The Eastern Front

The Eastern Front

Russia 1941-1943

Battlefield

4th - 14th May 2019
(11 Days)

Guide : Col Bob Kershaw

Tour price: £3,795

click here to book

MORE DATES AVAILABLE BELOW

The Eastern Front

Russia 1941-1943

Battlefield

Your Holiday Essentials

4th - 14th May 2019
(11 Days)

Return flights from London, internal flights, First Class Rail, 3 and 4 star hotels, buffet breakfast, all lunches, 3-course dinner with drinks each evening, all entrance fees and expert guide throughout.

Activity Level: 1/2

Guide: Col Bob Kershaw

Tour price: £3,795

Single supplement: £310
Deposit: £300
Price without flights: £3,595
Solo train occupancy: £240

Booking open

click here to book

4th - 14th May 2020
(11 Days)

Return flights from London, internal flights, 1st class train travel, 3 & 4 star hotels, all meals with drinks each evening, all entrance fees and expert guide throughout.

Activity Level: 1/2

Guide: Col Bob Kershaw

Tour price: £3,795

Single supplement: £310
Deposit: £300
Price without flights: £3,595
Train solo occupancy: £240

Booking open

click here to book

Tour Introduction

A great opportunity to explore traditional Russia and sample its history, traditions, architecture and landscapes. Our ten day tour covers the three decisive turning points of the Great Patriotic War (as it’s known in Russia) the battles of Moscow, Stalingrad and Kursk. We begin outside Moscow at Borodino, the site of Napoleon's victory in 1812 and coincidentally the same defence line held in 1941. Preserved trench lines and bunkers are visible here as are ruined buildings at Stalingrad (now Volgograd). At Kursk we peruse fascinating local museums, tank scrapes and restored trench complexes en route. Traditional Russian single storey wooden houses and iconic Orthodox churches form the backdrop to our journey, which involves considerable travel with internal flights to Volgograd and comfortable overnight in two-berth sleeper train to Kursk, other nights are spent in four star hotels or equivalent. We will also witness a magnificent Victory Day parade right outside of our hotel.

Background

The battle for Moscow during the autumn and winter of 1941-2 was the first time a German Army was checked and then repelled during the Second World War. A second German summer offensive in 1942, another seemingly irresistible Blitzkrieg across the southern Soviet Steppe, ran out of momentum when it engaged in a costly battle of attrition at Stalingrad. Yet another Soviet surprise winter counter offensive surrounded and overwhelmed Paulus’s Sixth Army, the strongest Army in the German Wehrmacht, and threatened to cut off an entire army group in the Caucasus. The German summer offensive at Kursk in 1943 was the final gamble, involving 6,000 tanks, 4,000 aircraft and two million men, the highest concentration of men and material achieved up to this point in the history of warfare. It achieved a fleeting tactical success but the strategic initiative was irretrievably lost.

The tour explores how near the Germans got to Moscow in 1941, why Blitzkrieg failed at Stalingrad in 1942 and examines many of the myths surrounding the huge tank battle at Prokohorovka in 1943.

Highlights

  • With soldier-historian Col Bob Kershaw
  • 1st Class Rail and Volga River tour
  • Moscow, Stalingrad, Kursk & Borodino
  • Victory Day Parade in Volgograd

"The duty of the men at Stalingrad is to die."

Adolf Hitler: during a lunch conference January 1943

Itinerary

Please note this is the intinerary for 2019 & 2020 and not for 2018

Day 1 - Arrive

Fly London-Moscow and check-in to our hotel for two nights.

Day 2 – Kubinka and Patriot Park

Today is a special one for fans of military hardware. We visit the magnificent tank Museum at Kubinka and the new, huge complex at Patriot Park. Across these two exhibits you will be able see and get up close to almost every tank, armoured vehicle and self-propelled gun imaginable and not just form the Second World War. Examples of what we will see include the massive howitzer that bombarded Sevastopol, the 'Maus' Mark VIII Panzer, the biggest tank produced during the war, Tiger I and II tanks, as well as aircraft, naval ships and even intercontinental missiles!

