A group of us will be going to Normandy to see WW1 and WW2 sites for three days. Our plan is to stay in Lille so we can spend one day visiting the sites of each war. Is Lille close enough to the WW2 sites? Also, can we get to Brussels directly from Lille by train. Pat
For WWI Canadican sites not bad, Dieppe's a long drive, Juno beach a tad and a bit too far, a long way for the liberation of Holland. Your best bet would be just the Canadian memorial at Vimy.
Pat, Yes, you can take the train from Lille to Brussels. Lille is closer to the WW I sites. Take the train from Lille to Arras, which was British Army GHQ in WW I. At the edge of town is a large British WW I military cemetery, poignant place, located next to the French Army barracks. That I believe is off limits. The Arras city hall, which holds the tourist office, has an underground museum, guided tour in French, of the BEF and the city in WW I. The centre ville has two memorial plaques on 1940 and 1944 on certain operations there by specific British regiments. It's best to be motorised going out to Vimy, not too far from Arras. Rental car companies are to the left of the Arras train station. When you leave Vimy returning to Arras, you have to go through Neuville St Vlaast, at the corner is a large WW I museum. There's a lot more in the area.
Lille is pretty close to Ieper, especially if you'll have a rental car. Well worth your time. If you go to Brussels, check out the Royal Museum of Military History. They have a huge section devoted to the world wars. BTW, you weren't planning to use Lille as a base to visit Normandy, were you? That wouldn't be practical.
Thanks for the quick replies. So it looks like we need to find another place as well as Lille to stay. Is Caen the place for WW2? Right after that we head to Trebe. Pat
Caen is a reasonable place "for WWII" is you are defining WWII as D-Day and the Normandy Invasion, although WWII from the Canadian point of view extended over thousands of miles and dozens of campaigns. Many people, including myself, prefer Bayeux to Caen as a Normandy beaches base. You can find evidence of WWII all over Europe. It depends on what you would like to find.
Pat, your local WWI regiment was the 52nd and in WWII the Lake Superior Regiment now the Lake Superior Scottish. You'll find their regimental history's on line. Although still a three hour drive to Juno Beach, you might find Amiens a better base. But don't you folks in the north drive three hours for coffee?:)