Andy Johnson Battlefields

My interest in military aviation and military history started many years ago and, by the age of 12, I KNEW that I was going to join the RAF. This dream was realised in 1981, when I joined the RAF. My RAF experience included 17 years on the Boeing Sentry AWACS, with operational flying in the Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts.

I left the RAF in 2009 to become a full-time Battlefield Guide. I completed the International Guild of Battlefield Guides validation programme in November 2011 and hold Badge No 52. I enjoy variety and this is reflected in the range of battles that I explore.

First and Second World Wars

I visit Second World War battlefields, with a particular interest in Normandy, including the D-Day beaches, the airborne operations, and the frequently neglected fighting inland, which led to the crossing of the Seine in late August 1944. I also visit the campaigns across Northwest Europe to the 1945 battles on and across the Rhine. I have also led tours to Salerno, Cassino and Crete.

I have been privileged on 3 occasions to take veterans to their battlefields in Normandy and Monte Cassino. What an honour!

The War in the Air

Having spent so long in the air environment, I have a huge interest in the air war and I have led tours to sites related to the Great War in the air, Fighter Command, the Combined Bomber Offensive and the German secret weapons programmes.

I enjoy bringing the air war to life, not just from the point of view of the commanders, planners, ground crew and aircrew, but also that of those at the receiving end. Only when you have walked the targets can you understand the difficulties of the attackers, and the effects of total war on civil populations.

And, living in Bomber County, I do not need to travel far to find history!

NSDAP and Cold War Germany

An interest in the Air War naturally leads to the subject of National Socialist Germany. I have led groups to many sites in Hitler’s Germany, from the development and deployment of the V-Weapons, through the concentration camp and forced labour systems to the Final Solution. It is a difficult but important subject.

And Germany, of course, leads to an interest in Berlin. I never served in Berlin – but I am an old Cold Warrior!

Further Afield

For most of my adult life, I have been a traveller and my favourite locations are those where major historical events have taken place. Visiting other countries has given me a wider understanding of differing viewpoints, and the impact of historical events around the world. It has also helped me to put the events of both World Wars into wider context.

Schools

I take school groups to the Western Front and am particularly proud to have been a guide for the Government’s First World War Centenary Battlefield Tour Programme.

I enjoy interacting with young people and get great satisfaction from helping students to explore history. I have travelled widely in India and this led to a deep interest in the history of Great Britain’s involvement in India. I have led groups looking at the story of the Indian Corps on the Western Front.

Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme

Neuve-Chapelle Indian Memorial

Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917

I take school groups to the Western Front and am particularly proud to have been a guide for the Government’s First World War Centenary Battlefield Tour Programme.

I enjoy interacting with young people and get great satisfaction from helping students to explore history. I have travelled widely in India and this led to a deep interest in the history of Great Britain’s involvement in India. I have led groups looking at the story of the Indian Corps on the Western Front.

Help for Heroes Big Battlefield Bike Ride

Although I am not a cyclist myself, I have supported a number of long-distance charity cycle rides, including Help for Heroes Big Battlefield Bike Ride, SSAFA D-Day 75th Anniversary Cycle Ride, and a Hertfordshire hospice Western Front ride.

I am always ready to help such projects.

Charities

Although I am not a cyclist myself, I have supported a number of long-distance charity cycle rides, including Help for Heroes Big Battlefield Bike Ride, SSAFA D-Day 75th Anniversary Cycle Ride, and a Hertfordshire hospice Western Front ride.

I am always ready to help such projects.

Help for Heroes Big Battlefield Bike Ride

Garden House Hospice FWW Centenary Cycle Challenge at Compiègne

SSAFA D-Day Cycle Ride

We would like to take this opportunity of expressing our very sincere thanks for the trouble you took in giving us such a comprehensive look at the archives and tour round the base and village of Waddington.

It is a tribute to both yourself and the RAF that you are prepared to go to such lengths in order to preserve the memory of men such as Dennis and what they did.

The visit really was most evocative and the memory of sitting in your car looking at the rain squalls on the runway is something that will stay with us.

Gordon and Jannice Howdle

Just wanted to say thanks for being an excellent guide over the last few days, particularly for adding to the tour with all the extra information about the Indian involvement in the area – your knowledge is encyclopaedic! Added to that, you had a lovely approachable attitude which was so helpful to a group of this age.

Gill Brailey

A big thank you to Andy Johnson for guiding us. A terrific job well done.

Liesalotte

Thank you so much for the excellent support to our visit on Sunday. Your entertaining talk and expert insight provided the ‘icing on the cake’ during our veterans’ day and everyone said how much they enjoyed their visit to the Heritage Centre. I’m sorry that our numbers were larger than expected – your reputation clearly precedes you and they all wanted to cram in and hear what you had to say!

51 Squadron Association

He talks Operational Level, Logistics, and Cracking stories of bravery and courage. It has it all.

Battlemaps.us

You are very good at what you do.

Anonymous

Get in Touch

2 + 5 =

Contact

info@andyjohnsonbattlefields.co.uk