Discover the moving and explosive story of the Sherwood Rangers' gripping battle across Europe from D-Day to the Allied victory in Normandy

Any regular listener to the We Have Ways podcast will know that the story of the Sherwood Rangers has been brought to life by James Holland in his compelling book, Brothers in Arms.

As James explains his acclaimed book, it took a certain type of courage to serve in a tank in World War Two. Encased in steel and surrounded by explosives, you are a big, slow-moving target and vulnerable to attack at all times.

On this truly unique tour James will bring to life the battles, the characters and the brutal life and death struggle of the Sherwood Rangers, as you follow in their tank tracks and gain a true understanding of what it was like to fight in Normandy 80 years ago in 1944.

Along with James and historian and tour manager, Mike Peters, you'll trace the journey of this fascinating regiment, from Gold Beach where they landed on D-Day through the villages and hedgerows of Normandy, and their battles with the 12. SS and the Panzer Lehr Divisions. The tour will follow them from Bayeux to Tilly and Hottot, the battles of Operation Bluecoat and beyond to the River Noireau and the end of the campaign in Normandy in August 1944.

Through compelling eye-witness accounts and James' own in-depth analysis, he has pieced to together their epic journey as they covered thousands of miles in their Sherman tanks and endured some of the fiercest fighting - from the D-Day beaches to the end of the Normandy campaign near Falaise.

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Your expert guides

James Holland
Historian, writer, broadcaster

James Holland is an award-winning historian, writer and broadcaster. He has written numerous history books, including Brothers in Arms, which tells the story of the Sherwood Rangers from D-Day to VE Day, and co-hosts the hugely successful podcast, We Have Ways of Making You Talk, with Al Murray.

Mike Peters
Historian and tour manager

Mike served in the British Army for more than thirty years. As an Army Air Corps Soldier, and later in his career as an Officer, he served in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. He has maintained a lifelong interest in military history, working as a Battlefield Guide, an author, and recently as a TV Historian. Mike has published Glider Pilots at Arnhem, Glider Pilots in Sicily, and Bomb Group - a history of the 381st Bomb Group USAAF.

Price includes

  • Tour manager throughout
  • James Holland will accompany you throughout the trip, sharing his expert insights and knowledge
  • Visit Gold Beach and D-Day landing sites
  • Visit Point 103 & St Pierre
  • Discover Operation Martlet
  • Retrace the steps of Operation Bluecoat and the Noireau River
  • Visit the British Normandy Memorial
  • Channel crossing from Portsmouth to Caen
  • One night ferry accommodation
  • Four nights' accommodation in either a three-star hotel on a B&B basis
  • Five packed lunches
  • Two evening meals

Availability

From
Sun, Sun, Apr 28, 2024
To
Fri, Fri, May 3, 2024
Duration
6 Days
Price per person
£1,899*

* From price is per person, based on two people sharing a standard room, subject to availability. Price and itinerary correct at time of print but may be subject to change. Single supplement applies. Deposit 30%. Local charges such as tourist tax may apply. Offers are not valid in conjunction with any other offers or promotions. In the case of unforeseen circumstances, expert(s) may be substituted, and any expert-led events may be subject to change. Expert(s) will not join you for your full trip duration unless otherwise stated. Travel insurance is not included and should be taken out at time of booking. Images used may not reflect your actual tour experience. This holiday may be sold through other selected brands. Holiday is operated by and subject to the booking conditions of TS Travel Limited (ATOL bonded). Full cancellation terms available at https://tstours.co.uk/assets/tandc.pdf.

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Itinerary

  1. Day
    1
    Depart from Portsmouth
    Portsmouth, United Kingdom

    Today you'll travel to Portsmouth to meet the rest of your group for dinner. It's then time to board the ferry for your crossing from Portsmouth to Caen with Brittany Ferries.

    You'll spend the night in a comfortable cabin as you cross the Channel.

  2. Day
    2
    D-Day and Point 103
    Bayeux, France

    You'll arrive early this morning in Ouistreham where you'll have breakfast on shore.

    The Sherwood Rangers landed on Jig Green and Jig Red, on the western half of Gold Beach, and today you will look at the landing sites and examine the difficulties and complications they faced.

