Follow the story of WW2 Airmen from the Dambusters to Colditz Castle in Germany and Holland as we look at the battlefields of the war in the air above Europe involving the men of RAF Bomber Command. On this tour we visit the RAF graves in Reichswald Forest War Cemetery then travel through the Ruhr Valley area on trips to the Eder Dam and Möhne Dam examining the Dambusters Raid. We later visit Colditz Castle, examine the fire-bombing of Dresden and the story of the Great Escape. In Berlin we look at raids on the Nazi capital and also visit the Luftwaffe Museums in Gatow and Hannover. The tour ends with a visit to the grave of Dambuster hero Guy Gibson VC.
Depart from your chosen pick-up point and travel to the port where a coach interchange will take place, you will then join your tour coach for the Channel crossing. On arrival on the continent we continue to our first overnight hotel in the Netherlands.
Reichswald Forest War Cemetery
We continue our journey into Germany and visit Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, the largest WW2 British Cemetery in Europe - nearly half the 7,400 graves are men from Bomber Command. From here we travel to the Möhne Dam, stopping en-route at Rheinberg War Cemetery where some of the Dambusters are buried. The Möhne Dam, in the Ruhr Valley, was heroically breached by the Lancasters of 617 Squadron (Dambusters) in 1943. At Mohne you can walk on top of the dam and still see where the breach was made. Of the 20 massive dams constructed in the Ruhr Valley, six dams were selected as targets with three of these being the primary targets - the Möhne, the Eder and the Sorpe dams. Between the Möhne and Sorpe, they held back 76% of the total water available to the industrial valley, one of the main reasons they were primary targets. If breached, these dams would bring the whole industrial valley to a standstill, causing massive damage to the steel industry, devastating production of tanks, aircraft, guns and locomotives which were all vital to Germany's war effort. As well as visiting Mohne Dam, we also make a stop at the Eder Dam en route to our overnight hotel in the former East German city of Jena, a centre of the optical industry.
Today we will visit the castle and museum at Colditz (entrance and guided tour approximately €7.50 per person), the infamous ‘bad boys camp’ and scene of many ingenious escape bids. Perched above a sleepy town of the same name, Colditz has a varied history, although we will concentrate on its use as an internment camp for Allied prisoners during WW2. Hear the story of the ‘Red Fox’, Mike Sinclair, killed on an escape attempt, and also the story of Douglas Bader, plus many more. From Colditz we continue to Dresden and our hotel where we will stay for two nights.
The Dresden Raids
We stay in Dresden this morning to uncover the tumultuous history of this great city. As the seat of the Saxon royalty, Dresden became arguably Germany’s most beautiful city. During the war it suffered almost complete destruction; however, it has since been painstakingly restored to resemble its former glory. This afternoon is spent at leisure in Dresden, or alternatively you can join our optional visit to the Bundeswehr Military History Museum which has an unparalleled collection of WW2 artefacts.
Zagan & The Great Escape
Today we cross the border into Poland to Zagan to visit the German POW camp, Stalag (Luft) III (entrance to the museum approximately €2 per person). The camp, founded in 1943, was one of the six special German POW camps specially built for the ever increasing amount of POW aircrews. At the height of the camps use, about 10,000 commissioned and non-commissioned officers were in the camp. The Stalag (Luft) III became famous for what was known as ‘The Great Escape’. In March 1944, a large group of 80 Allied prisoners got out during ‘The Great Escape’. They dug a tunnel with the nickname ‘Harry’. Only three men managed to escape to free territory. Of the rest, 50 were murdered by the Gestapo. We will uncover the story of the escape and the reprisals ordered by Hitler, and visit the memorial, before continuing to our hotel in the Berlin area for two nights.
Berlin Air Raids
In Berlin we look at the raids on the city but start at the impressive air force museum in Gatow, which has a large collection of aircraft from WWI to the Cold War Period. We then visit Berlin War Cemetery where many RAF Bomber Command Crews are buried. Around the city we see Flak Tower defences and the air raid shelters used to protect Berliners from the bombs. In the evening join us on an optional visit around Berlin’s WW2 sites.
In the morning, we see one of the last remaining Flak Towers then travel to Hannover and visit the Air Force museum (entrance approximately €6 per person) which has some impressive WWII items as well as a memorial to Second World War air crew. In Hannover itself we see some of the signs of the bombing raids, ending the day at Hannover War Cemetery where more than 2,000 graves of bomber crew casualties can be found. We stay overnight in Hannover.
Rheinberg War Cemetery
Rheinberg War Cemetery
We travel into Holland, stopping at Rheinberg War Cemetery where some of the Dambusters are buried. We end at the grave of Guy Gibson V.C. whose war ended when his Mosquito crashed at Steenbergen. We stay overnight in Belgium.
We leave the hotel after breakfast and travel to the Channel port. You will leave your tour coach behind as you join your transfer vehicle for your return journey to your original departure point.
At a Glance
8 nights hotel with continental breakfast
Specialist Battlefield Guide
Convenient local joining points
Travel by Silver Service or upgrade to Luxuria
Included Excursions & Visits
Battlefield visits as described
Optional Excursions & Visits
Entrance fees to museums & places of interest (extra cost)
EVENING MEAL PACKAGES - For your convenience, pre-book 4 evening meals to be taken at your hotels in Dresden and Berlin. £70 per person.
