Battlefield Tour - Auschwitz, advice?

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by BinaryWarfare, Jun 18, 2007.

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  1. I'm looking at organising a battlefield tour to Krakow/Auschwitz/Birkenau, maybe combining it with a bit of AT down in the Carpathian Mountains...

    My main effort at the moment is with the battlefield tour. Has anyone organised one down this way before? I know that Ypres, Somme, Normandy et al are popular, but I fancy doing something different. Any advice/ contacts you can send my way would be much appreciated ta very much.
  2. I've organised a few BT's but never to Poland. Try starting at your Bde or Div HQ, speak to the PT Corps reps and G3 Trg offices, for old PXR's and AT reports.
  3. Lloyd Clark (the author & lecturer at the factory) sometimes does Battlefield tours through a company in Sussex.

    I'll give my mate a buzz and see if I can get details.
  4. I would hardly call it a 'Battlefield Tour'! 8O
  5. chimera

    chimera LE Moderator

    Staff College visited it on one of their European visits. I am sure that there will be PXRs on file there.
  6. A better combination for an AT ex and a 'Battlefield' Tour would be Sonthofen in Bavaria. You have all the AT you want down there and a trip to the outskirts of Munich will allow you the time to visit Dachau. Then there's the rest of the WWII history in the area, with the 'Eagles Nest' area of Bavaria, the place where Hitler was actually from.
  7. If it's the WWII thing and AT you're after of course?
  8. A cracking idea Binary. Can I suggest following the path of the German advance into Poland in 1939? Starting with Gleiwitz and following the advance of Fall Weiss?

    Or going the other way , and foillowing the German retreat as detailed in Antony Beevor's Berlin.

    When I did this as a detour on one of my trips into Poland, I was stunned at how far into modern Poland the pre-war frontier was.

    There's a Militaria market on Sundays in the big Polish cities, Warsaw's is the biggest , where various lunatics display stuff they've dug up. I imagine the rules have tightened up a lot now, but in the old days they thought nothing of displaying belts of MG34 ammo they'd found.
  9. right im off to warsaw then this weekend...
  10. Auschwitz is well worth doing. You know that something terrible has happened there... Plus the next time you watch Schindlers List, you'll think ooer, I've been there!

    Poland itself is a beautiful place, you'll love it.

    Attached Files:

  11. Yourself and family or a group? Is this a group of adults or children. Who are you taking?

    Some of our guides know Auschwitz well. Send me a PM if you would like any advice.
  12. Cheers guys, some handy pointers there, as well as a few alternate ideas for me to consider. I'll let you know how it pans out!
  13. Known as the Russian Market, a brother was out there mid-late 90s and saw a MiG for sale. Loonies.
  14. BW,
    My AWACS crew went to Auschwitz while on a 2 week ex in Poland a few years back and it was an exceptionally moving experience.

    I would strongly recommend hiring an official guide as the place is pretty spread out. The original Polish Barracks (where the infamous 'Work Makes You Free' gate is) is around 4 miles from Auschwitz Birkenau (pictured above). The former has a museum in some of the old barrack blocks with a large number of intensely moving artefacts and photographs. Birkenau has largely been left as it was in 1945 albeit most of the wooden huts have gone, leaving only the forest of chimneys seen above. Some have been preserved and you may walk around those, the Guard tower above the railway entrance, the crematoria, and the gas chambers which remain as the Germans left them when they blew them up before the Russians arrived. Both sites must be visited if you are to fully appreciate the place. Contrary to rumour, birds do sing at the camp but Auschwitz made an immense impression on all of us and we left wondering if we could ever be civil to a German again.

    On a lighter note, Krakow nearby is a beautiful city with very cheap hotels and restaurants. It offers a good base from which to explore the local areas of military interest. I didn't go to Warsaw but Poznan (where we were flying from) has a small but very interesting museum on the 'Citadel' outlining the areas significance in WWII. It also has an impressive collection of postwar AFVs and aircraft on display outdoors.

    Overall, Poland is a fantastic place where everything is extremely cheap. The local ladies are also stunning!

    As I said, hire an official guide and visit both camps. It'll be one of the most powerfully moving days of your life.

    Good luck.