France Under the Jackboot – SOE, SAS & the French Resistance

7 days from £759pp

About the tour: France Under the Jackboot – SOE, SAS & the French Resistance

  • Campaign: World War 2 (WW2)
  • Campaign Dates Covered: May 1940 - Jun 1944

This tour will cover the following key events

  • Battle of France begins - 10 May 1940
    Taking only 6 weeks, the Battle of France saw the Germans successfully invade and conquer France, The Netherlands, Luxembourg and Belgium.
  • Armistice at Compiegne - 22 June 1940
    In June 1940, Hitler arranged for an Armistice to be signed between Nazi officials and the French Third Republic. Hitler chose Compiegne Forest to be the location that the Armistace was signed, due to its role in the 1918 Armitice signing at the end of WW1. The Armistice gave Germnay occupation of Nothern and Western France, including all ports on the English Channel & Atlantic ocean.
  • Operation Jericho: Amiens Prison - 18 February 1944
    The operation saw Allied forces drop bombs on Amiens Prison in an attempt to free political and French Resistance prisinors. The bombings were successful in terms of destroying the prision walls and the guards barracks, 107 prisioners were killed during the bombs and two thirds of the 260 escapees were recaptured.
  • Oradour sur Glane Massacre - 10 June 1944
    on the 10th of June 1944, the village of Oradour sur Glane was completely wiped out by the Nazi Waffen-SS. 642 inhabitents were brutally massacred and the village left in ruins.

Tour Introduction

On this tour, we take a look at how the people of France were affected by the Nazi occupation during World War 2. We focus on the terrible experience of the Jewish community in Paris during the Holocaust, and see where they were deported by train to concentration camps. We take an in depth look at the Battle of France which took place in 1940 and see were France was humiliated at Compiege. We look at the SAS and SOE, and the story of Violette Szabo in Limoges and see the ruined town of Oradour sur Glane and the aftermath of the Nazi bombings. The tour comes to an end in northern France, where we see where the memorial site of the French Resistance.

Tour Includes

  • 6 nights hotel with continental breakfast
  • Specialist Battlefield Guide
  • Convenient local joining points
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(Deposits from £50pp)

Once you have booked your battlefield tour either online, or by telephone (), you have the flexibility of how you pay off the remainder of your balance. You can -

  1. Use our balance payment facility online to make and track your card payments. You can pay as much as you want up until your final due date or pay it all, the choice is yours.
  2. Send payments via online banking.
  3. Send payments via cheque.
  4. Call us and make a card payment, either a small amount or as lump sum until your final due date.

Our contact and online banking payment details will be on your confirmation invoice to remind you of your choices.

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Tour Itinerary

Day 1

Local departure by coach or Door-to-Door service then, to Compiegne, north of Paris for two nights.

Day 2 - Battle of France

We start by looking at the German Blitzkrieg in 1940 and the Fall of France. We visit the graves of French soldiers who fell in defence of Paris and see where the Germans humiliated France by forcing them to surrender where the Armistice of 1918 was signed, seeing the museum here. In the Compiegne Forest we see where Paris’ Jews were deported by train to Concentration Camps. In the afternoon we travel to see the Museum of Resistance and Deportation covering the whole Picardy region in Tergnier.

Included meals: Breakfast

Picardy Resistance Museum

Picardy Resistance Museum (4)

Key Visits

  • French WW2 Cemetery, Cambronne
  • Picardy Resistance Museum
  • Armistice Museum, Compiegne

Day 3 - The Holocaust in Paris

Today we focus on the experience of the Jewish community in Paris during WW2 seeing the Holocaust Memorial site at Drancy which served as a Concentration Camp before those held here were sent off to camps in Germany and in the East. We view where the camp was, see the memorials and the Visitors Centre*. In the afternoon we depart for Limoges for two nights.

Included meals: Breakfast

Drancy Memorial Site

Drancy Memorial Site (3)

Key Visits

  • Drancy Memorial Site
  • Drancy Holocaust Memorial

Day 4 - SOE in Limoges; Oradour-sur-Glane

In the morning we follow the trail of SOE Agent Violette Szabo close to Limoges, seeing the village where she was sheltered, the area where she was dropped in and the ground where she was captured. In the afternoon we visit the village of Oradour sur Glane which was wiped out by SS troops in 1944. Now preserved as a memorial site, we enter through the visitors centre to learn of this tragic event from WW2 and spend the afternoon among the deserted streets left just as they were in 1944.

