WWII Military Tour – When Freedom Fought Oppression
This unique military tour features the 4 most important cities of WWII where heroism and the strength of the human won the day. The tour spans across 2 countries, Russia and Belarus. Riding the chariot of history, you will discover facts about World War II that you never dreamed of before, seeing first-hand the sites where the war’s most famous events took place.
On this fascinating journey into history you will visit:
- The majestic Mamaev Kurgan in Stalingrad (now Volgograd)
- Victory Park in Moscow
- Kubinka Tank Museum just outside of Moscow
- Minsk – the heroic capital of Belarus
- The famous Brest Fortress in Belarus
Walking you through these amazing sites of military glory, the tour will help you understand how the events that took place here changed the course of history.
This tour is specifically designed for:
1. People interested in learning more about WWII who want to experience the major sites first-hand while in Russia and Belarus.
2. Members of specialized historical societies and educational institutions studying the military conflicts carried out in WWII.
3. History lovers with special interest in the Second World War.
A professional tour guide with a background in WWII military history will be your escort. The tour is flexible, meaning that it can be adapted to meet the interests and knowledge of your group.
For our highly specialized guests who may be experts on WWII, we can arrange for a professor of WWII history to lead the tour upon request.
First Stop – Volgograd, Russia (former Stalingrad)
Stalingrad - the very name rings with grandness. What is today the city of Volgograd was once a venue where armies clashed to decide the fate of the world. It is here that the Russian people suffered the most during WWII, but it is also here that the greatest victory was won.
Volgograd is located some 1000 km southeast of the capital city of Moscow. Following the Stalin’s death, the city’s controversial name was replaced with the one derived from the Volga River. But no matter the name, the city’s walls and fields witnessed one of the most decisive battles fought in the WWII. And also the costliest, too, as the Battle of Stalingrad took over 2 million lives on both sides. This tour will bring to life the events of this monumental battle that played such a pivotal role in the outcome of WWII.
We begin the tour by welcoming you to Russia and Volgograd. Our guide will meet you at the Moscow airport, or for a pleasant dinner directly in Volgograd. Overnight in Volgograd hotel.
08:00 – Your tour guide will pick you up right at the hotel and take you to Mamaev Kurgan – Russia's WWII memorial complex. Originally the hill, the complex is built to commemorate the battle of Stalingrad and now dominates the city’s skyline. It is unmistakably recognized by the impressive, 85-metres The Motherland Calls statue, the tallest statue of a woman anywhere in the world.
A city steeped in history, Volgograd is best experienced by walking the streets in marvel of its architectural style. Each step of its stone-paved way echoes with war cries, just as there is a monument at every corner. Your tour guide will introduce you to the most significant ones like Mill Gerhard Factory and Pavlov’s House.
After lunch break, the Volgograd City Tour will take you to Stalingrad Battlefield Panorama Museum. There you will see the battle’s military equipment on display. Standing in the open air are the famous Katusha along with the Soviet aircrafts.
17:30 - Depart to the airport and take a 1h 20 min flight to Moscow. Once there, the transfer to a hotel will be arranged.
21:30 - Check-in at the hotel in Moscow.
Second Stop – Moscow, Russia
A visit to Russia is never complete without stopping by at the capital, the city of Moscow. Just as Napoleon had done a few centuries before, the Allied armies came close to the capital, but could never take it. The critical battle of Moscow numbed the teeth of German forces instead, and thwarted the idea of Blitzkrieg in the East.
The Moscow part of the Military tour will have you visiting sights as the Kremlin and Red Square. Next is Poklonnaya Gora where the Victory Park and Museum is located. History buffs will also enjoy the huge Kubinka Tank Museum, just as they will be touched by the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Eternal Flame that emanates from the center.
10-00 - start of the tour.
A Visit to the Kremlin – both then and now this fortress is the beating heart of the Russian capital. Seat of the Russian power, the Kremlin is a magnificent complex comprised of beautiful churches and palaces. Upon request, a tour of the Armoury Chamber, Diamond Fund and exclusive Grand Kremlin Palace can be arranged.
