England during WW II - Battle of Britain, Dunkerque, Normandy preparations
12th August to 18th August 2018
Battle of England
This is the tour where your expert guides among a lot of other things will show you very important parts of the resistance against Nazi Germany. You visit Bletchley Park where 10.000 of the most intelligent women and men, and among them a group of Americans, in deep secrecy worked as codebreakers and made it possible to read encrypted German messages.
You will experience the fascinating capitol London and a lot of famous buildings and places. You will find yourself in a time warp when you stand in The Cabinet War Rooms from where Prime Minister Winston Churchill led the active opposition against Adolf Hitler.
When you visit The Duxford Air Museum you will see hundreds of aircraft, military vehicles, artillery and of course The American Air Museum, you see Southwick House, General Eisenhower´s HQ during “Operation Overlord” in 1944, and you can attend the evensong in Canterbury Cathedral.
12th August to 18th August 2018. $3,800
You will see and experience the following:
The Churchill War Rooms
The Churchill exhibition
Whitehall War Memorial
Norfolk House General Eisenhowers headquarters in London
Imperial War Museum
RAF Museum Hendon
Duxford Imperial War Museum
Airfield and Aviation Museum
American Air Museum
Memorial to the lost USAAF crews
Southwick House, General Eisenhowers headquarters during ”Operation Overlord”, the Invasion in Normandy
The D-Day Museum
The Royal Navy headquarters below the castle
Capel-le-Ferne, The Battle of Britain Memorial
RAF Station Hawkinge
Bletchley Park, guided visit to one of the most secret places of the Second World War. Home of the codebreakers
"After having traveled with the International Military Institute six times I can only give the company my best recommendations. There is control with everything and everything functions perfectly. The guides are knowledgeable and let their knowledge pass on to the travelers. You know more, when you return home."
– Exceptional service and knowledge (Uffe S.)
"As someone interested in history (especially WWII) it has always been my dream to see and experience key places that have to do with the war. To stand at Omaha Beach where the Allies went ashore in 1944. To stand at Zeppelinfeld in Nuremberg, where the Nuremberg Rally took place. Cultours is definitely a tour operator out of the ordinary. If you want to feel the presence of history, Cultours will in no way disappoint."
– Fantastic! Exciting! Incredible! Simply! (Brian)
”A memorable trip. Enjoyable and I learned a lot. Great companionship. Thanks so much.”
– Don Atkinson
"With an old friend from school I participated in a journey to Normandy in the spring of 2012. The theme was the 1944 invasion in Normandy, France. It was a great experience, a good bus, competent and engaged guide. The hotels and the food were good. Everything came together perfectly. I can only say, that I would travel with Cultours again. I got my money's worth."
– The best themed tour operator (Karsten N.)
"… the most enjoyable, informative and detailed tour I have ever been on. The historians/guides, Torsten Granov and Daniel Martinez, were both extremely knowledgeable about the area and history of both Normandy and Paris. A visitor with little knowledge of the D-Day invasion would gain a wealth of information taking this tour."
– John W. Husk
Our expert guides & Pricing
Historian and TV personality
Daniel Martinez is a noted Pacific War and WWII historian. He is a well-known television personality. He hosted 36 episodes of Unsolved History for Discovery Channel. Daniel has also appeared in numerous documentaries for the History Channel, National Geographic, the Military Channel, CBS, NBC, ABC, CSPAN and PBS. Recently, he led our tour retracing the footsteps of John F. Kennedy up to his assassination in 1963. His background in battlefield interpretation is acknowledged internationally. He has led tours to the fields of Gettysburg, Antietam, Little Big Horn, Pearl Harbor, Iwo Jima, Saipan, Tinian and Midway Island. He has written or contributed to several books and writes for leading publications on military history.
Royal Danish Navy (retired)
During the Cold War he was Commanding Officer of Fast Patrol Boats and Guided Missile Corvettes. Later he served as Deputy Commandant of the Danish Military Intelligence Service and as Danish Defence Attaché to London and Dublin. He attended the naval staff course in Greenwich (Royal Navy) and NATO Defense College in Rome. He was a teacher in joint warfare at the Royal Danish Defence College and is the author of the book published in 2017: The Naval War in the Baltic 1939 to 1945. Poul Grooss has guided numerous military history tours in Europe: Normandy, Stalingrad, Battle of the Bulge and in the Pacific to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and Japan.
- Single rooms USD $600 extra.
- Quality hotels, all rooms with private bath or shower.
- Breakfast all days, good English dinner all nights (lunches on your own)
- Entrance fees to all museums and sites
- Two expert historians as tour guides giving lectures during the trip.
- Educational materials, maps, etc.
- Private first class air-conditioned motor coach
- Extra night in London hotel: $150 per person sharing a twin room, including breakfast. Single room $ 250
The tour day by day
Sunday 12th August
Arrival at the hotel in central London, meet your guide, Captain Poul Grooss, who gives an introduction for the group. You have dinner in the local area.
