Private Day Tour from Paris of Verdun & Montfaucon World War I Battle Fields
The battle of Verdun raged from Feb. 21, 2016, until 18 December, 1916. It was one of the longest (300+ days) and most costly battles of the first world war, engaging 700,000 men (1.2 million if you include areas near-by). It was primarily fought by German and French forces. Both sides suffered 700,000 casualties including 300,000 killed. It was the result of a plan concocted by the German commander Erich von Falkenhayn for the purpose, not of capturing territory, but instead of inflicting catastrophic losses on the French, “to bleed the French white,” as he put it.
Verdun ended with German and French forces more or less in command of what they controlled at its start, despite the ghastly price paid by both sides. For France Verdun became a symbol of its indomitable spirit and determination to persevere come-what-may. For humanity Verdun is an icon of the senseless industrialization of licensed murder that typified so much of World War I.
This private day tour from Paris of the Verdun and Montfaucon Battle Fields of World War I combines the use of the TGV high speed train and an upscale rental car to allow us to reach and visit all of the major sites of these horrifying battles easily within a single day. We start with our departure from the Gare de l’Est railway station in Paris a bit past 7:30 am. We descend from the train shortly after 8 am at Champagne-Ardennes railway station outside of Reims, where we switch to an upscale rental vehicle and drive an hour and a quarter east, to the Verdun Battle Fields on the east bank of the Meuse River.
We then spend the next three hours mostly on foot, exploring the following sites on the east bank of the Meuse River: the Faubourg Pavé Cemetery, the Maginot and Tavannes Monuments, the Vaux Fort, the Verdun Memorial, Douaumont Fort, Douaumont Ossuary and the Bayonet Trenches.
Your bilingual guide will explain to you the tactics and strategies employed by both sides in this engagement, and the progression of the battle as it unfolded over many months. After a break for lunch, we then proceed to the west bank of the Verdun sector to visit the Dead Man Monument and Cote 304, which concludes our visit of the Verdun battle fields for the day.
Interested In Private Day Tour from Paris of Verdun & Montfaucon World War I Battle Fields?
We then drive further northwest to the Montfaucon Butte to see a monument to the American First Army, which fought in the Meuse-Argonne offensive, part of the Hundred Days Offensive, which began on Sept. 26 and ended with the Armistice of Nov. 11, both in 1918. It was the largest operation in United States military history, involving 1.2 million soldiers, and resulted in 350,000 casualties, including 28,000 Germans and 26,000 Americans killed. We then conclude our visits for the day with a last stop at the American Cemetery at Romagne-sous-Montfaucon where 14,000 American soldiers are buried.
We then drive back to Champagne-Ardennes, return the rental vehicle, and catch a TGV back to Paris, where we will arrive a bit before 7:30 pm.
Just a quick note to let you know how much we enjoyed the tour of the Loire Valley [Custom Loire Valley Day Tour from Paris of 2 chateaux and 1 wine estate]. Let me start by saying the best part of the trip was meeting you and listening and learning about the history of France and specifically Chenonceaux. Your comments and guidance throughout the day made the experience far more than just a sight-seeing trip. Lunch was great and so were Amboise and the wine tasting. I can’t thank you enough for putting this tour together for us, we will enjoy the memories for years to come.
Stephen Kelly – San Francisco, CA