Military and Medical History in Western Europe

1 - 13 Jul 2019
  • Cultural Tours
+ Optional extension: Normandy pre tour extension

About the tour

In the first four decades of the twentieth century, the mass violence of war defined Europe, and by extension Australia. It was epochal in character and, like most epochal forces in history, its causes were both short and long term. This specialist tour looks at key aspects of the First and Second World Wars in Western Europe in an attempt to define and understand the age. The tour also focuses on the often accelerated advances in medicine during the war years. Travel through key sites along the Western Front in France and Belgium and continue to Germany in the company of tour leader Paul Luckin, who will provide talks that give context to the visits. There is also an optional pre tour extension to Normandy. 

The wars of the early twentieth century were defined by ideology and psychology.  The ideological component exploited existing social and political cultures -  racial theories of 'inferiority', the blending of popular sovereignty with nationalist ideology, colonial imperialism - and the use of propaganda methods to influence the support of a population. 

This tour examines the period from 1913 - 1945 and continues to the Cold War. It encompasses the psychological aspects of war (such as the handling of shellshock, the changing attitudes to war as civilians became drawn into the war in ever greater numbers, the instatement of commemorations and remembrances and the treatment of veterans) as well as how psychology was manipulated by eg the Nazis in their propaganda. It examines developments in military medicine and also darker aspects, such as Nazi medicine. Visit the major sites of the conflicts on the Western Front and in Germany and gain a deeper insight into this tumultuous period of history. 

Your tour leader

Picture of JBT tour leader, ​Dr Paul Luckin

​Dr Paul Luckin

Dr Paul Luckin AM MB.BCh.(Rand.), D.A.(S.A.), F.F.A.(S.A.),   M.MED.ANAESTHESIA (Natal), FANZCA is an anaesthetist in Brisbane. He started training in rescue as an ambulance paramedic in Tasmania before studying medicine in South Africa, where he spent 8 years in a Mountain Rescue Team. Paul served on the Tasmanian Ambulance Service Medical Advisory Council, was Director of the Advanced Airway Management Training Program and was President of Royal Life Saving Society Tasmania Branch.

Paul teaches Search and Rescue at the state and national level and is on the directing staff of the National Police Search and Rescue Managers Course. He provides advice on survivability during Search and Rescue operations to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, and Police Search and Rescue teams across the nation, in PNG and the Solomon Islands.

As a Captain in the Royal Australian Naval Reserve, Paul has served in Bougainville, East Timor, the Solomon Islands, in the Resuscitation and Retrieval Team for the victims of the Bali bombs, in the first medical team into Banda Aceh following the tsunami, and in Afghanistan.  He is Medical Director, Medical Services Branch, St John Ambulance Queensland, and has been invested as a Commander of the Order of St John (CStJ).   For his work in SAR, in 2006 Paul received the Australian National Search & Rescue Award, and in 2015 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia, AM, for significant service to the community through emergency medicine, and as an authority on survivability in search and rescue operations.

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  • Mon-Fri: 9am-5pm
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Itinerary at a glance