Monday 13th August
We will tour central London on foot. We see a lot of legendary buildings and places: The Parliament, located on the left bank of the River
Thames in the borough of Westminster, Foreign & Commonwealth office, Downing Street, 275 years of history are behind the famous black door of 10 Downing Street, which is the official residence and the office of the British Prime Minister since 1735. Behind this door the most important decisions affecting Britain have been taken.
We proceed to see the Cabinet War Rooms including Churchill War Room.
During WWII a group of basement offices in Whitehall served as the centre of Britain’s war effort. The complex, known as the Cabinet War Rooms, was occupied by leading government ministers, military strategists and Prime Minister Winston Churchill. The rooms became fully operational a week before Britain declared war on Germany on 3 September 1939.
The Cabinet War Rooms were in use 24 hours a day until 16 August 1945, when the lights were turned off in the Map Room for the first time in six years. You will get a glimpse of what life would have been like during the tense days and nights of the Second World War. Step back in time and see the Map Room which has remained exactly as it was left.
We will go by Underground – in fact the oldest and one of the busiest underground railway networks in the world, and we will have our lunch in a pub, Horniman’s, off HMS Belfast. After lunch we will have a guided tour on board HMS Belfast, a cruiser supporting the Normandy landing. Your guide will among other things inform you about problems of hitting a German Tiger Tank with a 6” shell from a cruiser 12 nautical miles away.
The day will end with a visit to the Imperial War Museum where you will hear the stories of people’s experiences of modern warfare from WWI to conflicts today. It is one of the largest military history museums in the world. You will have the choice to see the museum on your own or with the tour guide. From here we will return to our hotel and will dine in a local restaurant.
Tuesday 14th August
By private bus to the Royal Air Force Museum Hendon (just reopened after renovation), where you will have a guided tour of the Battle-of-Britain Hall. The RAF Museum is a magnificent collection of aircraft through the ages all under cover. You can see a vast array of RAF aircraft from its inception to the current day. Well worth spending a couple of hours wandering around admiring the aircraft and reading some of the personal stories of the pilots who flew them.
By bus to Bletchley Park, pub lunch on the road. Guided tour of Bletchley Park: The Enigma and the Lorentz teletypewriter explained. Hear about the mathematical background for the code cracking, the early Polish mathematical breakthrough as well as the story of Alan Turing.
The organisation started in 1939 with only around 150 staff, but soon grew rapidly. Many famous codebreakers including Alan Turing, Gordon Welchman and Bill Tutte were found this way. At the time of the allied invasion in Normandy, nearly 10,000 men and women worked in the Bletchley park organization.
A small group of American service personnel were also brought over and integrated into a number of the Sections. It was the first time many of the UK staff had met an American, but the visitors fitted in very well.
We take our bus to hotel Milton Keynes/Bletchley, dinner at the hotel.
Wednesday 15th August
Our bus takes us to Cambridge: Visit to the US War Cemetery, Cambridge. The Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial Site is very moving and beautiful and lies on a slope with the west and south sides framed by woodland. The cemetery contains the remains of 3,812 American war dead; 5,127 names are recorded on the Walls of the Missing all from The Second World War.
From here we go to Duxford (part of the Imperial War Museum). We visit the American Air Museum and the memorial for the lost USAAF air crews, the Battle-of-Britain OPS-Room, aircraft on display, aircraft under restoration, a V-1 firing ramp, many other WWII-related exhibits and Field Marshal Bernhard Montgomery’s caravans used during the Normandy invasion.
Duxford is a historic airfield and museum of aviation history. It tells the powerful stories of the brave men and women who lived, fought, worked and died in conflict from WWI to 1969. You stand in awe of the world’s most famous and fastest planes at this historic airfield and museum. From Spitfires and Concorde to the modern day Typhoon.
As an American fighter base from 1943, IWM Duxford is now home to the newly transformed American Air Museum housing the giant B-52 Stratofortress. At the far end of the site, artillery pieces, tanks, trunks and other historic military vehicles tell the story of the mechanisation of combat in the Land Warfare exhibition
Stand in awe of the world's most famous aircraft at this historic museum. Be dwarfed by the B-52 and Concorde; get up close to famous Second World War classics including the Spitfire, Lancaster and Tiger Moth; and stare up into the guts of the Vulcan bomber.
Duxford was built in the final months of the First World War.
The first Americans to serve at Duxford did so in 1918, when the ground crews of several US Aero Squadrons helped erect the temporary hangars that housed Duxford’s aircraft before the permanent buildings were completed. From 1943 to 1945 the base was handed over to the Americans. The US Eighth Air Force’s 78th Fighter Group operated first P-47 Thunderbolts, then P-51 Mustangs from the airfield. They took part in escort and ground attack missions over Europe.
Now you can take to the skies in one of a number of original vintage aircraft at IWM Duxford. A trial flying lesson will let you enjoy the open cockpit experience in the famous Tiger Moth or choose the sheer power and excitement of the stunning Harvard.
American Air Museum and the memorial for the lost USAAF air crews
During the Second World War thousands of Americans serving with the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) arrived in Britain and fought alongside the RAF in the battle against Nazi Germany.
