The Doughboys Turn the Tide

The Doughboys Turn the Tide

American Expeditionary Force In The First World War

Battlefield ToursHistory

22nd - 26th September 2020
(5 Days)

Expert Historian : Dr Bruce Cherry

Tour price: £1,675

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The Doughboys Turn the Tide

American Expeditionary Force In The First World War

Battlefield ToursHistory

Your Holiday Essentials

22nd - 26th September 2020
(5 Days)

Includes return Eurostar Standard Premier, train fares, 4 star hotels, buffet breakfast, 3-course dinner with drinks each evening, all entrance fees and expert guide throughout.

Activity Level: 2

Expert Historian: Dr Bruce Cherry

Tour price: £1,675

Single supplement: £230
Deposit: £175
Price without flights: £1,575

Booking open

click here to book

Interested in this tour but not ready to book? Register your interest using the link below and we will keep you updated on the progress of the tour.

click here to register your interest

Tour Introduction

The involvement of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF), more affectionately known as Doughboys, is much overlooked and forgotten (especially in Britain) but during this tour we will explore the ground and hear the stories of their crucial and sometimes heroic contribution to the final victory. Travelling mainly in the Meuse-Argonne area which played a key part throughout the war, especially for the AEF, we will experience the deep valleys, thick forests and strong fortified positions that had to be overcome in those final months and weeks. We will be based out of Chateau-Thierry and Verdun, the latter historically one of the most strategically important fortified towns in France. In both we immerse ourselves into a rich culture of history and cuisine, a crucial ingredient of this exceptional tour.

Background

The Americans were eventually drawn into the First World War in mid-1917 after the Germans inauguration of unrestricted submarine warfare and the debacle of the Zimmermann telegram. At first American troops were almost ‘drip-fed’ onto the frontline to shore up weakened positons, but by the war’s end there were 1.4 million US troops on the western front. Led by Major-General John Pershing, hero of the Spanish-American War, the AEF became a key player in the Hundred Days that broke the back of the German defence and ultimately bought the war to an end. Their heaviest involvement came in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, fought over much of the ground associated with the 1916 battle of Verdun. The American role in the final victory gave their President, Woodrow Wilson, a seat at the peace settlement where he would implement his 14 Points and found The League of Nations.

Highlights

  • Discover the American contribution to WW1
  • Patton’s first tank attack at St Mihiel
  • Chateau Thierry and the Meuse-Argonne offensive
  • With WW1 expert, historian & author Dr Bruce Cherry
  • Visit Château Thierry American memorial
  • Spend time at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery
  • Explore the preserved battlefield of Belleau Wood
  • Follow the famous Lost Battalion into the Argonne forests
  • Examine the capture of the Meuse Heights
  • Visit the Montsec Memorial, located on a former German stronghold
  • Spend time at the US St Mihiel Cemetery
  • Visit a few key features of the 1916 Verdun battlefield, Fort Douaumont, the ruined village of Fleury and the French National Ossuary

What's Included

  • Return Standard Premier Eurostar from London
  • Internal train journeys
  • 4 Star Hotels Throughout
  • Buffet breakfast each morning
  • A three-course dinner party each evening hosted by your expert historian and tour manager
  • Two drinks i,e wine or beer with dinner each evening and a welcome drink on first evening
  • Dedicated Tour Manager
  • Entrance fees for all site visits
  • Local travel in modern, comfortable, air-conditioned coach
  • Pre tour information booklet
  • Access to the Cultural Experience app
  • Helpful and friendly travel advice
  • The company of like-minded travelers

"Thank you so much for the fantastic tour - we came home buzzing from the excitement of it all"

Itinerary

Day 1 – Belleau Wood

Take the early Eurostar to Paris and travel east to visit the Great War Museum at Meaux with its superb collection of US memorabilia. Thence to the Château Thierry American memorial; the preserved battlefield of Belleau Wood to learn about the contribution of Theodore Roosevelt's sons and follow in the footsteps of the US Marines. We end the day at the German military cemetery at Belleau, the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and the Belleau Wood memorial. Check in to our Chateau-Thierry hotel for one night.

Day 2 – The Lost Battalion

We’ll continue studying the AEF contribution during The Second Battle of the Marne then proceed to the Argonne where we’ll be introduced to the predominantly African-American Buffalo Soldiers (92nd Infantry Division) & Harlem Hellfighters (369th Infantry Regiment) and follow the famous Lost Battalion into the Argonne forests. Check in to our Verdun hotel for three nights.

Day 3 – Meuse-Argonne Offensive

This morning we will concentrate on the Meuse-Argonne Offensive opening attack, with the savage fighting for the Heights including the almost legendary actions of Sgt. York, who stormed German machine gun nests and took 132 German prisoners almost single handed, earning him the Medal of Honour. This afternoon we examine the capture of the Meuse Heights and the attack of 1 November, signalling the final push towards Sedan. Other sites to be visited will include Montfaucon and Pennsylvania Division memorials and Romagne Cemetery, the final resting place of over 14,000 Americans.

Day 4 – St Mihiel Salient

Today we concentrate on the St Mihiel salient and the First Army and Second Army Offensives in September 1918. Our story will include The Yankee Division, America’s first tank attack led by George Patton (then a Lieutenant Colonel), and the AEF’s first experience of limited trench warfare. We will also visit the Montsec Memorial located on a former German stronghold and the US St Mihiel Cemetery.

Day 5 – Verdun

Before we take our leave of the region we will take the opportunity to visit a few key features of the 1916 Verdun battlefield; Fort Douaumont the largest of the Verdun forts, the ruined village of Fleury and French National Ossuary before driving to Lille for our return Eurostar train to London (or optional return to Paris).

Recommended Reading List

Dr Bruce Cherry

Dr Bruce Cherry

A former university lecturer with his PhD in military history, Bruce has been guiding on the Western Front since the late 1980s. Indeed for many years he operated a range of First and Second World War tours out of Lille. Amongst other titles, he is the author of ’They Didn't Want to Die Virgins; a study of Sex and Morale on the Western Front'. As an academic, his tours very much emphasise the learning aspect that is to be gained from battlefield touring.

Photo Gallery

  • Eagle at the centre of the St Mihiel American Cemetery
  • Bruce reading an account of the battle around Shearing by Col. Patten at th
  • Traversing the rough terrain at Vauquois
  • The vast Meuse-Argonne Cemetery
  • The Memorial du Domans
  • The Aisne-Marne Memorial
  • Taking in the 'understated' American monument at Montsec
  • Memorial de la 42 Division US, with Croix Rouge Farm in background
  • Intrepid explorers in the Apremont le Foret - Bois Brute, Croix de Redouts
  • Group photo at the Aisne-Marne Memorial

Your Holiday Essentials

22nd - 26th September 2020
(5 Days)

Includes return Eurostar Standard Premier, train fares, 4 star hotels, buffet breakfast, 3-course dinner with drinks each evening, all entrance fees and expert guide throughout.

Activity Level: 2

Expert Historian: Dr Bruce Cherry

Tour price: £1,675

Single supplement: £230
Deposit: £175
Price without flights: £1,575

Booking open

click here to book

Interested in this tour but not ready to book? Register your interest using the link below and we will keep you updated on the progress of the tour.

click here to register your interest

Tour Reviews

View our latest tour diary and gallery here

Take a look at some independent reviews of this tour by previous participants here

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