Ross and I have been trying to put together a WW2 related travel wish list and discussing places we would like to visit during 2015 and it is almost impossible to try and narrow it down such is the vast number of places we want to see, the list goes on and on. But below we have both tried to have a go at picking just 5 places we would like see during the course of this coming year.
Having recently watched Channel 5’s documentary on the Nazi Temple of Doom, the thought of exploring Wewelsburg has really interested me. Located in the district of Paderborn in Germany, this old citadel dates back to 1603-1609 but is perhaps more famous for that fact that it was home to Himmler’s infamous SS during the Second World War.
I would really like to visit Normandy and the sites of the invasion of June 1944. This an area in particular that really fascinates me. I visited the beaches a couple of times when I was at school, but I would love to see them now with a more mature appreciation of their significance.
It would be great to see the Mulberry Harbour, Pegasus Bridge, Carentan, Caen, Pointe Du Hoc and other sites synonymous with the invasion.
La Coupole V2 Launch Site
La Coupole is a huge underground bunker complex built by slave labourers by the Todt Organisation in 1943-44. Located near Saint-Omer on the Pas-de-Calais in France it was to be the home to the infamous Nazi Revenge weapon, the V2 rocket.
Designed to be used as the primary launch site for attacking London and other designated targets, the existence of La Coupole was understandably a major concern to the Allies and was consequently the subject of heavy Allied bombing. And following the invasion of Normandy the site was eventually abandoned during 1944.
Churchill’s War Rooms
Again this is a site I visited when I was very young and could not really appreciate its significance at the time. The ‘Churchill’ Cabinet War Rooms located beneath ground in London were built to secretly house the core of the British government during the Second World War. Designed to protect them from the threat posed by German bombers, the War Rooms were at the very heart of the British war effort.
The Dams of the Ruhr Valley
I thoroughly enjoyed reading James Holland’s fabulous book, ‘Dam Busters: The Race to Smash the Dams, 1943’ and I would love to follow Wing Commander Guy Gibson’s and 617 Squadron’s journey by visiting all the British sites associated with Operation Chastise and this remarkable story as well as visiting the Möhne, Eder and Sorpe dams in Germany.
And over to you Ross….
Blimey, there are a million places I would like to visit this year. Most of my travels in 2015 will be around Wartime Britain but I am very much looking forward to some trips into Europe. So as well as many great trips around Blighty this year, I hope to visit the following places in Europe:
I often wonder how it is that I have yet to visit Poland and Auschwitz, something I will most certainly do this year.
Auschwitz needs no introduction and is most probably the biggest scar left on Europe from WW2. I’ve read about it, I’ve watched documentaries on it, I’ve seen many photos, but does any of that really prepare you for a visit to a place where hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women and children were exterminated?
I will find out shortly.
In 2013 I was denied access. In 2014 I was denied access. Will this be the year?
This present from the city of Berlin to Joseph Goebbels is believed to be the only prominent Nazi residence still standing in Germany today. It lies empty and hidden in idyllic beech woods some 45 minutes’ drive north of Berlin.
The area and gardens is accessible, however gaining access to the inside is somewhat tricky unless you are an historian or journalist, both of which I am not. The house is up for sale so time is short. This year though I will visit the villa, the question is will they let me in?
Anne Frank House
Like most people, I first read Anne Frank’s diary back in my school days and the story has stayed with me ever since.
The idea that you can visit the actual building and the secret annex where Anne and her family went into hiding is quite remarkable. You can read all day long but nothing actually beats visiting where history was made.
Old Government District, Berlin
I’m already familiar with central Berlin and have visited the site of Hitler’s bunker and the Holocaust Memorial on a number of occasions but I am very keen to pay another visit after doing a lot more research on the area.
In particular I would like to examine the area around the Reich Chancellery and take a look at Goebbels Propaganda ministry, in which the newer part of the building still stands. I also hope to speak to the Berlin Underground Association regarding the bunkers that still remain in the area today.
Anybody with an interest in the Third Reich would like to visit the Obersalzberg I’m sure.
Sites such as Hitler’s Berghof, the Eagles Nest, Hitler’s tea house walking route and the old bunker system are sites that I am keen to visit and film. But I have to be honest, it’s not just the history that draws me to the Obersalzberg, it is the incredibly beautiful landscape that is a dream for an outdoors person like me.
The Obersalzberg is a must for me in 2015.
Where is on your 2015 travel wishlist?
Let us know in the comments below