From here our bus will take us to the Portsmouth area for overnight and dinner.
Thursday 16th August
Visit to Southwick House, General Eisenhower’s HQ during “Operation Overlord”.
At the time when the D-Day landings were launched, the Allied commanders wanted to be close to the assault troops and the ports from which they would leave. For that reason, Eisenhower and Montgomery moved their headquarters to the area around Southwick House.
Allied forces, numbering 156,000, were poised to travel by ship or plane over the English Channel to attack the German army dug in at Normandy, France, on June 5, 1944. Eisenhower had a window of only four days of decent weather in which an invasion would be possible. After a promising but cautious report from his meteorologist at 9:45 p.m. on June 5, Eisenhower told his staff “let’s go.”
That night, from Allied headquarters in England, Ike composed a solemn and inspirational statement that was delivered the next day as a letter into the hands of every soldier, sailor and airman set to embark on Operation Overlord. Reminding the men that the eyes of the world are upon you and that their opponents would fight savagely, Ike exhorted them to be brave, show their devotion to duty and accept nothing less than victory! In closing, he wished his troops good luck and sought the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking
We will be given a tour of the house and see the original wall map as well as the original weather map that postponed the invasion by 24 hours. Southwick House is a training facility for the UK Military Police and located inside a restricted military area. Passports for ID required.
Visit to “D-Day Museum & Overlord Embroidery” located on the promenade south of Portsmouth harbour.
Portsmouth’s D-Day Museum is Britain’s only museum dedicated solely to covering all aspects of the D-Day landings in Normandy, France, on 6 June 1944. The Overlord Embroidery, the centrepiece of the D-Day Museum, was commissioned as a tribute to the sacrifice and heroism of those who took part. Inspired by the Bayeux Tapestry, it traces in stunning visual form the progress of Overlord, from its origins in the dark days of 1940 to victory in Normandy in 1944.
We will have our lunch in the local area where the “press gang” recruited men for the Royal Navy in an earlier period. The “press gang” was a group sent ashore to seize men. It refers to the act of taking men into a military or naval force by compulsion.
Then by bus to historic Canterbury, which we will use as a base for our visits in the Channel area. There is a possibility for the group to lay flowers in the Canterbury Cathedral at the lists of the fallen British and Commonwealth soldiers. It is highly recommended to stay for evensong in the cathedral, which is the mother church of the Church of England and the seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The cathedral was founded in the year 597!
Dinner at our the hotel in Canterbury
Friday 17th August
Visit to Dover Castle for the Operation Dynamo exhibition. You will get a guided tour explaining the Dunkirk evacuation of May-June 1940. We will visit the underground rooms in the Castle that housed the headquarters conducting operation Dynamo, that saved the British Army in May-June 1940.
Operation Dynamo was a naval operation in May 1940 to evacuate the British and French Armies trapped in the city of Dunkirk, surrounded by the German Armies. Nearly 400,000 troops were surrounded in Dunkirk, on the beaches and in some outlying villages. Around 850 warships started the evacuation, but as that was not enough, 700 private ships joined in, including fishing boats, pleasure craft and merchant marine boats. 338,226 soldiers were evacuated, but between 35,000 and 40,000 mainly French were left behind as well as almost all the heavy artillery, cannons, vehicles, motorcycles and thousands of tons of munitions and fuel.
From Dover we have a view across the Channel to France. As the German V-1 campaign started a week after the Normandy invasion, the Dover area was then covered by a large number of US anti-aircraft batteries.
Lunch in Dover.
After lunch we pay a visit to Capel-le-Ferne to see the Battle-of-Britain Memorial with names of all the missing air crews, including 7 American pilots. Officially the battle lasted from 10th July to 31st October 1940.
Further by bus to the former RAF Air Station Hawkinge, the air base closest to the enemy during the Battle-of-Britain and target for German bombs and artillery fire. Here you will find a rare collection of items from “aircraft archeology”.
Back to our hotel and farewell dinner at our hotel in Canterbury
Saturday 18th August
After breakfast the bus will be heading for Gatwick airport, Heathrow and Waterloo Station, London for further transport, for hotels or other locations.
Sign up for the tour
8-day extension August 19th – August 26th
D-Day Invasion, Normandy-Paris tour. 8-day guided tour by bus.
The Invasion Beaches of Normandy: Omaha, Utah, Gold, Juno and Sword, the museums at Utah and Omaha Beach, Military cemeteries: La Cambe (German); Colleville-sur-Mer (American), Glider and US Paratrooper landing sites (101st and 82nd airborne,) Sight-seeing tour of Paris by boat on the Seine River, Notre Dame, The Eiffel Tower and Champs Elysées.
Participants in the England during WWII-Tour signing up for this extension will have a free room and dinner in the evening on the 18th. It is possible to go by high-speed train directly from London to Paris where we will pick you up at Gare de Lyon.
Photo above: P-47 Thunderbolt aircraft of the 78th Fighter Group at Duxford. Handwritten on slide casing. 1944 (Second World War)