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10 Most Interesting Battleground Tours Around the World

10 Most Interesting Battleground Tours Around the World

The history of mankind is the history of wars. Sometimes, to see what lies ahead of us we need to look back to recall and contemplate. And what is the better place to contemplate the past than the battlefield that had witnessed some of the most dramatic chapters in the history of mankind. Indeed, movies, TV shows and books can provide a lot of information about the origins, outbreak and course of many wars, but none of these can compare to the experience you can get while visiting the momentous places, strategic and otherwise historically important sites, and memorials where you can pay your respect to those brave soldiers who lost their lives. Here is our compilation of the most insightful, out-of-ordinary, and interesting battleground tours around the world.

1. “Over There” – The Americans in World War 1 Tour

“Over There” – The Americans in World War 1 Tour
This is a special 100th anniversary tour, which, for the first time in many years of offering WWI tours, is based on a specifically American-focused WWI itinerary. The tour features several key battlefields of the American Expeditionary Force, including Belleau Wood and Chateau-Thierry, the St. Mihiel Salient, and the Meuse-Argonne, while the exploration of these important places includes preserved trenches, emotive cemeteries and memorials, and museums selected for their quality and relevance. One of the main highlights of the tour are the battlefields at Verdun, where the longest battle in history was fought between the French and Germans, lasting ten months and inflicting hundreds of thousands of casualties. No other battlefield in Western Europe exhibits the efficacy of firepower and the brutality of industrialized war as does Verdun. Massive, shattered forts, trenches, barbed wire entanglements, and cratered fields, as well as evocative memorials, are everywhere. The Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery, the largest American military cemetery in Europe, where 14,246 "Doughboys" rest in quiet repose on 130 beautifully maintained acres is a must-visit site as it really brings home to scale of the sacrifice made in the autumn of 1918.

To get your spot on this tour click here.

2. Russia Military History Tour , Napoleon Invasion 1812

Russia Military History Tour , Napoleon Invasion 1812
Image Courtesy of: shakko
“Hey tell, old man, had we a cause / When Moscow, razed by fire, once was / Given up to Frenchman's blow?”, the great Russian poet Mikhail Lermontov once wrote in his poem “Borodino” (translation by P. Solovyev). This tour will take you to an extensive visit to the great and bloody battlefield of Borodino with its numerous memorials and museums: the place where Napoleon both won and lost the battle with the Russians back in 1812. The tour features the main battlefields of the Great Patriotic War of 1812, sites related to the 1812 campaign, from Smolensk to Moscow, while the highlight of the trip is the re-enactment of Borodino Battle conducted on the site of the battle.

See more here.

3. Walking the Waterloo Battlefields Tour

Walking the Waterloo Battlefields Tour
A tour that will take you to places where the time has stood still, where so much fighting took place, and where you can almost smell the musket smoke - the Waterloo battlefields and other key Waterloo-related battlefields which many other tours miss. One of the most important and indeed evocative sites on “Walking Waterloo” is Hougoumont Farm: a substantial farm building on the right of the Duke of Wellington's positions, and that came under heavy attack from the French and was defended by Guardsmen, Light Infantry and also men from the King's German Legion: Hanoverians loyal to the King of England, George III. Today the farm is pretty much as it was and while now a museum, you can stand at the walls and look around the original buildings.
As a tip, read a little before you join the tour, and your guides, who are experts in their fields will bring history to life. Their enthusiasm is infectious and you will go home wanting to read and discover more - and that is when the books will make much more sense.

Visit this page to find out more.

4. Canadian European Battlefields, WWI and WWII

Canadian European Battlefields, WWI and WWII
Image Courtesy of: HarryFabel
This tour visits some of the most memorable and important sites where young Canadians fought and died for their new country’s honour and the countries of their ancestors. They came between 1914 and 1918, from across the seas in answer to the desperate call of the Motherland. They came as representatives of a dominion; they left as representatives of a new Nation. Then in 1939 they again heeded the call, this time to help liberate Europe from the Nazi horde. This tour will take you to the Normandy Beach Landings, Ypres, Somme, Antwerp and other places that saw Canadian troops in action during the first and the second world wars.

Learn more about Canadian Battlefields in Europe.

5. What to See in Hiroshima Walking Tour

What to See in Hiroshima Walking Tour
Hiroshima is one of the modern Japanese cities located on Japan’s Honshu Island. It is a very interesting city to explore for the sake of its tragic history – it was largely destroyed by an American atomic bomb during World War II in 1945. Visiting the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum would definitely be the highlight of the tour, making its visitors to comprehend the size of the damage an atomic bomb can bring, and visualize the nuclear explosion and its aftermath like never before. The tour will also take you to the A-Bomb Dome, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, Mitaki Temple, and Children’s Peace Monument: all of them the must-visits in Hiroshima.

Go to Hiroshima Walking Tour page to learn more.

