The Hillman Strongpoint was part of the inland defences on Sword Beach sector, where 3rd Division landed on D Day. Staffed by 150 men of the 736th Regiment, the site was also their headquarters. It covered an area 600 x 400 meters, had 12 emplacements, with anti-tank guns and machine-guns (largely in Tobruk Pits).
Hillman was attacked on 6th June 1944 by the 1st Suffolk Regiment, supported by C Squadron 13/18 Hussars, A Squadron Staffs Yeomanry, two batteries from 33rd and 76th Field Regiments Royal Artillery, 246th Field Company RE and a machine-gun platoon from 2nd Middlesex Regiment. Hillman was outflanked to the north, where high grass allowed an approach to the minefield area surrounding the bunkers and barbed wire. This was cleared by the RE, and a path made through the wire by Bangalore Torpedoes. A Company of 1st Suffolks then charged through the gap, and entered the bunker area, but came under such heavy fire that they lost the company commander (Captain R.G.Ryley) and had to pull out. Shermans from 13/18 Hussars then came up, and a second assault carried the position. However, in the process two tanks from 13/18 Hussars were knocked out and the Suffolks lost two officers killed, along with five men and 24 men wounded.
Pte J.R.Hunter of the 1st Suffolks was awarded a Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) for bravery in this action. He became known in the unit as ‘Bunker Hunter DCM’ for his exploits in the capture of Hillman.
Inside command bunker A
Walking over this site it is pretty big and you can scarcely imagine how hard it was to assault and capture but it has such a commanding view of the battlefields of the Airborne and coming from Sword Beach that is just had to be neutralised.