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The route to Caen

Monday 21 October 2002

Hillamn was the objective of the first battalion of the Sufolk regimentof the 8th brigade of the 3rd division.
"Hillman" was the code name given to this position.
Others in the area had names like "Daimler" "Rover" "Morris".
Hilman was the regimental HQ of the 736th regiment of the 716th division. The commanding officer was Colonel Krug.
Caen was suposed to be taken on D day by the 185th and the 8th brigades. Several factors came together to make this impossible. The strong winds were pushing the tide in faster than expected making a narrow beach. This and the bad weather was hampering the unloading of tanks and causing trafic jams on the beach and roads leading off. The intelligence reports hadn’t pointed out the proximity of the 12th SS panzers and the 21st Panzers. The 21st Panzers coming through Caen in the afternoon engaged armoured divisions on route for Caen.
The third factor was hillman. Hillman was sited between Sword beach and Caen. The Suffolk regiment had for mission to take Morris, then Hillman then the batteries on the Perrier Hights.
Morris was taken by 13:00h with the help of naval gunfire directed by the radio of the forward observer. He was killed in the attack on Morris so for the attack on Hillman there was no naval fire brought in, and Hillman was a different kettle of fish to Morris.
The site consisted of a dozen or so bunkers connected by trenches and the whole complex surrounded by barbed wire and mine fields

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plan of hillman

1. Bridge over trenches
2. Trenches
3. Mine fields and barbed wire
4. Bunker A with the cupola
5. Well
6. Cistern
7. Kitchens
8. Bunker B
9. Garage (or gun emplacement ?)
10. Peripheral defenses

The infantry were making no headway so they called on the tanks of the 185th who should have been heading towards Caen. Some tanks had tried to bypass the site but the accurate fire from the battery on Perrier made this immpossible.
The battle continued into the evening. The main bunker didn’t surrender until the morning of the 7th.

The bunker A, where Col Krug was in attendance, had a cupola armed with machine gun.

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The cupola was impervious to tank shells. A soldier Hunter attacked the cupola single handedly and put it ourt of action.

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The bunker had a ventilation, system and central heating.

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The markings in this Tobruk are emblematic of the advantage the germans had over the allies. They had had 2 years to prepare for the invasion. (Since 1942 when America joined in the war) The range to every landmark had been measured and noted.

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