6. Two Day Stalingrad Battlefield Tour

Two Day Stalingrad Battlefield Tour
Stalingrad (now Volgograd) is the city that has faced the major confrontation of WWII, also considered the largest and bloodiest battles in the history of warfare. Offered for more than 25 years, this tour will take you to Mamayev Kurgan, the place where the biggest war memorial "To the Heroes of the Battle of Stalingrad" stands and the WWII cemetery where the Soviet soldiers fallen during the great battle found their peace. Besides, you will visit the panorama-museum "Stalingrad Battle", the Soviet strategic point called “the grain elevator”, the defense line protecting Volga from the Germans, dozens of war memorials, monuments, ruined and damaged buildings and sights connected to the battle, and will get the chance to enjoy a boat trip on the Volga river.

Read more about the tour here.

7. Mount Scopus and Surroundings Walking Tour, Jerusalem

Mount Scopus and Surroundings Walking Tour, Jerusalem
Image Courtesy of: Tamarah
Jerusalem is surrounded by hills. Mount Scopus, in the northeast of the city, offers the most splendid view of the Old City of Jerusalem. One of its most visited landmarks is the Ammunition Hill, a memorial of a great battle between Jordanian and Israeli soldiers, during the Six-Day War of 1967. Besides, this walking tour will lead you to other notable Mount Scopus sights, such as the Hebrew University campus, with its botanical garden and amphitheater, British military cemetery, BYU Jerusalem Center, and Augusta Victoria Hospital and Church.

Learn more about this self-guided walking tour of Jerusalem.

8. Frederick the Great. The Battles In Bohemia Tour

Frederick the Great. The Battles In Bohemia Tour
This tour is the second in the sequence of tours to the battlefields where Frederick the Great’s army fought against Prussia’s enemies. The “Battles in Bohemia” tour takes you deep into the Czech countryside to places tourists rarely reach, and walk landscapes that have barely changed in 250 years. The battles studied on the tour show Frederick as he matures as a general, sometimes attacking relentlessly, sometimes reacting when taken by surprise and thinking his way out of his predicament; at other times stubbornly refusing to be persuaded that his is a bad plan. You will see the battlefields of Chotusice, Soor, Prague, and Lobositz. The last site visited is the one where the Battle of Kolin took place in 1757, ended up in a crushing defeat of Frederick the Great, mainly due to his overconfidence. The battlefield is in almost pristine condition so that the visitor can see the exact vistas that met Frederick’s gaze. Your guide, Major General John Drewienkiewicz, will share his expertise with you and bring the actions to life in a relevant non-technical way, so ultimately all you need on this tour is a genuine interest!

Click here to find out how to join this tour.

9. Somme and Ypres Australian Tour

Somme and Ypres Australian Tour
Image Courtesy of: Porcupine
This tour is ideal for anyone wanting to follow the ANZACs (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) in France and Belgium during the First World War. Focusing mainly on the cities of Ypres and Somme, this tour will take you to see as much of the Australian battlefields as possible, including Messines, Plugstreet, Hill 60 Polygon Wood, Passchendaele, Tyne Cot, Langemark, Le Hamel and other battlegrounds and important historical sites. You will walk the battlefields where John Monash`s detailed tactic has resulted in all objectives being taken in 93 minutes, which was three minutes more than his estimated battle time. Besides, you will attend the Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate, during which the citizens of Ypres express their gratitude towards those who had given their lives for Belgium's freedom.

Learn more about this WWI battlefield tour.

10. Iwo Jima Tour: War in the Pacific

Iwo Jima Tour: War in the Pacific
This is a tour to the islands where the battles raged during the War in the Pacific, and the highlights of the entire tour are indeed special. While this tour covers many miles and numerous battlefield stops, including Hawaii, Saipan, Tinian, and Guam, the site that is not to be missed is Iwo Jima. It is the high holy altar of the Marine Corps, open for visitation on only one day of the year. That date is determined by the joint memorial commission of the U.S. and Japan and visitation is limited by the space on the aircraft provided to make the memorial flight. This is why, if you want to visit Iwo Jima, your vacation should be planned well and timely organized.
Pearl Harbor is the first stop where the war began. But you will be treated to much more with special touring stops at Ford Island and, when available at Hickam Air base. You will have the chance to enjoy a guided tour aboard Battleship Missouri where the final surrender documents were signed. Next, you will visit Saipan, still mostly pristine, where the battlefield and Japanese defensive positions well acquaint travelers with the ferocious struggle that was the bloodiest conflict up to that time in the War, and became known as "Bloody Saipan." You will also visit the Island of Tinian from whence the massive B-29 bombing campaign was launched. The four abandoned runways are still there, and a ride down Runway Able, in the trace on Enola Gay, is a must-see.

You can learn more about this tour here.

Regardless of what you decide to join - a guided or self-guided tour, you will be navigated through the battlegrounds where lots of lives were sacrificed for making us who we are. If you are interested in more battlefield tours, browse these military history tours and dive into history’s most compelling and tragic episodes.