World War II – it is a phrase that is forever etched in memory and can’t be said with good reason. The phrase evokes images of crumbling cities and roaring takes. It is also a testament to unwavering courage.
For many of us, it is a war written in the pages of history books and a distant conflict that is relegated to movies and museums. But to many others, it is a time period etched in blood. It is a reminder of one of the darkest moments of human history.
I agree, that description was too morbid. But so was the war, and it claimed 60 million lives that will never fade from memory. However, amid all the darkness and bloodshed, light persists. The light is the end of imperialism and the defeat of fascism. There were also other positive effects of WWII, such as:
Women and blacks entered the workforce for the very first time.
Wages increased, and so did savings.
Throughout the war, the growth and sophistication of military weapons created new uses and conflicts surrounding such technology.
There were advances in medicine, new commercial products were created, and new fields of scientific exploration were created.
If you are a history buff and have a keen interest in walking in the footsteps of the past, you can take advantage of WWII guided tours.
Guided tours venture beyond the battlefields, providing profound insights. But before we explore the advantages of WWII guided tours, let’s talk about some of the important sites you must include in your itinerary.
Must-visit WWII Sites
The Second World War ended in 1945, and it spanned across multiple countries. While all the sites of the battle are important, if you cannot cover them all, ensure to cover the following:
Normandy beaches or D-day Landings
The D-day Landings unfolded in the expansive shores of Normandy. You will find poignant wartime reminders at Gold, Juno, and Gold Beach. If you want to pay your respects, the most renowned destination is Omaha Beach because this is where the second Allied forces landed.
You can book a Beaches of Normandy tour to navigate through all the beaches while learning about the sacrifices and bravery that were made on 6th June 1944.
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
Remember the atomic bombing of Hiroshima? It is claimed that an estimated 140,000 people lost their lives when the bomb was dropped. The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park pays homage to those who lost their lives and calls for global peace. It is a must-visit site where you can spend some time contemplating the times gone by and the times that are yet to come.
Visiting the extermination and concentration camps in Auschwitz-Birkenau is an emotionally charged experience. The walls of this concentration camp bear witness to the screams and helplessness of the 1.1 million children, women, and men who lost their lives. Having a knowledgeable guide by your side will ensure that the stories of resilience are unveiled and you show the site the respect it deserves.
7th December 1941 is a date that is forever remembered in infamy. It was the day when the US was subject to aerial attacks at their naval base. As you book a guided tour, you will be taken through the Pacific Aviation Museum and the USS Arizona Memorial. The guide will offer you narration to fully understand the events of that day.
Benefits of visiting WWII sites in the form of a guided tour
The history of WWII comes alive with contextual narration
By opting for guided tours to explore the WWII sites, you will be able to relive history through the charged-up narration of the tour guides. You can walk the Normandy beaches or stand in the middle of the remnants of bunkers to feel the echoes of history.
Thanks to this immersive history, all the history pages you have ever read about the Second World War will come alive, and you will have a profound connection with the sacrifices made at that time.
The itinerary will be thorough, and you won’t miss anything important (instead, you will know about hidden sites!)
The primary benefit of a guided tour of the Second World War sites is that you will get a well-planned itinerary without having to do any research. All you have to do is follow the itinerary.
Moreover, guided tours sometimes include iconic battlefields, along with lesser-known sites that you might not have known about.
Overall, you will get a holistic comprehension of the war that cost the lives of millions and shaped the life you have today.
You will get valuable insights and additional information about the sites
Typically, the guides offer guided tours of WWII sites that are well-versed in history, and they will accompany you throughout the tour, giving their expert insights. Owing to their expertise in the subject, they will add more depth to your experience. They will provide you with anecdotes and lesser-known facts that might not be found in the history books you read in school.
You will be able to access the areas that are otherwise restricted to the public
Several WWII sites, particularly the ones that have preserved artifacts or locations that are too sensitive, are off-limits for the general public. So, if you decide to go on your own, you might not be able to access these sites.
Fortunately, guided tours come with certain privileges, one of them being access to restricted areas that are not open to the public.
The bottom line
Visiting WWII sites is an honor and a way to connect with the past. By opting for guided tours, you can transform your journey into an educational one.
Your guide will offer you valuable insights and tell you stories that you might not have heard before. You may end the tour with a newfound appreciation for the war and all that happened during those dark times.
So, book your guided tour and explore the WWII sites in a way that you have never explored before.