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France: Historic Battles

France Battles Poppy
Inspire Magazine Europe 14 Cover
ANZACS ON THE WESTERN FRONT
D-DAY: BATTLES FOR FRANCE

France: Historic Battles

story by: Inspire Magazine

Anyone who has seen New Zealand and France battle it out on the rugby pitch over the years will know tensions can run high between these two sporting nations. But the strong bond between these countries goes far beyond these epic clashes – history reveals they are more used to fighting side by side than against each other!

World War I
In World War I, the Kiwis showed their warrior spirit by entering the conflict without hesitation, despite geographical limitations and the country’s small population.

New Zealanders and Australians fought alongside the Allied Powers in the Battle of the Somme – a battle that would tragically claim over one million lives.

Today, you can visit the moving Longueval Memorial that marks the spot where Kiwi troops liberated the village of Flers from German occupation during the Somme’s Battle of Flers-Courcelette in 1916.

Take part in a fascinating tour along the Western Front, where you can learn more about the selfless ANZAC contributions made to one of the bloodiest wars in human history.

D-Day at Normandy
France was again at the centre of conflict for World War II, with Normandy the site for the now iconic D-Day beach landings.

The successful operation saw British, American and Canadian troops launch direct attacks on German troops from the west, while the Russians advanced from the east. D-Day is often considered the tipping point of WWII, forcing Adolf Hitler to fight an unwinnable war on two fronts. Within 11 months the war was over. No Kiwi ground troops landed in Normandy, but they played an important part in providing air and naval support for the operation.

By visiting Dunkirk, Bayeux and the Normandy beaches, it’s almost impossible not to appreciate the sacrifices made by those who lost their lives fighting in the war.

HOT TIP!
A DAY TRIP... to Polygon Wood in Ypres is a must for Kiwis keen to learn more about ANZAC involvement in the First World War.

To find out more call 0800 180 117, visit houseoftravel.co.nz or come instore!

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