Cambrai; The Great Tank Battle

Outline Itinerary

Friday 17th - Tuesday 21st November 2017

Day One

After a morning crossing, we arrive on the Cambrai battlefields early afternoon. To familarise customers with both geography and topography of the battlefields we will tour the six mile front line, including the German Hindenburg Line and it's support Line, the Canal Du Nord, the Flesquieres Ridge and Bourlon Wood.

Click image for official D.51 website

Day Two

Today we follow the actions of the first day. We start by looking at the move of the tanks from their camouflaged positions to their battle lines. We then walk in the footsteps of the 51st (Highland) Division from Trescault, through the Hindenburg Line, across the Grand Ravine, to the Hindenburg support line on the outskirts of the  village of Flequieres. Included within the day's itinerary will be the opportunity to see the tank, D.51 "Deborah", which took part in the attack and was knocked out close by. Later, we will visit the canal crossing at Masnieres and the furthest advance of tank, cavalry and infantry on the first day.

Day Three

Today we turn our attention to the fight for Bourlon Wood and Fontaine Notre Dame. Due to lack of reserves Byng had had a time limit imposed on him by Haig. However, Byngs Third Army divisions found themselves in all too familiar exposed positions; of having to either retire or advance to a better defensive line. After the failure of the 62nd Division to secure the village and wood, reserve divisions (40th (Bantam) & Guards) moved forward for a further assault on Bourlon Wood and Fontaine Notre Dame.

Day Four

Today coincides with the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Cambrai. We await the publication of the commemorations before detailing the days itinerary. It is however likely to include as a minimum commemorations at the Tank Memorial in Flequieres and the Memorial to the Missing at Louverval. 

Day Five

We complete the tour with a visit to the front held by the 55th (West Lancashire) Division on the  morning of the German counter attack, launched on the 30th November. We will finish at Gouzeaucourt and the counter attack by the Guards Division to secure the British southern flank from encirclement.

We depart Victoria Coach Station at 7.00am and return on our last day at 8.00pm. If our first choice hotel in Cambrai is already booked, accommodation for the tour is likely to be Arras.

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