Taking HILLMAN

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.

Description of the battle at Blokhaus Hillman

Description of the battle at Blokhaus Hillman

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The Command Bunker

The Command Bunker

Looking into the site of the Hillman Complex

Looking into the site of the Hillman Complex

Looking back towards Pegasus Bridge and Ranville

Looking back towards Pegasus Bridge and Ranville

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The Entrance to the Well

The Entrance to the Well

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The reservoir at Hillman

The reservoir at Hillman

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Command Post A

Command Post A

Dedication to Bunker Hunker DCM who silenced the machine gun firing from this bunker.

Dedication to Bunker Hunker DCM who silenced the machine gun firing from this bunker.

Command Post A

Command Post A

Water storage for command post A

Water storage for command post A


Inside command bunker A
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Command Post B

Command Post B

Part of the trench system that was here during June 6th 1944. Much of which is gone now.

Part of the trench system that was here during June 6th 1944. Much of which is gone now.

Field of fire East from Command Post B's Tobruck

Field of fire East from Command Post B’s Tobruck

Field of fire West from Command Post B's Tobruck

Field of fire West from Command Post B’s Tobruck

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The Cookhouse

The Cookhouse

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Steps  leading to the Northern Guard Post

Steps leading to the Northern Guard Post

Inside the Northern Guard Post

Inside the Northern Guard Post

Escape ladder from the northern guard post

Escape ladder from the northern guard post

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Trench running under the road going through the site.

Trench running under the road going through the site.

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Memorial to the brave men that took this site.

Memorial to the brave men that took this site.

The Eastern Guard Post

The Eastern Guard Post

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The Northern Guard post looking from across the road at the Eastern Guard post

The Northern Guard post looking from across the road at the Eastern Guard post

In Memory of the men that took Hillman and liberated the nearby village.

In Memory of the men that took Hillman and liberated the nearby village.

Hillman Website

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.

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