World War I is one of the important events in the history of the mankind and has played a critical role in shaping the world as it is today. With the civilian and military casualty toll crossing more than 40 million, the WWI has a history that speaks volumes. A number of books have been written and films made to showcase the history of each of the battles of this greatest war ever. You can read those books and see those movies if you want to know more about those gory details. But the best way to relive the event is by taking a battlefield tour, which gives you a deep insight into the horrors of those who had been a part of those violent battles. There are a number of guided battlefield tours that are organized for history lovers which you can take. Let us explore the five most popular World War I battlefield tours that you can explore:
Somme: Somme is a French battlefield that is renowned for its tragic Battle of the Somme, which took toll of more than 23,000 Australian soldiers in 1916. This was the venue where tanks were seen entering the fray for the first time. This was also the battlefield that saw the successful counter-offensive in 1918. Some of the key locations to visit during the tour are the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, the Australian memorials at Pozières, Newfoundland Memorial Park, the Ulster Tower Memorial and the Adelaide Cemetery.
Ypres: Ypres is town in Belgium and is well known for battlefields that serve as the resting place of thousands of soldiers who lost their lives in World War I. These soldiers, who were killed between 1916 and 1918, hailed from around the world. The location is famous for the Second Battle of Ypres during which poison gas was deployed as a war weapon by the German army for the first time. It is also known for the Battle of Passchendaele, which witnessed a casualty count between 400,000 and 800,000 lives. The places to visit here include the British Empire’s Menin Gate Memorial, the Ypres Ramparts Cemetery and the Cloth Hall.
Fromelles: Another must-have battlefield tour in Europe is the one that takes you through the town of Fromelles in France. The historical significance of this battlefield lies in the fact that it was the first one where Australians fought on the Western Front. The death toll was high, with as many as 5000 lives being lost in a single night in 2016 when the troops battled to secure the Sugarloaf objective. The venue has a number of memorials to visit, including the Cobber monument and VC Corner Cemetery, which is the only all-Australian cemetery in the country. You can also visit the Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery, which houses the remains of 250 British and Australian soldiers recovered in 2009 from a mass grave located nearby.
4. Bullecourt: The Bullecourt battlefield is a memorial of the great battle that took place in 1917, when countless comrades fought and fell against the Germans. The battle fought by the 4th Australian Division was aimed at claiming some key trenches in the region. It was an initial success but turned into a complete disaster when the German reinforcements reclaimed the land and killed thousands of soldiers during the battle. Later, the allies returned to win the area within a month’s time with the artillery support of British divisions. The bronze statue of the Bullecourt Digger is the most impressive offering of this battlefield.
Pozieres: Pozieres in Somme is another famed World War I battlefield that should be on your must-tour list. Located on a Roman road that lies between Bapaume and Albert, it is an important stop for those looking to retrace the steps of the Great War soldiers. The highest grounds in the Somme Valley were occupied by the Germans but were later captured by the Australian troops in 1916. Thousands of soldiers lost their lives in this battlefield. There are a number of memorials that you can check out in this village. These include the First Australian Division memorial, Mouquet Farm and the Thiepval Monument.
Visiting these battlefields can give you a new perspective on the World War I. It is a good idea to buy a guided tour from a reputed provider such as CGT Battlefields for a well-planned tour that covers all the important places to see. You can check their website http://www.cgtbattlefields.co.uk/ to know more about the battlefield tour packages they offer. Availing a guided tour is always a better option as it offers a complete coverage in a hassle-free and cost-effective manner.