Bergen-Belsen

 On International Women’s Day it is fitting to be sitting writing this at Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp where arguably one of the most famous female voices of the Twentieth Century died in 1945: Anne Frank. Her diaries have helped to define our knowledge and understanding of the Holocaust, and for me personally they remain as…

Seelow Heights Battlefield

Today we spent the day looking round the Seelow Heights battlefield which saw fighting from January through to April 1945 when the position finally fell and the road was open to Berlin for the advancing Soviet forces. Like the Oderfront we visited the other day, this is not an area for the casual visitor as…

Treptower Murals

Today we looked at the Battle of Berlin itself visiting a number of locations in and around the city where evidence of the 1945 fighting took place. Inevitably such a journey takes the battlefield visitor to Treptower Park, where the massive Soviet Memorial site is located. The site commemorates more than 80,000 Soviet soldiers who…

Oderfront Battlefields

Today we crossed into Poland and had a look at the battlefields along the river Oder on what was known as the Oderfront. This marks the old boundary between Brandenburg and Prussia and today the border between Germany and Poland. Soviet forces reached this area in January 1945 have pushed the Germans back since Operation Bagration…

Elbe Meeting Memorial, Torgau

On Day 5 of our Last Days of WW2 battlefield recce myself and my fellow battlefield guides ended the day on the Elbe River at Torgau where American forces meet with Soviet troops on 25th April 1945, a day that was later known as ‘Elbe Day’. A contemporary newsreel report is found here. It had…

Zeppelinfeld, Nuremberg

Arguably one of the most iconic structures that remains from the Third Reich period in Germany are the Nazi Party Rally Grounds around the Zeppelinfeld in Nürnberg or Nuremberg. The area was the scene of many Nazi Party rallies and in April 1945 the scene of stiff fighting as US troops spent five days fighting for…

Mulberry Whale, Vosges

  On our recce for the Last Days of WW2 battlefield tour we came across a Mulberry Whale roadway section still being used in the village of Horbourg-Wihr in the Vosges on the border with Germany. The Vosges saw heavy fighting in 1945 and was liberated by Free French and US Forces. Indeed in nearby…

Lorraine American Cemetery

The Lorraine American Cemetery is the largest American cemetery from the Second World War in Europe with 10,489 burials and 444 service personal commemorated on the memorial to the missing: meaning that it is even bigger than the US Cemetery at Omaha Beach in Normandy. It covers more than 113 acres and the dead here…

Musée de la Reddition, Reims

Today was my first day with fellow battlefield guides from Leger Holidays in a long trip following events in Western Europe in 1945. We started at Reims where one of the three surrenders in May 1945 took place. The Musée de la Reddition, or Surrender Museum, in Reims commemorates the American led signing of the…

Fort d’Aubin-Neufchâteau: Bunker Busting Test Site

  While the existence of the Maginot Line in France is well known, but the French were not the only ones to defend their border line with forts. In Belgium a series of forts dated back to the nineteenth century and had been fought over in WW1. In the 1930s the defences were updated and…

WW2 Book Review: Stout Hearts

Stout Hearts: The British and Canadians in Normandy 1944 By Ben Kite (Helion & Company 2014, ISBN 978 1 909982 55 0, 467pp, illustrations, colour maps, £29.95) The story of British and Commonwealth troops in the Normandy campaign is often overshadowed by the American contribution; often due to the way the conflict was written about…

Welcome To World War 2 Revisited

Welcome to World War 2 Revisited a new website that looks at what remains of the Second World War across Europe: battlefields, bunkers, memorials, museums, tanks and also new books, DVDs, and websites. My name is Paul Reed. I am a military historian with a life-long interest in WW2; my father fought at Anzio, my…