Wartime Britain - Dogfights & Double Agents

The inside story of the code-breakers and the Battle of Britain

Much of the Second World War was fought on the Home Front, whether it was protecting the skies during the Battle of Britain or fighting the much more covert war of espionage and code-breaking.

This tour explores nerve centres of the Battle of Britain, at the headquarters of RAF Fighter Command, Bentley Priory and the Uxbridge Bunker from where Air Vice-Marshal Park controlled the fight to protect London and the South-East of England. But we start with the ultra-secret Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park to learn how German agents were turned to double-cross their paymasters in Berlin. These ‘doubles’ then sent radio messages to Berlin with only information that Britain’s Security Service, MI5, wanted the Germans to know. Nothing more. Their success was measured by Bletchley Park’s code breakers as the Germans crowed about their agents’ successes often to Hitler himself. Blecthley Park not only confirmed that the false stories had swallowed whole by the Germans but by cracking the German top-secret codes allowed British intelligence to have advance warning of German strategic intentions. The work at Bletchley saved thousands of lives. Your expert Guide Lecturer will also recount the amazing story of double agents. Without these brave people and their imaginative controllers in MI5, the D-Day Landings would have been much harder and may not even have happened at all. For decades, the heroics of double agents and code-breakers were unknown and went unrecognised. Now we can tell their story.

Itinerary 2021

Day 1

Today we meet in our hotel, where our Guide Lecturer Paul Beaver will give a welcome lecture on double agents prior to dinner.

Day 2

We spend all day exploring Bletchley Park, where we will discuss the history and the ingenuity of the code-breakers who worked in this, the centre of the Government Code and Cypher School. It is estimated that the so-called Ultra intelligence gathered in this Victorian country house, separated from the outside world, shortened the war by at least two years. With the development of Colossus, the first programmable electronic digital computer, the work carried out here also paved the way for the digital world that followed the war. We will visit the huts where the Enigma and Lorenz cypher machines were cracked, as well as the National Museum of Computing housed in Block H, the latest of the huts built in Bletchley which housed a number of Colossus computers developed by Tommy Flowers. Dinner will feature a special guest presenter.

Day 3

This day is dedicated to the fateful Battle of Britain whose success helped to determine the outcome of the war. We start in Stanmore, at the Bentley Priory Museum, once an Augustinian priory, subsequently an estate designed by Sir John Soane and the headquarters of the RAF Fighter Command during the Second World War. Here we explore its role during those fateful summer and autumn months in 1940 during the Battle of Britain, when ‘the Few’, the fighter pilots under the command of ACM Sir Hugh Dowding, spearheaded the defence against the German attacks. After lunch, we travel to Uxbridge where we visit the Uxbridge Battle of Britain Bunker which housed the RAF Fighter Command’s No. 11 Group Operations Room Bunker and was the nerve centre of the Battle of Britain. We will explore this remarkable piece of living history, as well as the museum of the Battle attached to it.

What's Included

  1. Expert Guide Lecturer
  2. Andante Tour Manager
  3. Local Travel - Private a/c coach
  4. Meals - All meals included with water (wine with dinners)
  5. Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in program; tips included
  6. Field Notes
  7. Hotels - Accommodation in hand-picked hotels.

Book Now

To book your tour without flights from the US, please call our team on 888-591-0830

2021 Tour Details

  • 3 Days
  • 7th Jun - 9th Jun 2021
  • Code: ASSD210607
  • Available
  • without flights
  • sgl supp: $245

Tour Guide