Air War Europe: Colditz, Dambusters & the Great Escape

Air War Europe: Colditz, Dambusters & the Great Escape

Tour Includes


 

  • 8 nights hotel with continental breakfast
  • Specialist Battlefield Guide
  • Hundreds of convenient joining points in the UK, or begin/end your tour in Europe
  • Travel by Silver Service or upgrade to Luxuria

9 Days from $1,708 per person

Air War Europe: Colditz, Dambusters & the Great Escape

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.

9-Day Tour – Air War Europe: Colditz, Dambusters & the Great Escape

Day 1

Depart from your chosen UK 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 hotel (passengers joining the tour in Europe will meet the group at the hotel this evening).

Day 2 - Möhne Dam

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 Möhne 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 Möhne 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.

*Breakfast Included

HIGHLIGHTS  ★ Reichswald Forest War Cemetery   ★ Mohne Dam   ★ Eder Dam

Day 3 - Colditz

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.

*Breakfast Included

HIGHLIGHTS  ★ Colditz Castle

Day 4 - 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.

*Breakfast Included

HIGHLIGHTS  ★ Dresden     OPTIONAL EXCLUSION  ★ Bundeswehr Military History Museum

Day 5 - 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.

*Breakfast Included

HIGHLIGHTS  ★ German POW camp, Stalag (Luft) III

Day 6 - 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.

*Breakfast Included

HIGHLIGHTS  ★ Berlin  ★ Air Force Museum Gatow  ★ Berlin War Cemetery

    OPTIONAL EXCLUSION  ★ Evening Tour of Berlin WWII Sites

Day 7 - Hannover

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.

*Breakfast Included

HIGHLIGHTS  ★ Hannover   ★ Air Force Musuem

Day 8 - 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.

*Breakfast Included

HIGHLIGHTS  ★ Rheinberg War Cemetery

Day 9

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 the UK (passengers departing the tour in Europe will farewell the group at the hotel).

*Breakfast Included

Departure Dates & Prices









Departure Date Days Travel By Tour ref Price
Sat 21 September 2019 9 Silver Service 9GCZV/1 $1803
Sat 5 October 2019 9 Silver Service 9GCZV/1 $1708
Sat 4 April 2020 9 Silver Service 9GCZV/1 $1822
Sat 18 April 2020 9 Luxuria 9GCZX/1 $2221

Air War Europe: Colditz, Dambusters & the Great Escape

9-Days from $1,708 per person
Enquire online or call our friendly travel advisers on 844-400-BatteTours (Within the US)

Travel Options

When it comes to getting you to your destination, Mat McLachlan Battlefield Tours makes it easy, with a selection of travel options for you to choose from on our Tours. You can join your coach at a convenient joining point in the UK (we have hundreds to choose from throughout England, Scotland and Wales), or join/depart the tour in Europe.

Coach Options: Silver Service or upgrade to Luxuria

 

Please note: Coach options can differ between each tour

Accommodation

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 Achat Premium Hotel in Dresden, two nights at the 3-star Grand City Berlin East, Vienna House Easy, or similar on the outskirts of Berlin, overnight at the 4-star H4 Hotel or the Wyndham Hannover Atrium in Hannover, or similar and finally overnight at a city-style hotel in Belgium.

NH Koningshof Hotel
Best Western Hotel Jena
Achat Premium Dresden Hotel
Vienna House Easy Berlin
City Hotel Berlin East
Grunau Hotel
H4 Hotel Hannover Messe
NH Koningshof Hotel

The NH Koningshof hotel is located in a green area on the outskirts of Veldhoven and is about 10km from Eindhoven city centre which is known as the ‘The Silicon Valley of Europe’. The hotels facilities include Wi-Fi/Internet access, Gym, swimming pool*, air conditioning, a restaurant, a bar and lounge. All bedrooms feature Tea and Coffee making facilities, hairdryer, telephone and en-suite bathroom. *The swimming pool can close without prior notice.

