Rough Guides: Travel the Liberation Route Europe is a travel guide dedicated to remembrance sites and itineraries all over Europe.Order your Rough Guides now!
After a successful invasion of Sicily, American General George Patton was removed from his post for hitting several ‘’shell-shocked’’ soldiers; after he became the commander of the fictional 1st U.S. Army Group (FUSAG) in Operation Fortitude South. In spite of the importance of the operation, Patton was deeply unhappy about commanding a fictional army group.
After the invasion of Normandy, Patton led the 3rd U.S. Army, breaking through the German defence in Normandy and clearing a path across northern France. He took part in the infamous Battle of the Bulge in the Belgian Ardennes, later crossing the Rhine moving farther into the heartland of Germany and Austria.
This tour takes you to the different locations General Patton crossed between July 1943, starting with the Sicily landings and ending with the liberation of the Czech Republic in May 1945. During this journey, you will visit a number of memorials, museums, war cemeteries and various other sites where you can commemorate the legendary legacy of George Patton’s armies.
The tour starts in Sicily where General Patton led the 7th U.S. Army in the successful invasion. Walk down the beaches of Gela, Scoglitti and Licata, where the landings took place in July 1943. Continue towards Palermo and then Messina where Patton was the first Allied commander to arrive.Day 2
Travel to the city of Caen in Normandy. During WWII, Patton’s Third Army sailed to Normandy in July 1944 and formed the extreme right flank of the Allied land forces. The army broke through the German lines in the south east and then turned north to encircle the German forces in the Falaise Pocket before heading for the Seine. Spend some time at the Caen Memorial Museum and visit the memorials in Falaise and Montormel as well as the area around Argentan.Day 3
Make your way across the Alsace-Lorraine Region to recall the contribution of Patton’s Third Army in the Lorraine Campaign. The cities of Metz and Nancy and the surrounding countryside saw heavy fighting and are well worth exploring. At the end of the day, walk through the Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial in Saint-Avold.Day 4
Head to Bastogne in Belgium, location of the Battle of the Bulge, which was one of the costliest American operations of the Second World War. On 26 December 1944 Bastogne was liberated by the 4th Armored Division of General Patton’s Third Army. Today Patton’s name is seen everywhere in the city: from General Patton Square to the Monument Patton at Merceny Square. Spend some time at the Bastogne War Museum and end the day at the Bastogne Barracks where General Patton visited General McAuliffe.Day 5
Travel to the Luxembourg Ardennes, also badly scarred by the Battle of the Bulge. In the town of Ettelbruck, liberated by Patton’s 3rd Army in December 1944, be sure to visit the Square Patton. Look for the Monument Patton and stop by the General Patton Memorial Museum. Finally, head to Hamm American Cemetery to visit Patton’s grave.Day 6
Cross the border into Germany and the city of Trier, which Patton seized after crossing the Saar and Rhine rivers. Explore some of the other German cities that he liberated: Coblenz, Bingen, Worms, Mainz, Kaiserslautern and Ludwigshafen. Make your way to the Czech Republic where Patton was sent in May 1945 to liberate the Czech people from German occupiers.Day 7
The Czech Republic
The final stop is the city of Pilsen, liberated on 6 May 1945 by Patton’s Third Army. Visit the George Patton Memorial Museum to learn about the liberation of Pilsen and the Czech Republic, and check out the Patton memorial. Conclude the day at the Thank You America Memorial, the 2nd Infantry Division Memorial and the 16th Armored Division Memorial that commemorate the sacrifices made by American divisions in the Czech Republic. End of the tour.