Hear about travel to some of the WWII sites in Western Europe as the Amateur Traveler talks to Gary Arndt from everything-everywhere.com about the Liberation Route.
Gary says the Liberation Route is “relatively new. What it is is a consortium and a collection of sites that are dedicated to the history of WWII, in particular, the liberation of Europe. So we are talking about sites that deal with 1944 and 1945. Most people are familiar with this from the various movies because this was the part of the war that the Americans were involved in. This is ‘Saving Private Ryan’, ‘A Bridge Too Far’, ‘The Battle of the Bulge’ which most people don’t realize all took place in an 11 month period: June ’44 to May ’45.”
Gary started in London with the Imperial War Museum and the Cabinet War Rooms. London was where the invasion was planned.
From there he headed down to Portsmouth where much of the invasion fleet left from. In addition to having a good D-Day museum, they also have a long tapestry called the Overlord Embroidery which documents the invasion in the same way that the Bayeux Tapestry documented the invasion of England from Normandy in 1066.
One of the most familiar parts of Gary’s trip was a visit to the Normandy beaches and the towns of Normandy. In addition to the cemeteries there (both Allied and Axis), there are multiple museums that tell the story of the invasion from different points of view.
Gary’s trip was ordered in more geographic order than chronological so his next stop was Bastogne and the Ardennes Forest in Belgium where the last German counter-attack happened around Christmas in 1944, commonly known as the Battle of the Bulge.
He proceeded then up into the Netherlands where Operation Market Garden (A Bridge too Far) happened. While in the area he visited a couple of concentration camps and took part in the moving ceremony at Nijmegen, the Sunset March.
Crossing into Germany, Gary visited the site of the bloodiest battle for the Americans during the liberation, the Battle of Hürtgen Forest. This battle preceded the Battle of the Bulge and has been largely eclipsed by it. It was the longest single battle the American Army has ever fought.
Gary’s journey ended in Berlin at the Allied Museum.
Next year, 2019, will be the 75th anniversary of the landings at Normandy so this may be a particularly good time to commemorate this moment in history with a trip along the Liberation Route.
Switzerland UNESCO Sites – Episode 623
Liberation Route Europe
Saving Private Ryan
A Bridge Too Far
Battle of the Bulge
Imperial War Museums
Cabinet War Rooms
Ghost Army: The Inflatable Tanks That Fooled Hitler
Normandy landings (Operation Neptune)
The D-Day Story, Portsmouth
Normandy Beach Map
Juno Beach Center
Caen Memorial Museum
Utah Beach Landing Museum
John Steele (paratrooper)
Airborne Museum (Sainte-Mère-Église)
Red Ball Express
Normandy American Cemetery
La Cambe German war cemetery
Netherlands American Cemetery
Battle of the Bulge
Battle of the Bulge Museums
Le Nuts cafe (Bastogne)
Band of Brothers
Operation Market Garden
The Bridge At Remagen
Overloon War Museum
Vught (Herzogenbusch) Concentration Camp
Museum Wings of Liberation Museum
Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery
National Liberation Museum (Netherlands)
Nijmegen Sunset March
Bombing of Nijmegen
Arnhem War Museum
Westerbork transit camp
Battle of Hürtgen Forest
Allied Museum (Berlin)
Battle of Kasserine Pass
The Second World Wars (book)
Enemy At the Gates
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