  • 1 July 2019 (Mon) Arras: Arrive in Arras (or join from pre tour Normandy extension - see below) and check into the hotel. Short guided walk through the historic center of Arras. If time available also visit of the Vauban citadel in Arras and the Arras Flying Services Memorial
  • 2 July (Tues) Arras: Transfer to Amiens and visit the cathedral. Continue to Villers-Bretonneux and visit the National Franco Australian Museum and Sir John Monash Centre’. Stop in Corbie where the Red Baron was shot down before visiting Le Hamel and the Australian Corps Memorial. Transfer to Albert, Place d’Armes, Ovillers-la-Boiselle, Route de la Grande Mine to visit the Lochnagar Crater. At Longueval visit Delville Wood site of the South African Nat. Memorial. To Péronne and visit  the Historical Museum of the Great War before seeing the Australian 2nd Div. Memorial (Avenue des Australians) 
  • 3 July (Wed) Arras: Transfer to Bullecourt and visit Digger Memorial. Visit Pozières Tank Memorial and The Windmill (Australian Memorial). Transfer to Thiepval (Authuille) to visit the Anglo-French monument to the missing soldiers. Continue to Beaumont-Hamel to visit the Newfoundland Memorial Park. Visit the Wellington Tunnels in Arras. Transfer to Vimy and visit the National Canadian Memorial and Grange Tunnel 
  • 4 July (Thurs) Arras / Ypres: Drive to Ablain St Nazaire and visit the cemetery and the Ring Remembrance. At Fromelles visit Pheasant Wood Cemetery and museum. To Poperinge and visit Talbot House (the Every Man’s Club). Transfer to Ypres and stop at Brandhoek New Military Centre to visit the grave of Noël Chavasse 
  • 5 July (Fri) Ypres: Drive to Mesen and see the statute of the New Zealand Soldier. Visit ‘Bois du Gheer/Ploegsteert Wood’: Toronto Avenue Cemetery, the only all Australian WW1 cemetery in Belgium. Visit the Ireland Peace Park and continue to Messines Ridge and the CWGC Cemetery. At Zillebeke see the Memorial 1st Australian Tunneling Core; Hill 60 and Caterpillar Crater. To Zonnebeke and visit Polygon Wood and the 5th Div. Memorial. Transfer to Zonnebeke (Passchendaele) with visits of different locations (Tyne Cot, Vijfwegenstraat, ‘s Graventafelstraat, Canadalaan). Drive to Ypres and Essex Farm, the advanced dressing station of Dr. John Mc Crae (where he wrote his famous poem ‘In Flanders Fields’). At Poperinge visit Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery and Visitor Centre.In the evening walk to the Menin Gate for the Last Post Ceremony
  • 6 July (Sat) Ypres/ Nuremburg: A day’s drive to Nuremburg. Stop for lunch and arrive late afternoon. Check into the hotel
  • 7 July (Sun) Nuremburg: Take a specialist walking tour of the Nazi rally grounds in Nuremburg. Guided walk exploring the history of Nuremburg. Visit the Nuremberg Trials Memorial where leaders of the Nazi regime had to answer for their crimes before an International Military Tribunal 
  • 8 July (Mon) Nuremburg / Dresden: Drive to Weimar and visit the former capital of Weimar Germany.  Continue to Colditz Castle, best known as a prisoner-of-war camp during World War II for "incorrigible" Allied officers who had repeatedly escaped from other camps. Learn of some many escapes and potential escapes from Colditz. Continue to Dresden 
  • 9 July (Tues) Dresden: The old city of Dresden is a rare reconstruction of a Baroque City. Take a walking tour see the extravagant palaces where the Saxon royal family spent its fortune. Visit the recently reconstructed "Church of Our Lady" and learn of the bombing of Dresden during World War II. Visit the Museum of Hygiene, one of the oldest medical history museums in the world with an acclaimed collection
  • 10 July (Wed) Dresden: Visit City Palace, including the Green Vault (Treasury) and the Armoury. Afternoon at leisure
  • 11 July (Thurs) Dresden / Berlin: Train to Berlin. Tour of Berlin, including the Book Burning Monument and the Holocaust Memorial, the Berlin  Air Raid underground shelter including the hospital
  • 12 July (Fri) Berlin: Explore Cold War and post war Berlin including the  Berlin Wall and Memorial and Check Point Charlie. Visit Potsdam for guided tour of Ceclienhof Palace (venue for the Potsdam Conference) and Sans Souci Palace and Gardens. Enjoy a farewell dinner in the evening
  • 13 July (Sat) Berlin: Depart for the airport

 Pre-Tour Extension

  • 29 June (Sat) Caen, Normandy: Arrive Caen. Meet and greet with the specialist guide.Welcome dinner at hotel Mercure Caen Côte de Nacre
  • 30 June (Sun) Caen, Normandy: Transfer to Omaha Beach. Visit Colleville-sur-Mer (ABMC cemetery).  Drive to Longues sur Mer and visit an intact command post bunker W162, covering Gold Beach and Omaha Beach. Transfer to Arromanches to visit the artificial ports Mulberry A & B. Visit Sword Beach and then Pegasus Bridge museum. End the day with a visit to Memorial Museum in Caen
  • 1 July (Mon) Caen, Normandy – Arras: Visit Bayeaux and the Bayeaux Tapestry.  Drive to Ardouval,Le Val Ygot (Rue des Bouleaux) and visit the V1 base. Transfer to Arras and check into hotel. 

Tour cost

Ground only cost: USD $4,889 pp sharing

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