Military sights of interest in Spain, Southern France, Alps etc?

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Jumping Jack, Jun 20, 2013.

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  1. Hello the Wise Folk of Arrse!

    A family friend in his 60s want to drive from Alicante area across Southern France into the Alps and possibly into Germany.

    Could anyone suggest a route which takes in some military interest along that route please?

    Don't need loads of details/why etc unless you wish to. I can research. Just want to help them out.
  2. Battle of the Ebro (1938 ) might be of interest, and should not be too far off-route. No idea what there is to see - the Spanish don't celebrate their Civil War very much.

  3. good point Ken there is the whole Civil War aspect to consider.
    Landings in S of France are there to be researched. I know a bit about the cote d'azur etc. been there often.
    With Italy you have the Monte Cassino / Gustav Line /other defensive lines.
    If they go up to Strasbourg area I know a fair bit about that area.
    Also then they have the option for lower/southern areas of Belgium. Bulge etc etc.
  4. Two lateral considerations -

    SOE escape routes into Spain.
    Templar sites in particular the gathering points for their escapades in The Crusades.
  5. Alec always a wise word from thee. Be good to drink whisky again!
    You mention Templar. Huegenot is a link I have in common with these folk ...and have discussed it.
    Provençal (check me çedillas! ) towns like Uzes and Avignon might be interesting and are fantastic places to visit, great buildings, views, great farming locally, very interesting history...and good food and plonk of course. Added to the list Monsieur, thanks very much!

    Background info for anyone interested:
  6. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    I'd have suggested Sahagun and the River Esla for the Corunna Campaign of the Peninsular War, but sadly:

    1. They are in the opposite corner of the country and
    2. I understand that the site of 15th Hussars' massacre of a French cavalry brigade (21 December 1808) is now an industrial park.
  7. There are Wellington's battles...Cordoba etc...(Madrid area)
  8. I'd say it would, therefore, be handy for a reasonably priced motel room but they have a nice campervan to travel in!
    • Like Like x 1
  9. On their way along the south of France, make sure they detour to Carcassonne - complete fortified town on a hilltop. Seriously impressive.
  10. not a bad drop of rugby round there either.
    decades ago we once camped in a big summer storm on a french rugby pitch near Biarritz as there was no room at the inn. (campsites full that night.) only realised in the morning when the team started turning up in their cars for training. Luckily i heard them and we moved off leisurely. We were quite hungover (we'd watched the electric storm in concrete bunkers in the cliffs with much 33 beer until early morning) and a row first thing would have been best avoided!
  11. JJ, could you help me with a few questions please, myself and himself are thinking about going to France for 6/7 days.

    He wants to follow the rest of the Western Front from Peronne to Sedan and Verdun. I would like to include Eben Emael and then the forts of the Maginot Line and maybe the Ardennes etc.

    Is this doable? Where we would be the best place to base ourselves? Would Strasbourg be too far off track? Could you also recommend useful maps or guidebooks? We were thinking about going in Mid-August or the end of October - which would be the best time to go and would it make a difference?


  12. +1

    Looks like a Hollywood film set - whole mediaeval town ringed by walls and towers. Inside the walls the town is all tourist attractions - galleries, museums, restaurants, bars, etc.

    Lots of campsites right next to the fortifications.
  13. How about using Bernard Cornwall's "Sharpe" books? At the end of most of them he describes what is now at the site of a lot of the battles.
  14. One possibility is the southern alpine section of the Maginot line which ran right down through the alps to the med, the last fort actually overlooks the sea.

    The section built in the south facing Italy is often forgotten and can be spectacular (the italians bounced off it)

    Maginot Line - Alpes Maritime
    • Like Like x 1