The world has been shaped again and again by military action, the boarders between countries forged in war, and power shifted from one peoples to another in the dramatic and bloody human story. The locations of great military actions may be quiet today, proud, yet crumbling forts and simple ploughed fields, but here lie incredible stories of valour and sacrifice that can’t help but bring you closer to the ordinary people who took part in these world changing events.
For anyone with a sense of history these are very evocative spots indeed, and often very moving. The cemeteries of the WW1 battlefields are a must-see experience to understand the scale and horror of what happened, just as a visit to Gallipoli is a rite of passage for every young Australian and New Zealander today.
The best way to see these places is with a guide who can help you step back in time and re-create the days of battle, someone like the experts who have contributed their knowledge to our lists, who have begun to bring history alive on these pages. Far from a morbid focus for a holiday, these historic military locations are best summed up with lively commentary and a celebration of the brave lives lots, and if you have some family tie to the events that took place you’ll find it even easier to immerse yourself in the history.