Hotel Features

  • Swimming Pool
  • English Speaking Staff
  • Bureau de Change
  • Guest Lounge
  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Lift
  • WiFi Available

Room Features

  • TV
  • Tea and Coffee Making Facilities
  • Hairdryer
  • Bath and/or Shower
  • Telephone
Best Western Hotel Jena

The Best Western Hotel Jena is located close to major highway links and sits between areas of Mittleres Saaletal zwischen Camburg und Göschwitz and Kernberge – Wöllmisse. The hotel facilities include Bureau de change, lounge, a bar, a restaurant , bicycling rentals, steam room, 24hr reception and Wi-Fi/Internet access. All bedrooms feature T.V with major channels, air conditioning, telephone, desk, hairdryer and en-suite bathroom.

Hotel Features

  • English Speaking Staff
  • Bureau de Change
  • Guest Lounge
  • Bar
  • Restuarant
  • Lift

Room Features

  • TV
  • Hairdryer
  • Bath and/or Shower
  • Telephone
Achat Premium Dresden Hotel

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.

Hotel Features

  • English Speaking Staff
  • Guest Lounge
  • Bar
  • Restuarant
  • Lift
  • WiFi Available

Room Features

  • TV
  • Hairdryer
  • Bath and/or Shower
  • Telephone
Vienna House Easy Berlin

The 3-star Vienna House Easy Berlin Hotel is located in Pankow, within 5km of Stasi Museum Berlin, Alexanderplatz, TV Tower, Nikolaikirche and DDR Museum. This hotel features a bar/lounge, a coffee shop/café, and a snack bar/deli. Opened in late 2016, the Vienna House Easy Berlin is located in the trendy Prenzlauer Berg district of Berlin, offering easy access to Berlin’s main sights, including the Brandenburg Gate and Potsdamer Platz. It features modern rooms with fresh blue, tangy orange and lively yellow-green colour schemes. All rooms are equipped with casual furniture, local decorative elements and comfortable box-spring beds. High-speed Wi-Fi, digital newspapers and a bottle of water are also provided.

Hotel Features

  • English Speaking Staff
  • Bar
  • Lift
  • WiFi Available

Room Features

  • TV
  • Hairdryer
  • Bath and/or Shower
City Hotel Berlin East

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.

Hotel Features

  • English Speaking Staff
  • Guest Lounge
  • Bar
  • Restuarant
  • Lift

Room Features

  • TV
  • Hairdryer
  • Bath and/or Shower
  • Telephone
Grunau Hotel

The 4-star family-run Grunau hotel is located the wooded and lake-rich surrounding of Berlin and is also close to the Berlin Schonefeld airport. The hotel’s facilities include bicycle rental, a restaurant, a bar, mini ten-pin bowling lane, terrace, sauna and wi-fi/internet access. All bedrooms feature bright and friendly rooms with desk, telephone, seating corner, safe, flat screen T.V, wi-fi/Internet access and en-suite bathroom

Hotel Features

  • English Speaking Staff
  • Bar
  • Restuarant
  • Lift
  • WiFi Available

Room Features

  • TV
  • Hairdryer
  • Bath and/or Shower
  • Telephone
H4 Hotel Hannover Messe

The 4 Star superior H4 Hotel Hannover Messe is located close to the Hannover Trade Fair Grounds (site of EXPO 2000), just to the south of Hanover and has good access to the motorway network and public transport. Hanover, the state capital of Lower Saxony, offers a variety of attractions, including the Royal Gardens of Herrenhausen, Adventure Zoo and Lake Maschsee. The hotel facilities include a cosy Irish Pub, a restaurant, a fitness centre including sauna and a large swimming pool* and Wi-Fi/Internet access. All hotel guest rooms have recently been renovated and feature T.V with major channels, Tea and Coffee making facilities, hairdryer, telephone, air conditioning, safe and en-suite bathroom. *The swimming pool can close without prior notice for necessary maintenance.

Hotel Features

  • Swimming Pool
  • English Speaking Staff
  • Bureau de Change
  • Bar
  • Restuarant
  • Lift
  • WiFi Available

Room Features

  • TV
  • Tea and Coffee Making Facilities
  • Hairdryer
  • Telephone

How To Book

Air War Europe: Colditz, Dambusters & the Great Escape

Contact our reservations team on 844-400-BatteTours, email info@battletours.com or click on the enquiry button below.

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Tours are operated in conjunction with our UK partner, Leger Holidays.

Please note: Itineraries are subject to change due to operational reasons. Any changes will be advised closer to the time of departure.

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