75th Anniversary of D-Day & Patton’s 3rd Army
Never take counsel of your fears.
Follow Patton’s Third Army across France, to its relief of Bastogne and invasion of Germany on the 75th Anniversary of D-Day & Patton’s 3rd Army Tour, a 13-night tour. Along the way, you will learn about Patton the man, the leader, and the general. You will walk the beaches of Normandy and see the fortresses of the Maginot Line, museums exhibiting the fighting and cemeteries honoring the dead. You will stand in Patton’s footsteps and you will visit Patton’s last resting place.
Our D-Day historians are experts in their field and world-renowned authors. Thanks to their experience with the terrain and its history, we are able to present a 75th D-Day Tour that is unmatched in its authenticity. Their years of extensive research and interviews with hundreds of WWII and D-Day veterans on the very battlefields on which they fought add a personal dimension to our D-Day tours that no other WWII tour company can offer. It is a highlight to hear them tell these harrowing tales of bravery and courage of America’s heroes at the very places where they occurred.
Our 75th Anniversary of D-Day & Patton’s 3rd Army Tour, honoring the men who landed on D-Day and Patton is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
- Normandy: attend the official Commemorative ceremonies at the American Cemetery at Colville-sur-Mer.
- Avranches, France: Visit the Patton memorial at Avranches, where Patton's Third Army became operational as it broke out of the Normandy beachhead.
- Cayenne: See the bridges of Mayenne where Patton's Third Army began its race across France.
- Maginot Line: Tour Fort Hackenburg, part of the Maginot Line.
- Bastogne, Belgium: Follow the Third Army's route into Bastogne, Belgium.
- Mannheim, Germany: Visit the scene of Patton's car accident in Manheim Germany
DAY 1 May 30 - Overnight Flight to London
Guests arrange their travel to arrive in London the following day.
DAY 2 May 31 - London
Arrive in London this morning and check into the hotel where the entire group will gather for an evening welcome reception. Our historian will treat us to our first lecture, with introductions all around.
DAY 3 June 1 - London
The morning will feature key sites in London that figured prominently in the WWII. We then proceed to the Churchill War Rooms, the underground nerve center for Britain’s war effort. We will also visit the Imperial War Museum, which houses authentic examples of World War II weaponry, tanks and aircraft and an exhibit of WWI trench warfare. We will have free time to enjoy London in the evening.
DAY 4 June 2 - Portsmouth
Depart London for Bletchley Park where we will visit the center for intelligence gathered and used in the Allied War effort, code name Ultra. Here we will see the bomb, the British device that deciphered German communications and where the team of men and women code-breakers decrypted countless cyphers and messages of the Axis countries during the war.
This afternoon we will tour Southwick House, the advance command post of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force. In the weeks leading up to D-Day in 1944, the house became the headquarters of the main Allied commanders, including, Allied Supreme Commander General Dwight D. Eisenhower, British Admiral Bertram Ramsay and General Bernard Montgomery.
DAY 5 June 3 - Normandy
Following breakfast, we will board the cross-channel ferry and embark for Normandy as the troops did in 1944. In the afternoon, we will begin our visit to Normandy at Ste-Mere-Eglise, one of the villages where the American Airborne descended on D-Day. Here we will view and explore the iconic church and square memorialized by John Steele and his parachute drop onto the steeple. We will also visit La Fiere Causeway where a unit from the 82nd Airborne Division successfully delayed a German Panzer counter-attack against the Allied landing forces.
DAY 6 June 4 - Normandy
We will begin at Brécourt Manor where Lt. Dick Winters, with members of Easy Company, successfully silenced German artillery firing on American troops landing at Utah Beach. From there we will visit Utah Beach, where the 4th Infantry Division landed, and the Invasion Museum that depicts its heroics. Next we will stop at Ste-Marie-du-Mont where still stands the unique Renaissance-style steeple used as an observation post by the Germans. From there, we will proceed to the town of Carentan where we will follow the exact steps taken by American Paratroopers during the town’s liberation. Finally, the day will conclude with a visit to Pointe-du-Hoc, where Lieutenant Colonel Earl Rudder’s Rangers scaled the cliffs to neutralize German heavy guns defending the American beaches on D-Day.