    The Rangers spent a lot of time in this area south of Bayeux as they clashed with both the 12. SS Panzer and the Panzer Lehr Divisions. You'll visit Point 103, a key high point, to get the lay of the land and see some key areas from above, before heading down to the village of St Pierre, another site where the regiment saw a lot of action

    Later, you'll check in at the four-star hotel Novotel Bayeux where you'll have the rest of the evening free to relax.

  3. Day
    3
    The June battles
    Fontenay, France

    After breakfast at the hotel you'll depart the hotel to visit the sites of the June battles.

    Much of the June fighting was around the village of Cristot, the Bois de Boislonde and Point 102. You will visit each, as James points out where key actions took place, where certain individuals of the Sherwood Rangers saw action and why it was such a hard fought-for area.

    You will then look at Operation Martlet with a journey into Fontenay to look at the fighting on 25th June and then follow the events of the 26th June, with visits to St Nicholas Farm and the Rue Mathieu where John Semken and his crew came face-to-face with a Tiger tank. You'll then look at the evening battle in which the Sherwood Rangers knocked out thirteen enemy tanks for no loss of their own.

  4. Day
    4
    Operation Bluecoat and the Noireau
    Cahagnes, France

    Today you will follow the route of the Sherwood Rangers, starting in Caumont and pausing in and around Briquessard, Cahagnes, and then on to Jurques and La Bigne. You will then head to La Bigne and Ondefontaine, places where the Sherwood Rangers saw very heavy fighting in the first days of August 1944.

    In the afternoon, you'll visit the crossing point on the River Noireau. This is largely forgotten action but was a place seared into the memories of C Squadron, especially, who led the advance on 16 August.

    You'll follow the route of Stan Perry and the rest of C Squadron, first down to the Noireau River, then across and up to the ridge around Berjou. We will also visit the tiny museum to the battle, run and owned by Louis Bon.

  5. Day
    5
    Noireau
    Noiseau, France

    In the morning you'll head to Coulvain, where the Sherwood Rangers rested after the Bluecoat battles. You'll then head southwards, following the same route taken by the regiment, towards the River Noireau via the village of Prossy. Finish the morning overlooking the Noireau Valley from the north.

    In the afternoon you'll cover the Noireau battle following the route led by C Squadron, crossing the river then climbing to the plateau above. There's a visit to the museum at Berjou scheduled before moving on to Honorine-la-Chardonne.

    In the evening you'll enjoy a three-course group dinner with a glass of wine.

  6. Day
    6
    Normandy Memorial and departure
    Ouistreham, France

    After breakfast you'll head to the stunning new British Normandy memorial overlooking the beaches, where we can pay respects to the fallen of the campaign before heading into Ouistreham.

    In the afternoon you'll board the ferry for your crossing back to Portsmouth.

Accommodation

The Novotel Bayeux

0
Bayeux, France

Located between Caen and Cherbourg, 1 km from the famous tapestry, the old town and close to the landing beaches, The Novotel Bayeux offers 77 air-conditioned rooms, a restaurant and a bar, as well as 4 fully-equipped conference rooms for meetings and seminars.

This hotel is perfect for both business travel and family vacations to Normandy. Facilities include free car park, swimming pool and landscaped. LED TV 40 "with 50 channels.

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Availability

From
Sun, Sun, Apr 28, 2024
To
Fri, Fri, May 3, 2024
Duration
6 Days
Price per person
£1,899*

* From price is per person, based on two people sharing a standard room, subject to availability. Price and itinerary correct at time of print but may be subject to change. Single supplement applies. Deposit 30%. Local charges such as tourist tax may apply. Offers are not valid in conjunction with any other offers or promotions. In the case of unforeseen circumstances, expert(s) may be substituted, and any expert-led events may be subject to change. Expert(s) will not join you for your full trip duration unless otherwise stated. Travel insurance is not included and should be taken out at time of booking. Images used may not reflect your actual tour experience. This holiday may be sold through other selected brands. Holiday is operated by and subject to the booking conditions of TS Travel Limited (ATOL bonded). Full cancellation terms available at https://tstours.co.uk/assets/tandc.pdf.

Call now to book 02039932958
Quote ref: BIAHOLLAND