D-DAY TO SAINT LÔ:
In the footsteps of the 29th Infantry Division
Starting at Omaha beach, we will follow the story and routes of the 29th Infantry Division to their most important objective in the first phase of Operation Overlord: the crossroads town of Saint Lô. Throughout the day (on route, as well as on location) you will learn about the various units of the 29th Division, their roles, objectives, battles and achievements in the largest military operation in history.
LOCATIONS WE WILL VISIT ON THIS DAY:
1) OMAHA BEACH
We will visit the part of the beach that was depicted in opening scenes of the film Saving Private Ryan: here is where the heaviest casualties on D-Day were suffered amongst the men of the Blue and Gray. We will also visit the location where Brigadier-General Norman ‘Dutch’ Cota’s leadership and inspiration was instrumental in breaking through the German defences.
2) NORMANDY AMERICAN CEMETERY
On the high ground that overlooks Omaha Beach is situated the final resting place for 9,387 US service men and women. Additionally, 1,557 names are engraved on the Wall of the Missing. Here we will have time to reflect and pay our respects.
3) LA CAMBE
Just outside this village a few days after its liberation, a provisional US cemetery was created. A large number of troops of the 29th Infantry Division were buried here in the months to follow. Since 1954 it has been a German cemetery.
The first major hurdle to link up with the 101st Airborne Division near Carentan in the Utah Sector, this town was taken by the 175th Infantry Regiment and 747th Tank Battalion.
5) THE SWAMPS AND COLOMBIERES
A surprise tactical move by the 115th Infantry Regiment secured a vital break in the German lines, allowing the 29th to expand their beachhead.
6) THE HEDGEROW COUNTRYSIDE
We travel through the infamous Normandy hedgerow countryside that made the fighting so difficult. Hear about the problems they created and the solutions that eventually led to the US breakout into the open countryside.
7) LE CARREFOUR
The 2nd Battalion of the 115th Regiment got caught here in an ambush, which was to have a major effect on the Regiment for the days to come.
8) SAINT CLAIR SUR L’ELLE
Crossing the river Elle was a vital step in the advance towards Saint Lô. You will see the difficult terrain the soldiers of the 115th and 116th regiment had to cross and how the battles for the bridges across the river were so costly. For in-depth details about this battle, please watch the Youtube video at the bottom of this page.
For lunch we will have a break at our home, Le Pont de la Pierre Vintage B&B for about 1 hour.
At Hill 108 we focus on the 175th Infantry Regiment’s heroic stand. It became known as Purple Heart Hill.
11) LA LUZERNE
Site of a counter attack by German Paratroopers against the 115th Regiment.
12) MARTINVILLE RIDGE
The door to Saint Lô is forced open and the 116th Regiment is ordered to assault the town from the east via the high grounds of Martinville Ridge.
13) SAINT LÔ
A Task Force was formed to smash through the German defence and secure this strategic crossroads town once and for all on 18 July 1944. We will follow their route and visit the town that became known as the Capital of Ruins.
IN A NUT SHELL
Tour title: D-Day to Saint Lô: in the footsteps of the 29th Infantry Division
Tour price (not per person) from July 2023: €620.
Duration: 9 hours
Pick-up/drop-off location: your accommodation in or near Bayeux; other pick-up locations can be arranged
Capacity: this private tour accommodates 1 to 8 people
Lunch: includes 1 hour lunch break, price is €10 per person
Request a tour here
Please see the Info page for further details