A helpful guidebook for groups and individuals
By Gareth Hughes
I have read many books on the operations in Normandy, and many guides for visitors too….. So reading yet another one seemed a bit of a waste of time. But it wasn’t. This particular visitor’s guide is written for teachers who want to take their pupils along on a discovery tour of the history of the Normandy Landings back in 1944.
And as such, it is a very well-written book. Written by someone who has visited himself many times, and who himself is a school teacher with many years of experience of just such trips. That alone makes it a very valuable document already!
When ‘browsing’ through and looking at the itineraries of the two tours proposed, both a ‘ day trip’, I cringed at first. Having visited most of the sites there quite a few times, this seemed rather ambitious. But then I read his introduction above it, saying that it might be better to skip some of the points, and even better to spread it over two or more days.
Having been a tour guide myself in another life, I know how difficult it is to leave things out, to skip interesting places and to not try and cram everything in a tour. So overall, there is very good and sound advice in his two tours and they cover most important venues and events of that major operation. Kudos for that.
But no less interesting and important are the chapters preceding the actual tours. There’s a general part on organizing tours with school groups. And then there is an interesting WW2 timeline, followed by a Very Brief History of WW2 and what preceded and caused it. This latter chapter is a very good read, even for us ‘veterans’, Very concise and adding some other points of view to the historic events, adding some depth to the tours in advance.
I am not going into describing the tours. Suffice to say one covers the American beaches and the other the British beaches, and both have a range of places to visit, including the estimated visit time, a short description and a longer one, and directions on where to find them.
Very much recommended guide, not only for school groups but also for families with kids, looking to build their own tour!
Available here directly from the publisher
By Gareth Hughes
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Published: 3rd June 2019