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Custom World War One Tours

The remnants of the trenches at the Verdun Battlefield as it looks today.Though the living memory of World War I has faded, touring the famous sites of the ‘War to End All Wars” is easily done in a day trip from Paris. Major battle sites are surprisingly close to Paris, for the most part little more than a two hour drive. We can organize your itinerary any way you like. Below are three sample itineraries. (Image: trenches at Verdun today)

Option 1 - America in World War I – battle of Belleau Wood

When the Russians surrendered to the Germans on the Eastern Front, freeing Axis troops to focus exclusively on capturing Paris, France was surely doomed . Four years of trench warfare had decimated the Allied armies. But early in 1918 fresh American troops arrived and began deployment, among them the 9th and 23rd Infantry regiments, and, fatefully, the 5th and 6th Marine Regiments.

The fighting, and arguably the tide of World War 1, focused on Belleau Wood. Almost foot by foot, American forces fought to flush the hardened and battle-savvy Germans.

Your guide will take you through the brutal story of this decisive battle. You’ll visit Hill 142, taken at great cost to 1st Battalion, 5th regiment – nearly all men were killed. To this day, trenches, shells and shattered structures dot the peaceful wood.

Three more weeks of fighting, and 6 waves of attack, ultimately allowed 3rd Battallion Major Shearer to submit a 6 word report to his commanding officers: “Woods now U.S. Marine Corps entirely.”

Your day includes visits to Chateau-Thierry and the monument to American sacrifice in World War I, Aisne Marne Cemetery and Meaux, site of the Museum of the Great War.

Option 2 - Verdun and Meuse-Argonne

See the site of the 300 day long battle referred to as “the hell of Verdun” and explore its history, including:

  • The London Trench
  • Ossurary of Douaumont – 100,000 unknown French and German soldiers are interred here
  • Fort Douaumont – The German held fort was a crucial point of contention
  • Trench of Bayonets
  • Lunch break in Argonne (included)
  • Visit of 1918 Meuse-Argonne offensive led by General Pershing
  • Romagne War Museum
  • Meuse Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial – 14,000 Americans are buried here, the largest U.S. Cemetery in Europe

Pick-up in Paris around 7 a.m., return approximately 7:30 p.m.

Option 3 - The Battle of the Somme

The ill-fated and bitter Battle of the Somme lives in history as one of the bloodiest of World War I.

You will walk the battlefield with your guide, learning the history on site, including:

  • Longueval and Deville Wood Cemetery
  • Lochnagea mine crater at La Boisselle
  • Lunch (included)
  • British memorial at Thiepval
  • Historial Great War Musuem at Perrone
  • Somme 1916 museum at Albert – this special museum under the town recreates the soldiers’ trench life in specially-built warren of tunnels.

Pick-up in Paris around 7 a.m., return approximately 7:30 p.m.

Day trip to Ypres and Belgium available on request.

Please note April 15, July 1 and November 11 are remembrance days. Tours will run and incorporate special commemorations when possible.