-Meuse,+France/@49.0393489,2.7829301,8z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m62!4m61!1m5!1m1!1s0x47e66e1f06e2b70f:0x40b82c3688c9460!2m2!1d2.3522219!2d48.856614!1m5!1m1!1s0x47e8ebf952a65e37:0x59a8aae0e75efeac!2m2!1d3.294366!2d49.070806!1m5!1m1!1s0x47e8ec0666542f6d:0xfc8ad1a2006d6202!2m2!1d3.291754!2d49.078418!1m5!1m1!1s0x47e8e63b7cd5c33d:0x3eb54c1be972518a!2m2!1d3.40262!2d49.0459869!1m5!1m1!1s0x47e914bec00321f7:0x40a5fb99a3b52e0!2m2!1d3.956242!2d49.043411!1m5!1m1!1s0x47ebca5bbd7b2eeb:0xe907e946eb0a4ea0!2m2!1d4.700278!2d49.2224245!1m5!1m1!1s0x47ebab6e5ddd842b:0xd3830f308255c30b!2m2!1d5.033516!2d49.226297!1m5!1m1!1s0x47eb1b941b25ebdd:0x40a5fb99a3acc40!2m2!1d5.3844231!2d49.1598764!1m5!1m1!1s0x47eb1e6a49aae84f:0xfe28f2b77f4edfca!2m2!1d5.425586!2d49.214116!1m5!1m1!1s0x47eb46ff703b49a7:0xa7f149e0f0110ee2!2m2!1d5.576069!2d48.863224!3e0

Toll Free Tel: 1 866-725-5250
specialgrouptours@yahoo.com

Tour Rate: $1699 USD per person; $1999 USD single rate

The services of a driver/guide for 4 touring days, accommodation for 3 nights while on the tour including breakfast and dinners daily. Your price also includes entrance fees to listed attractions, transportation, services of driver/guide-companion and all taxes and tips other than those you may wish to give your guide.