TOUR # 2B THE BATTLE OF THE HEDGEROWS TOUR
RDV time and place are 8.20am Place de Québec, in the center of Bayeux. Therefore you can only join this tour if you are spending the night before in Bayeux or vicinity. If you are residing in Paris, please check our "Tours from Paris" section for more options.
General Bradley referred to the ‘bocage’ country as “the damnedest country I’ve seen”.
In fact, Brigadier-General James Gavin Assistant Commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, seemed surprised at the actual terrain in the bocage country in spite of the fact that prior to the Normandy landing there had been some talk about the hedgerows in France.
Several units trained in the various regions of the English countryside but the hedgerows there were pretty different compared with those GI’s encountered in Normandy.
More to the point, the priority for combat training in England since October 1942 had not been for the European mainland but had focused on getting Divisions formed and shipped overseas. The bad surprise was total!
Overlordtour will take you from Bloody Omaha to Saint-Lô following the steps of the famous 29th Infantry Division “Blue and Grey” through the Norman countryside.
This Tour begins on Omaha Beach in Vierville sur Mer , where we will tell you the terrible history of the Bedford Boys. We will not be able to cover the full story of what happened on this beach on D-Day, which is why we invite you to also take our Tour # 2 of the Omaha & Utah sector before taking this tour. This tour will give you a very good account of the landings on Omaha Beach. We will present the history of the young men of the "A" Company of the 116th Regiment of the 29th Division who were massacred on the beach.
By day's end, nineteen of the company's Bedford (Virginia) soldiers were dead. Two more Bedford soldiers died later in the Normandy campaign, as did yet another two assigned to other 116th Infantry companies. Bedford's population in 1944 was about 3,200. Proportionally this community suffered the nation's severest D-Day losses. Recognizing Bedford as emblematic of all communities, large and small, whose citizen-soldiers served on D-Day, Congress warranted the establishment of the National D-Day Memorial here.
Vierville-sur-Mer and Bedford are sister cities.
Next we move on into the countryside towards Saint-Lô. You will follow the same path taken by the GI's of the "Blue and Grey Division" who landed on 6th June to liberate the crossroads of Saint-Lô on 18th July.
42 days of bloody fighting were needed to gain 25 miles!
You will find this tour full of emotion through the recounting of unpublished anecdotes. Thanks to the contacts maintained over the years with the veterans of the 29th Division by the manager of Overlordtour, Alain Chesnel, you will discover moving stories that only Overlordtour Company can tell you.
MORNING: Spot I - Omaha Beach - Dog Green - Companies A / 116th - 6th June 1944 - 6h 30... – On the way to Vierville-sur-Mer... – Spot II - La Vigne aux Gendres Cross road - 2nd Battalion 115th Regiment - Night 9th to 10th of June –
Spot III - Elle River Battle - 115th and 116th Regiment - 11th June 12th/June - On the way to Saint-Jean de Savigny... - Spot IV – Stop at the Wall of Remembrance - On the way to Saint Clair sur Elle... Stop for lunch.
AFTERNOON: Spot V – Stop at the Bretel Wood - On the way to Saint-Lô -
Spot V – Stop at Madeleine Chapel - Spot VI – Stop at Saint-Lô
TOUR # 7B - BEYOND THE BEACHHEAD TOUR:
RDV time and place are 8.20am Place de Québec, in the center of Bayeux. Therefore you can only join this tour if you are spending the night before in Bayeux or vicinity.
DAY 1: This Tour expands and builds upon our Tour #1 to Omaha Beach, by a visit to Utah Beach. In one day's time, this tour will allow you to see and understand the attack strategy and manuvers of two key American Corps - the 5th Corps at Omaha, and the 7th Corps at Utah. Here, in this tour, you will visit many of the actual sites filmed and depicted in the famous American movie " The Longest Day " which was the first film about D-Day's Invasions. This tour will allow you to link the fictional places you have undoubtedly seen in the film, with the real life places in history. This is an unbelievable tour, and an experience of a lifetime.
This is a combination of our Tour # 2 (Omaha / Utah FDT) and Tour # 2 B (The Hedgerows Tour). Our Tour # 7 B is intended for visitors having more time in Normandy for in-depth exploration and examination of the many Invasion sites. For those with a true passion for study and understanding of these areas, this Tour brings you a good understanding of the difficult conditions of D-Day and the progression of GI's through the Normandy region to Saint-Lô. The creation of this tour is due to the desire of many people who want to understand the battle of the hedgerows.
DAY 2: For those of you who have a specific interest in an in depth understanding... the battle of the hedgerows. In this Tour we follow a famous American unit who landed on Omaha in the first waves. This is the 29th Infantry Division. After suffering heavy losses on the beach this unit was entrusted with the mission to pierce the front towards the crossroads of Saint-Lô. There again, the loss of men and material was enormous. You will understand thanks to this Tour and our knowledge of the country the difficulties these men overcame to win step by step a hostile terrain whilst facing seasoned German soldiers. Alain, having rubbed shoulders with many veterans of the 29th has collected unpublished anecdotes that the Overlordtour guides will share with you.
As Major Howie said to General Gerhardt before he died ... "See you in Saint-Lô".