Included meals: Breakfast


Oradour-sur-Glane (4)

Key Visits

  • Oradour-sur-Glane
  • Violette Szabo Memorial
  • Violette Szabo House, Sussac

Day 5 - SOE Memorial

We depart Limoges and examine the role of British Special Air Service troops behind enemy lines in occupied France and visit the SOE Memorial at Valençay. We then depart for Amiens where we stay for two nights.

Included meals: Breakfast

Day 6 - Amiens Prison & French Resistance

Today we look at the French resistance in Northern France seeing where the attack on Amiens Prison took place by RAF Mosquitos. We also visit the graves of the RAF crews in the nearby cemetery. We then travel to Arras to see the ‘Mur des Fusillés’: the moat of an old fort where members of the resistance were executed during WWII, now a poignant memorial site. After lunch we visit the Resistance Museum at Bondues near Lille, before returning to Amiens.

Included meals: Breakfast

Amiens Prison

Amiens Prison (3)

Key Visits

  • Amiens Prison
  • Arras: Mur des Fusillés
  • Resistance Museum

Day 7

Return home.

Included meals: Breakfast

*Please note that on certain departures we will not visit the Holocaust Museum at the Drancy Concentration Camp. Although we will not be able to see the visitor’s centre building itself during your tour, we will still be visiting the site of the Camp, seeing the memorials and your guide will be explaining the fascinating and somber history behind this location.

Specialist Battlefield Guides

All of Leger’s battlefield tours are accompanied by specialist guides. Their individual in-depth knowledge of warfare will be informative, as well as enhance your overall experience, as they recreate a fascinating perception of the history and factual events of each battle. Discover the actual catalysts for war, the strategies employed and the final, inevitable outcomes, as well as experiencing the emotional human side of the front line.

Please note: On certain tours, you may get tour guides other that the ones listed below.

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You will stay for two nights in Compiegne, near Paris at a 3-star hotel, then two nights at the 3-star Ibis Limoges Nord and finally two nights at the 3-star Holiday Inn Express Amiens, or similar. 

Travel Options

All our coaches and transfer vehicles operate a 'no smoking on board policy'. The use of electronic cigarettes is strictly forbidden.
In the interest of fellow guests, do not take hot food or ice cream on board.
alcohol can only be taken on board our vehicles at the discretion of your driver.

When it comes to getting to the Battlefields, Leger Holidays make it easy, with a selection of travel options for you choose from.

Silver Service Coach

Silver Service, refreshments
Silver Service, lounge
Silver Service, entertainment

Silver Service Features

  • Sit back and relax in specially-designed, deluxe reclining seats, with leather headrests, footrests and more legroom than standard coaches.
  • Enjoy the perfect temperature onboard with climate control.
  • Relax and have a chat in the spacious rear lounge.
  • Servery on board offering a range of refreshments.
  • Porterage* at most hotels, so you really don’t have to lift a finger.
  • Time flies with our onboard entertainment system.
  • With free personal headphones you can tune into the music channel, listen to the radio or watch DVDs.
  • Onboard toilet

Silver Service Seating Plan


Travel Extras

With an overnight stay, a Door-to-Door pick up or the option to meet us at the interchange, our travel extras allow you to create a travel experience to suit your needs...

Stay overnight near Dover

Why not go the night before your tour for a relaxing start?

You can park for FREE for up to seven days at the Holiday Inn Ashford North and enjoy an overnight stay with English breakfast from just £38 per person (Based on 2 sharing a twin/double room on a B&B basis, subject to availability. Single supplements and terms and conditions apply.) We’ll then collect you from the hotel on the day of departure and return you there at the end of your holiday.

To book this package, please call the hotel on 01233 713333, quoting ‘Leger Holidays’ and your booking reference. If your holiday is longer than seven days you can pay for additional days’ parking. Ask one of our friendly reservations team for more details when you book your holiday

Join coach at Interchange

Join your tour coach at the interchange.

On most tours if you’d prefer to join your tour coach at Stop 24 services, you can park your car in the car park which is accredited by the Park Mark safer parking scheme and is monitored 24 hours a day by CCTV. Payment for the parking is made on arrival using the self-service machines.

Excludes tours to Ireland and the U.K. and tours travelling via Brittany Ferries.

Door-to-Door service

On Battlefield tours of 7 days’ duration or more, you don’t even have to think about getting to your local joining point. If you live within 20 miles of one of our free joining points we’ll pick you up from your home and take you to meet your transfer vehicle, then return you back home at the end of your holiday. The cost is just £30 per booking each way for up to four people per booking.

If you live a little further afield, you can also take advantage of this convenient option for an additional charge – please enquire at the time of booking.

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