French battlefields

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Graham r
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French battlefields

Postby Graham r » 19 Nov 2017, 8:10pm

I am want to visit the French battlefields next year on a solo tour will be my first tour if anyone as a route for this and willing to share that would be great
All is it best to do b&b for this route or camping

pete75
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Re: French battlefields

Postby pete75 » 19 Nov 2017, 8:32pm

Which areas , or all of them? They stretch a long way from Flanders in the north all the way down to the Swiss border. The most interesting I've visited is Verdun with several large forts and good museums. This website covers many of the battlefields and might be a good place to start , decide which ones you'd like to visit and then plan a route. http://www.ww1battlefields.co.uk/index.html

The more northerly ones are easily visited on a circular tour from a port like Dunkirk. If you go to them it'd be a mistake to restrict yourself to France - Ypres and the area around it in Belgium is very interesting and the scene of several major battles - the Ypres salient was one of the more fought over areas of the whole war.

Graham r
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Re: French battlefields

Postby Graham r » 19 Nov 2017, 8:37pm

Thanks Pete 75 was hoping to do some of the ones in France only have a week so starting and finishing at the same port would be great cycling about 40/70 miles a day

softlips
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Re: French battlefields

Postby softlips » 19 Nov 2017, 8:50pm

You need to narrow it down a little. WW1 or WW2? Did the Normandy area this year but not by bike.

Graham r
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Re: French battlefields

Postby Graham r » 19 Nov 2017, 9:09pm

Ww2 battlefields

groberts
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Re: French battlefields

Postby groberts » 20 Nov 2017, 8:38am

D-Day beaches etc takes some beating, especially if you can go at the time of 6th June commemorations:

https://roundthebendpart1.wordpress.com ... june-2010/

Not so much a tour but could be made into one The Somme is also very interesting:

https://roundthebendpart1.wordpress.com ... /remember/

Or though not Belgium, Flanders WW1 battelfields make an outstanding tour.

https://roundthebendpart1.wordpress.com ... june-2012/

Take your pick? My only recommendation is to do some homework reading on battles, history and geography over the winter months in preparation, it makes a lot of difference when there. Let us know what you decide + report back.

Graham

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Cunobelin
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Re: French battlefields

Postby Cunobelin » 20 Nov 2017, 9:56am

Depends on the driving motive

If it is personal and you have a few chosen sites that makes planning easier

If not then as above there are far too many to visit them all

Choose a theme to narrow them down to a manageable number and then plan accordingly

simonhill
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Re: French battlefields

Postby simonhill » 20 Nov 2017, 7:31pm

As you have stated WW2, then your choice is much more limited.

The Normandy Beaches are an obvious choice, running round to places like St Mere d'Eglise on the Contentin Peninsular. There's plenty to see, but the distances aren't great.

Finding much else WW2 is not so easy as once the breakout started the war was quite mobile. You can go to areas like The Bocage, famous for its difficult fighting, or Falaise for the Falaise Gap, but I don't think there is much to see.

The static nature of WW1 has left a much more lasting legacy. From a Channel port, The Somme or Ypres/Flanders are well within reach.

Slowroad
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Re: French battlefields

Postby Slowroad » 20 Nov 2017, 8:27pm

Interesting! I'm hoping to do a short tour in 2018 visiting WW1 sites specifically ones which my great-uncle may have been involved in, finishing with a visit to his grave (I hope) exactly 100 years since he died. I'm getting hooked on WW1 geneology because of this! At the moment I think I'll be in the Albert-Arras-Cambrai area, but this may change as I find things out...
“My two favourite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything. The perfect day: riding a bike to the library.”
― Peter Golkin

ossie
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Re: French battlefields

Postby ossie » 20 Nov 2017, 9:22pm

Graham r wrote:Ww2 battlefields


Hi Graham. I'd suggest the Normandy Beaches for your time frame. However you may need to start and finish at different ports.

Last year I started at Cherbourg and within a week did Utah / Omaha / Gold / Juno / Sword. I then went cross country to St Malo but you could ferry back from Caen. I doubt I saw 50% as the history is everywhere.

Graham r
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Re: French battlefields

Postby Graham r » 20 Nov 2017, 9:39pm

ossie wrote:
Graham r wrote:Ww2 battlefields


Hi Graham. I'd suggest the Normandy Beaches for your time frame. However you may need to start and finish at different ports.

Last year I started at Cherbourg and within a week did Utah / Omaha / Gold / Juno / Sword. I then went cross country to St Malo but you could ferry back from Caen. I doubt I saw 50% as the history is everywhere.




Thanks Ossis do you have a gps of your route at all that you maybe willing to share

ossie
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Re: French battlefields

Postby ossie » 21 Nov 2017, 9:14pm

Hi Graham I will send you a private message

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Cunobelin
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Re: French battlefields

Postby Cunobelin » 21 Nov 2017, 9:28pm

There are still occasional (and unexpected) monuments and buildings spotted around.. all you need to do is find them!


Oradour-Sur-Glane is an example where a Nazi massacre was commemorated by NOT rebuilding

tatanab
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Re: French battlefields

Postby tatanab » 21 Nov 2017, 9:37pm

Cunobelin wrote:There are still occasional (and unexpected) monuments and buildings spotted around.. all you need to do is find them!

Oradour-Sur-Glane is an example where a Nazi massacre was commemorated by NOT rebuilding
I prefer to tour "unplanned" and simply come across things. The exception being a visit to places like Oradour. As a result I've come across any number of little plaques in of, out of the way places, marking the death of local resistance fighters. This year, I was just bumbling along a little lane, and as I passed a junction with an even smaller lane a flash of colour caught my eye. It was the flowers with this monument to a bomber crew. Superbly maintained, and just in the middle of nowhere. Superb!
100_1235.JPG

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Cunobelin
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Re: French battlefields

Postby Cunobelin » 21 Nov 2017, 9:55pm

tatanab wrote:
Cunobelin wrote:There are still occasional (and unexpected) monuments and buildings spotted around.. all you need to do is find them!

Oradour-Sur-Glane is an example where a Nazi massacre was commemorated by NOT rebuilding
I prefer to tour "unplanned" and simply come across things. The exception being a visit to places like Oradour. As a result I've come across any number of little plaques in of, out of the way places, marking the death of local resistance fighters. This year, I was just bumbling along a little lane, and as I passed a junction with an even smaller lane a flash of colour caught my eye. It was the flowers with this monument to a bomber crew. Superbly maintained, and just in the middle of nowhere. Superb!
100_1235.JPG



I was out one day at an event and was chatting to a charming lady in her 90's, it turned out that she had spent several months behind enemy lines and her only regret was that she had never been allowed to parachute, had always been flown in by Lysander.