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Fri, 07 Oct



2022 Field Trip: Sedan 1870-1940. From £575

The French city of Sedan has been a critical battleground in three major wars. In 1870, its fall bought down Napoleon III, in 1914 it saw some of the bloodiest battles of WW1, and in 1940 it was the location for the Nazis greatest victory. Join us to find out why Sedan is such an important site.

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2022 Field Trip:  Sedan 1870-1940.  From £575
2022 Field Trip:  Sedan 1870-1940.  From £575

Time & Location

07 Oct 2022, 14:35 – 14:40

Sedan, 08200 Sedan, France

About the Event

This year we will venture back into France to get flavour of the recent or modern military activity which has been undertaken around or close to the small French town of Sedan.

1- The Franco Prussian War ~August/Sept 1870. A disaster for the reign of Napoleon III.

2- The French ‘Plan XVII’ Ardennes offensive ~August 1914.  A headlong rush at the Germans.

3- The US Meuse-Argonne offensive ~1918. Why did the Americans attack on the morning of 11 November 1918?

4- Elements of the No 6 section of the ‘impregnable’ Maginot Line.

5- Heinz Guderian’s masterful crossing of the Meuse ~May 1940.

Price £575 per person if sharing a room.  Single room supplement £95.  

This includes return Eurostar travel London to Lille, coach travel in France, three nights bed and breakfast, and souvenir map book.  Lunches and evening meals are not included.   It may also be possible to meet the group at Lille, please enquire for details.

Outline Schedule

Day 01 – Friday 30th September, 2022

The Franco Prussian War


Leave St Pancras early Friday morning to travel to Lille. We may pick up other people there before going on to lunch. On the way, our guide will set the scene for Sedan’s role in the Franco-Prussian and two world wars


The Battle of Beaumont. 30 August 1870. The routing of Failly’s Vth Corps some 10 miles south of Sedan whilst trying to delay the oncoming Prussian/German onslaught.

Hotel in or around Sedan

Day 02 – Saturday 1st October, 2022

The Franco Prussian War


Preparations for Battle: -  We move around Sedan from point to point, in order to observe the final dispositions of the German troops prior to their direct attacks. We will encircle the town in a similar manner to the German forces. We will then take a shorter trip around the French defensive positions which MacMahon’s army were ordered to take.


The Battle: - The battle for Bazeilles and the museum ‘De la Dernière Cartouche; the different capabilities of artillery, infantry and cavalry; the French collapse

Napoleon III, Bismark and The Koenig: -  The influence of this battle and the political ramifications within the ultimate conduct and result of the war

Hotel in or around Sedan

Day 03– Sunday 12nd October, 2022

The First World War


The Battles of the Ardennes: -  In the opening days of the war the French attacked into the area some 15/20 miles NE of Sedan to counter the German 4th Army as part of ‘Plan XVII’.  Actions covered may include Libramont, Neufchateau and Forenville, before evaluating and comparing the two national plans.


The Americans end their war at Sedan: - We will see the final markers, including attacks at that went in within hours or minutes of the Armistice.

The Interwar Years

In the aftermath of the First World War the French pinned their hopes on the supposedly impregnable Maginot Line  The area has several fortification which provide a link between the two wars.

Hotel in or around Sedan.

Day 03– Monday 3rd October, 2022

The Second World War


The battle to cross the Meuse: - Heinz Guderian’s clever adaptation of Manstein’s brilliant strategic plan.

Stonne, Chémery & Chéhéry: One of the few major tank battles during this phase of the war, a strong French armoured counter attack.

A different race to the sea: The consequences of this aspect of the invasion of France.


Return to Lille and Eurostar to London

Please register an interest below for more information with no obligation.  Or contact our agent Old Country Tours for a booking form.

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