The liberation of Paris was not a priority for the Allies, but an uprising of the population against the Germans on 19 August made it necessary. The German commander of Paris, Lieutenant-General Choltitz, was ordered to crush the insurrection and to destroy the city, as the Germans did in Warsaw. To prevent this disaster, Charles de Gaulle insisted on intervention. Allied Command sent in Major-General Leclerc’s 2nd French Armoured Division, supported by the U.S. 4th Infantry Division of Major-General Barton. A first group managed to infiltrate the heart of Paris on the evening of 24 August, and on 26 August a huge triumphal parade was held on the Champs-Élysées.
The route on the map
Arrival to Paris airport or train station, then check in to your hotel in the City of Lights.
In the morning, visit the world famous Les Invalides and its buildings housing the Army Museum, the military museum of the Army of France, the Museum Of Contemporary History and the Historial Charles de Gaulle. In the afternoon, walk the length of the Boulevard du Palais between the Préfecture de Police and the Palais de Justice buildings. On either side of the boulevard, hundreds of bullet holes can be seen in the stone sides of the buildings. They are the lasting memory of the first shots fired by the French resistance in the battle that began the liberation of Paris. There are plaques all over the city commemorating Jews who were deported by the Nazis and resistance fighters who died during the final battles for the liberation of Paris.
Visit Mémorial Leclerc and the Jean Moulin Museum. In the afternoon, walk along the Champs Elysées, stop at the Charles de Gaulle Monument, and follow the steps of the Parade for the Liberation.
End of tour and departure to the airport or train station.