Sword Beach & Hillman Bunker


Battlefield Guide – Dr John Greenacre – John is a military historian with a particular interest in the development of conflict during the twentieth century. John spent over twenty years in the British Army as a helicopter pilot before completing his PhD at Leeds University. He is a part time lecturer at the University of Suffolk and also works as a tour guide across Europe and supports current military professional development activity.

Tour Manager – Bengt Weiberg

Scheduled For – Sunday 6th June

On the morning of 6 June 1944 British 3rd Infantry Division landed on Sword Beach on the eastern flank of the Normandy invasion. The lead brigade disembarked from its landing craft in the face of German fire. Men of the 2nd Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment and 1st Battalion, South Lancashire Regiment with armoured support fought hard to clear the defences and open up the beach exits before moving in land. They were followed by 1st Battalion, Suffolk Regiment which had the unenviable task of clearing two major obstacles on the route to Caen. The reinforced artillery battery known as Morris and the fortified headquarters, Hillman were formidable objectives, concreted in behind wire and minefields. The fight for Hillman became a slugging match that lasted throughout D Day and the garrison did not finally surrender until the following morning.

This tour, broadcast on the 76th anniversary of D Day follows 3rd Division’s 8 Brigade as it crosses the Channel and lands on Sword Beach. It concentrates on the actions of 1st Suffolks and their battle for Hillman and considers the difficulties that still faced the Allies despite the overwhelming application of military might employed during the opening day of Operation Overlord.

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Sun 6th June 16:30 UK (11:30 EDT), Sun 6th June 19:30 UK (14:30 EDT)