DAY 7 June 5 - Normandy
We spend the morning at Omaha Beach where the Americans landed and faced the strongest German resistance of the day—and incurred the greatest losses. Along the beach we get to visit some of the remaining German defense fortifications. We explore these sands from the tide’s ebb to the distant dunes to understand the emotions of the young soldiers of the 1st and 29th Infantry Divisions as they approached the gates of hell. We then pay our respects at the American Cemetery with its 9387 American soldiers’ graves stretching along the top of the bluff overlooking the beach.
In the afternoon we will view the battery at Longues-sur-Mer, an example of the defense works that made up Hitler’s Atlantic Wall. We will proceed to Pegasus Bridge where the first shots were fired on D-Day. Here the British 6th Airborne Division led by Major John Howard, with a miraculous glider landing, carried out a surprise attack that successfully took the crucial bridge across the Caen Canal.
DAY 8 June 6 - Normandy
Today we attend the official Commemorative ceremonies at the American Cemetery at Colville-sur-Mer.
DAY 9 June 7 - Mayenne
Our day will begin at Patton’s Headquarters in Nehou where the general waited for the Third Army to become operational. Afterwards we drive to Coutances then Avranches, where Patton first took command. We stop at a monument to Patton where the Third Army broke into the Brittany Peninsula and headed east, west and south through the German lines. Finally, we will see the Pontaubault Bridge where Patton’s troops poured into the Brittany peninsula.
We continue to the hilltop town of Mortain, where the Germans attacked the 30th Infantry Division in an effort to cut off Patton’s base of supplies. Although surrounded, the Americans held out for seven days until relief arrived. The mountaintop affords an excellent view of the surrounding countryside
DAY 10 June 8 - Reims
In the morning we will visit Mayenne, where one of Patton’s “hard luck” divisions turned itself around by seizing a vital bridge. We then travel to Argentan where elements of the Third Army turned north to close the Falaise Gap. At Chambois, we will study the area where American, Polish and Canadian troops fought to halt the retreating Germans. The museum in Chambois provides an excellent overview of the battle at the Falaise Pocket.
DAY 11 June 9 – Luxembourg
From historic Reims we will head Verdun where, on December 19, 1944, Patton told General Eisenhower that he would be ready to relieve Bastogne in 48 hours, even though his army was pointed in a different direction. From there, we will visit Thionville for lunch, where elements of Patton’s army crossed the Moselle River. From there it’s to Luxembourg City where Patton kept his headquarters while he planned his breakthrough to Bastonge.
DAY 12 June 10 - Luxembourg
When the Germans launched their offensive that became the Battle of the Bulge, Patton turned his Army north towards Bastogne. We see the Patton statue in Ettelbruck and tour the Battle of the Bulge Museum in Diekirch. We break for lunch in Clervaux, where the Germans broke through the 28th Infantry Division. From there we travel to Longvilly and Noville, where armor and airborne forces slowed, then stopped, the German drive to Bastogne. We will complete the day with a visit to Patton’s headquarters during the Battle of the Bulge.
DAY 13 June 11 - Luxembourg
From Luxembourg City, we retrace Patton’s mission to relieve Bastogne. We will see the site of the final attack by Colonel Creighton Abrams to aid the 101st Airborne Division. We will stop for lunch at McAuliffe Square where you learn the history of the Sherman tank on display. We complete the day with a visit to Patton’s grave at the American Cemetery in Hamm.
DAY 14 June 12 - Frankfurt
After breakfast we cross into Germany, and the city of Trier, which Patton seized despite orders to the contrary. When General Omar Bradley told Patton he did not have enough forces to take the city, Patton radioed back, “What do you want me to do, give it back?” We will visit the Porta Nigra, the black gate that the Romans erected in 180 AD. We have the opportunity to review and reflect on our journey across Europe, and our travels in the footsteps of General Patton, at the Farewell Dinner on this last evening of the tour.
DAY 15 June 13 - Flights home or start post-tour
We will provide a morning transfer to the Frankfurt airport (FRA) for those returning home, or you will start a post-tour.