A Guided Tour in Northern France from the Loretto Hill, passing by Vimy Ridge and ending around Aubers and Fromelles
The Artois region is the area in France that had suffered the most from the First World War and the resulting trench warfare and attrition war.
Already at the end of 1914, French and German troops confronted each other in violent fights at the Loretto Hill. The climax of fighting in this area took place at Vimy Ridge in April 1917 when the Canadian Army Corps and British troops overwhelmed the Germans. They pushed them back for several kilometres, at that time a great success. The sacrifice of the Canadian troops became for Canada another milestone to an independent nation. That explains the importance of this battlefield and the awesome monuments on top and around Vimy Ridge.
In addition, in that area you find some of the largest French and German military cemeteries of the First World War.
Not far away, around the small villages of Aubers and Fromelles military actions in a smaller scale took place. In July 1916, a diversional attack conducted mainly by Australian units resulted in heavy losses. Nearly 5,000 Australians had been wounded or killed – only to prevent German troops to be shifted to the Somme battlefields. Recently a mass grave had been discovered with hundreds of Australian soldiers. Most of them could be identified and all had been transferred to a newly built cemetery at Aubers.
In addition, around Aubers and Fromelles, an incredible number of bunkers and concrete buildings is still to be seen.
The length of this trip is depending on your availability and your ideas. It could take from six hours to several days.