Full Day Tour
Pick-up & drop off from REIMS (another location is possible)
In May 1918 the German Aisne offensive, operation « Blücher-Yorck » had seen the Germans advance thirteen miles on the first day, the largest single day advance since 1914. Over the next few days the Germans had reached the Marne at Château-Thierry, they were only thirty seven miles from Paris.
The 3rd U.S. Division was sent to Château-Thierry to defend the bridges over the Marne river.
The Americans reached Château-Thierry on 1 June and held off the final German attacks of the Aisne offensive. Having protected the bridges at Château-Thierry, the American 3rd Division then took part in a counter-attack against German forces that had crossed the Marne further east. On 3-4 June the Americans, supported by a number of French troops, pushed the Germans back across the river.
The battle of Château Thierry was the second American victory of the war, coming only three days after the battle of Cantigny. A further success would follow at Belleau Wood later in June. These early American successes played an important role in the eventual Allied victory as the seemingly endless stream of fresh American troops began to destroy German morale.
From REIMS, the capital of the Champagne region, we will drive west to Château-Thierry to see the impressive American monument on Hill 204 and the new visitor's centre, then the town with the bridge on the Marne river blown up by the French to stop the German advance just in time. We will drive the same route as the Marines brigade to reach Belleau Wood, where so many Americans fell. The Aisne-Marne cemetery sits at the foot of Belleau Wood, it contains the graves of 2.289 war dead, most of whom fought in the vicinity and in the Marne valley in the summer of 1918. Driving through the pittoresque countryside of France, we will pass the Rouge Croix Farm (42nd Division memorial) going to the Oise-Aisne cemetery at Seringe-et-Nesles. In July 1918, not far from there was killed in a aerial combat Quentin Roosvelt, the youngest son of the President Theodore Roosvelt. We will then head back to REIMS.
√ : WW1 expert guide (English speaking)
√ : Pick-up and drop-off from REIMS or any other location in the area
√ : Access to all the sites and museum fees included
√ : Travel in a toprange minivan Mercedes V-Class
√ :Tailor made tour: let us know what you are interested in !