Day 3 - The Defence of Moscow

We travel out to the battlefield of Borodino to explore and compare the battles of 1812 and 1941. We then follow the German advance on Moscow through Istra and Chimki, its closest point, just short of the Moscow ring road.

Day 4 - Stalingrad the Attack

Fly Moscow-Volgograd, landing at the former Luftwaffe airbase at Gumrak. We begin the tour of the Stalingrad city area from the Mamayev Kurgan heights, with its impressive memorial complex to overview the German assault. We visit the still preserved Grain Elevator, the Volga River crossings and Pavlov's House. Check-in to our hotel at Volgograd for three nights.

Day 5 - Stalingrad The Defence

We visit the Panoramic Museum and Grudinin Mill to discuss street fighting and the final encirclement from von Paulus's final HQ at the Univermag department store. We drive to the western outskirts of the city, the edge of the Steppe, to see the Soldier's Field and the German entry points into the city.

Day 6 - Victory in Stalingrad

Today we view the impressive victory parade in Volgograd followed by a boat trip on the Volga to view the defence from the Soviet perspective. We travel to the north of the city to view the factory district, where the last German troops held out, and Lyudnikov's Island.

Day 7 - Moscow

After our return flight to Moscow we visit the Great Patriotic War Museum displaying much of the epic art and equipment of the war and more besides, before catching the overnight train to Kursk.

Day 8 - Northern shoulder Kursk Salient

Today we drive north from Kursk to view Model's Ninth Army assault of Ponyri, 'the 'Stalingrad' of Kursk, visiting the railway station, the focus of the fighting, and the superb local museum. Moving to the Teplov Heights monument we view the furthest extent of Model's advance and visit the defending Soviet general Rokossovky's bunker headquarters. Check-in to our hotel for one night.

Day 9 - Southern Advance to Prokhorovka

We drive the southern part of the salient following the 'death ride' of the Fourth Panzer Army to Prokhorovka, the site of the largest tank battle of the war. We follow the fortunes of the SS Adolf Hitler Battle Group, visiting preserved trenches and gun emplacements en route. We also visit the memorial bell tower and the impressive museum dedicated to the battle. Catch the overnight train from Kursk back to Moscow.

Day 10 - Moscow

After an early morning return to Moscow and a group breakfast, we head north to Yakhroma, where we hear of the crossing of the Moskva-Volga canal by the Germans in November 1941. This afternoon we enjoyed a guided tour around central Moscow ending in Red Square which is flanked by the GUM store, St Basil’s Cathedral and the Kremlin. Check-in to our Moscow hotel for our last night.

Day 11 – Departure

A late morning check-out in order to catch our afternoon return flight to London.

Recommended Reading List

Photo Gallery

  • Group at St Basilís Cathedral
  • Col Bob Kershaw in Action
  • Rokossovky's bunker
  • Barmaley Fountain
  • The Motherland Calls
  • Victory Day Parade
  • The Group At Grudinin's Mill
  • Railway Gun At Great Patriotic War Museum
  • Memorial at Soldiers Field

Video

Your Holiday Essentials

4th - 14th May 2019
(11 Days)

Return flights from London, internal flights, First Class Rail, 3 and 4 star hotels, buffet breakfast, all lunches, 3-course dinner with drinks each evening, all entrance fees and expert guide throughout.

Activity Level: 1/2

Guide: Col Bob Kershaw

Tour price: £3,795

Single supplement: £310
Deposit: £300
Price without flights: £3,595
Solo train occupancy: £240

Booking open

click here to book

4th - 14th May 2020
(11 Days)

Return flights from London, internal flights, 1st class train travel, 3 & 4 star hotels, all meals with drinks each evening, all entrance fees and expert guide throughout.

Activity Level: 1/2

Guide: Col Bob Kershaw

Tour price: £3,795

Single supplement: £310
Deposit: £300
Price without flights: £3,595
Train solo occupancy: £240

Booking open

click here to book

Tour Reviews

Read Our most recent tour diary here

View images of our 2018 Eastern Front Tour Here

Photo Gallery

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