We believe that our holidays may not be suitable for children under 8 years old (except for Disneyland Paris bookings) however, we will
consider individual requests on application. Customers aged 18 and under at the time of travel must be accompanied by an adult, parent or
guardian aged over 18 years old.
You will stay overnight in Holland at the NH Koningshof in Veldhoven, near
Eindhoven, or similar, and the 4-star Best Western in Jena, then two nights at
the 3-star Ramada Resident Hotel or Hotel Azimut in Dresden, two nights at the 3-star
Grand City Berlin East, or similar on the outskirts of Berlin, overnight at the 4-star H4 Hotel in Hannover, or similar and
finally overnight at a city-style hotel in Belgium.
The 4 Star City Hotel Berlin East is located close to Alexanderplatz and also other sporting facilities like the Sportforum, the Velodrome and Max-Schmeling-Halle. The hotel has good links to the highway and public transport. The hotel facilities include a bar, lounge, a restaurant, fitness area and Wi-Fi/Internet access. All bedrooms feature Hairdryer, T.V, Telephone and en-suite bathroom.
The Achat Premium Dresden hotel is located in a quiet area but with close links to the highway system. The hotels features include a lobby bar, a restaurant, lift and Wi-Fi/Internet access. All bedrooms feature a modern décor with T.V, hairdryer, telephone and en-suite bathroom with shower.
We are unable to guarantee that the hotel will be able to meet your dietary requirements. We find that the majority of European countries do not
generally cater for vegetarians and that the meal supplied may well be what everyone else is having minus the meat.
We will of course endeavour to arrange for a vegetarian meal at the hotel. We do however suggest that you advise us of your dietary requests
at the time of booking and recommend that you speak to the receptionist on arrival with regard to your request.
Why not go the night before your
holiday for a relaxing start? You can park for FREE
for up to nine days at the Holiday Inn Ashford
North and enjoy an overnight stay with English
breakfast from just £38 per person. This offer is
subject to availability and based on two sharing a
twin/double room on a B&B basis. We’ll then
collect you from the hotel on the day of departure
and return you there at the end of your holiday.
To book this package, please call the hotel on
01233 713333, quoting ‘Leger Holidays’ and your
booking reference. If your holiday is longer than
nine days you can pay for additional days’ parking.
Ask one of our friendly reservations team for
more details when you book your holiday.
Single supplements and terms and conditions apply.
On Single Traveller holidays and
coach holidays of 7 days’ duration or
more, you don’t even have to think
about getting to your local joining point. If you live
within 20 miles of one of our free joining points
we’ll pick you up from your home and take you to
meet your transfer vehicle, then return you back
home at the end of your holiday. The cost is just
£30 per booking each way for up to four people
If you live a little further afield, you can also take
advantage of this convenient option for an
additional charge – please enquire at the time
On most holidays if you’d prefer to join your
tour coach at Stop 24 services, you can park your
car in the car park which is accredited by the Park
Mark safer parking scheme and is monitored 24
hours a day by CCTV. Payment for the parking is
made on arrival using the self-service machines.
Excludes holidays to Ireland and the U.K. and tours travelling via Brittany
Looking for your local joining point? Enter your post code below
You must have a space character in your postcode. E.G S60 2XR
Front row seats can be reserved for £14pp (up to 6 days duration), £22pp (7 & 8 days duration) and £25pp (9 days duration and over)
on all European tours. In addition to this seats on the second row can be reserved for £7pp (up to 6 days duration), £14pp (7 & 8 days duration)
and £15pp (9 days duration and over). This offer is only available for bookings of two or four persons on the front row and is subject to
availability. Guaranteed front/second row seats cannot be reserved on feeder journeys to/from the U.K. port. Children under 15 years cannot
occupy a front row seat due to French Law.
Please note: On some coaches the legroom on front seats may be slightly less than that available on other seats due to the presence of a modesty board in front.
If your tour is cancelled for any reason and front/second row seats are not available on your new tour you will be refunded the supplement. No other compensation will be payable.
Alternatively, we can take seating requests on your booking. However, requests are not guaranteed. All seat numbers are confirmed on travel documents approximately 7-10 days prior to departure.
Hot and cold drinks are served on the main tour coaches. Prices are approximately £1 or 1.25 Euro per drink. Prices will be confirmed by the driver.
Drinks may also be served on the transfer coaches but this is not guaranteed.
Transfer coaches are routed approximately 2-3 weeks before departure and will depend on where passengers are booked to travel from on any particular
date as to which route is taken. If you require further detailed information regarding the route to the port you can contact our Customer
Service Department on 01709 830333 two weeks before you are due to travel.
With regard to the route taken by the main tour coach, this is determined by the driver.
All main tour coaches have on-board toilets. Transfer coaches to and from the U.K. port may not have on-board toilets. When non-British coaches are
used on transfers and tours (air or TGV holidays only) an on-board toilet may not be available. However, comfort stops will be made during long journeys.
All coaches feature air-conditioning. Should the air-conditioning system break down for a period exceeding 12 hours,
compensation will be awarded up to a maximum of £10 per fare-paying passenger per tour.
We operate a passenger interchange at the Channel port. Transfer coaches, including taxis, minibuses, Megabus and National
Express operate to and from the U.K. port. You will join your main tour coach at the port.