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On February 12th we ran the first Tracking the Tank tour in association with Kingshead Adventures Ltd. 5 Land Rover came from England, together with Kingshead's 110 Defenders, and we were joined by Luke Edward-Evans, the Editor of Land Rover World, and the photographer Wayne Mitchleson of Xtreme Exposure.
We all met at the Hotel Beatus in Cambrai, and after drinks we watched a DVD about the 1917 Battle Of Cambrai, and then had dinner.
On the Friday morning we went first to the Cambrai Military Cemetary, where British, German and Russian soldiers are buried, before driving to the Abbey de Vaucelles, which had been used by the Germans as an ammunition storage dump, before blowing it up when they feared that it would be captured by the attacking allied forces. Here Jerry explained the route and the places of interest that we would visit.
We continued by way of Meath Cemetary, one of the more isolated in the area, to Villers Guislain where we stopped for Coffee. We visited one of the places where the tanks were unloaded from the trains, and followed the tracks which they used to reach the assembly points by Gauche Wood, where we stopped for lunch near one of the origional trenches runs through the wood.
On our way to Marcoing we crossed over Welch Ridge where we found unexploded ammunition and barbed wire, which is still being ploughed up each year, lying at the side of the track.
From Marcoing, where we saw the important bridge which was captured in the battle, we returned to the Hotel for dinner by way of the lock gates at Masnieres which were crossed by the Canadian Cavalary
The next morning we all went to Flequieres where the tank is housed. We visited the site where the Memorial is being built at the outskirts of the village before continuing to the Tank.
Here Phillippe explained how he came to discover the tank after long research, and the events leading up to its being damaged in the battle at Flesquires.
The wreaths laid by the Tank signify that men were killed in this tank when it was hit.
Whilst we were in Flequieres we were also able to see some of the German defensive positions, including the shaft leading to a bunker which was on two levels, 7 and 15 metres below ground, and also a German sniper position, still in excellent condition
The Trench was next. This was constructed for the BBC for the filming of the Television series of the same name. On a bleak winter's morning we were able to capture a little of what the physical conditions must have been like for the soldiers who served in them.
From the trench we went by Havrincourt Chateau to the Louverval Memorial and then to Lunch.
After lunch we continued along the lanes by Beaumetz to Ytres where tanks were unloaded from rail wagons, and then followed their tracks to Trescault and Bourlon
From Bourlon, it was back to the Hotel Beatus for another excellent meal.
4x4 Tours in Northern France 4x4 Massif Central Tours 4x4 Battlefield tours 4x4 Special offers. 4x4 Massif Challenge 4x4 Photos from tours 4x4 Tracking the Tank photos 4x4 The Battle of Cambrai Mudplug Guestbook 4x4 Links
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