A World War II historic guide to discover the D-Day Landing Beaches in Normandy

Travel Normandy guide François Gauthron offers tours of the Normandy landing beaches, World War II battlefield. Come and discover the most famous part of Normandy where took place the Landing and the battle of Normandy in June 1944 to liberate France and Europe. You will be escorted by a qualified bilingual guide who will show you round the major sites of the beaches. Visit the highlights of World War II sites in Normandy with an expert license guide, first the most important sites of the landing beaches.

Normandy Travel

Travel in Normandy with Francois Gauthron

Colleville-Montgomery, the Hillman Strongpoint

Hillman «hill 4»

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 Grenadier Regiment, the site was also their headquarters. It covered an area 600 x 400 yards, had 12 emplacements, with anti-tank guns and machine-guns (largely in Tobruk Pits).

Hillman was attacked on 6th June 1944 at 01.00 pm 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 (Royal Engineers) 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. Sherman tanks 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.

Hillman surrended at 22.00 pm with 50 prisoners. However, it was not until the 7th, at dawn, that the rest of the garnison, about 80 grenadiers, actually surrended.

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.

1- Parking lot
2- Memorial and map
3- Passage over the trench
4- Kitchen
5- Guard post
6- Bunker Hunter
7- Passage
8- Shrapnel in a tree
9- Ammunition storage
10- Wells