From there, a casual stroll will take you to the grandiose Red Square with the St. Basil Cathedral dominating the view. GUM department store is the shopping center nearby, just as is the cultural vein of Russia, the Bolshoi Theatre. On request, a visit to Lenin’s Mausoleum is also possible. We end this chunk of the military tour by visiting Alexander Garden and the Tomb of Unknown Soldier there. This memorial commemorates the millions who fell a hero’s death during the war.
It’s lunchtime. The day continues on wheels as you enjoy the ride through Moscow’s vibrant sights. We will take a few stops along the way, most notably at Sophia Embankment, Christ the Savior Cathedral and Patriarch Bridge.
The visit to Victory Park completes the Moscow part of the tour. Recall and review the main battlefields and turning points of the 1941-1945 war at the Victory Museum.
19:00 - get back to the hotel and take some leisure time, or choose one of the add-ons for the evening: Moscow by Night Tour, Russian Ballet, or National Dance show (subject to availability). Overnight in Moscow.
You may wish to consider the following optional tours while in Moscow:
- Moscow Art Tour (a tour of the Tretyakov Art Gallery and Muzeon Park, including Krymskaya embankment and art market)
- Ostankino TV Tower Tour
- Exclusive Grand Kremlin Palace Tour
- Moscow by Night Tour
- Metro Tour
- Bunker 42 Tour
- Stalin Bunker Tour
- Sergiev Posad Monastery Day Tour (out-of-town)
- Vladimir & Suzdal Day Tour (the Golden Ring tour out of town)
09:00 - start of the tour.
A comfortable private transport will take you 65 km west of Moscow to Kubinka Tank Museum. There you will spend a few hours touring the world’s largest collection of the soviet tanks, WWII German armored vehicles, and even the Japanese Great Pacific war tanks. Try out the authentic field kitchen for lunch, and then head your way back to Moscow.
15:30 - return to Moscow city center.
The rest of the day is up to you; you can either spend it on your own, or you can take our Metro Tour and experience the most beautiful and world-renowned subway system on the globe. You can also take one of the two haunting bunker tours, Bunker 42 Tour or Stalin Bunker Tour.
Extra Day Suggestion (Optional)
(extends the tour program by 1 day)
The Russia Military Tour features the optional visit to the riveting Central Air force Museum. Located some 45 km east of Moscow, it is one of the largest aircraft museums in the world with over 200 exhibits of the WWII and post-war period.
Third & Fourth Stops - Minsk and Brest, Belarus
The third city on our map is Minsk, the capital of Belarus. In 1941 the city, along with the entire region, fell prey to the German occupation. It was not until 1944 that the region was recaptured, with significant death toll measuring in millions. The Belarusian capital proudly holds the title of the city-hero, being almost totally rebuilt from the ground after the war ended.
Circa 09:00 - check out from your Moscow hotel and, together with our guide, take a morning flight to the capital of Belarus – Minsk. Arrive to Minsk by about 1 pm.
Get acquainted with Minsk on a City Tour, have lunch, and enjoy the 3-hour train ride to Brest.
Check in into the Brest hotel by 23:30. Overnight in Brest.
Check out from the Brest hotel.
08:30 - the tour starts upon the checkout.
Brest Fortress has long stood the symbol of Soviet pride and grief. This is where the Great War ended (with treaty of Brest-Litovsk) and the WWII war started for them. The fort eventually heroically fell to the overpowering Nazi forces, but not until becoming the symbol of resistance. Fortress is now turned into a vast memorial and is under UNESCO protection. Following a visit to the complex, the afternoon train will take you back to Minsk.
Check-in at a Minsk Hotel. Overnight in Minsk.
Enjoy breakfast with our guide and head towards airport, or consider a tour extension to Khatyn Mount described below.
This is the end of our program.
Tour Extension (Optional)
On the last day of the tour, we recommend you to visit the memorial complex of Khatyn Mount. Located 60 km north-east of Minsk, Khatyn village is a standing reproach to the Nazi atrocities committed in the war. Many other villages shared the similar fate, and Khatyn Mount commemorates them all.
Tour Extensions (optional)
Not enough? If you would like to go beyond the 7-Day suggested program, consider the following great places to visit:
- Stalin Bunker in Samara
- Yalta (Crimea) - Crimea Conference (1945) site
- Balaklava (Crimea) - the Secret Soviet Submarine Base, 20 km from Sevastopol
About the author
Diana Zalenskaya, a travel professional and destination expert for Moscow, Russia.