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Wn17 'Hillman' Colleville Montgomery

Extensive bunker complex under Colleville hillside

Wn04 site overview

What to see

There are numerous German strongpoints positioned around the Ouistreham and Colleville area which were objectives for British soldiers landing on Sword beach on D-Day June 6, 1944.

Three of the larger gun sites earmarked for attack were named after makes of cars – Wn12 ‘Daimler’, Wn16 ‘Morris’ and Wn17 ‘Hillman’. Wn12 and Wn16 both featured R669 type gun bunkers while Wn17 Hillman – just south of what is now called Colleville-Montgomery – was the site of the regimental HQs plus a series of defensive structures and trenches built into the hillside overlooking the area.

There are two huge R608SK special construction command posts at the site each featuring a network of 14 underground rooms, a Tobruk, close combat embrasures, radio room, telephone exchange, and a tunnel which extends north to the steel observation and defence cupola you can see above ground.

Finished not long before the start of June, the bunkers were self-contained units and boasted their own water tank (still in situ) with pump room which allowed the German forces occupying the site to remain underground while allied forces attacked.

However, the site was no match for the Suffolk Regiment who were tasked with eliminating the threat from this site on D-Day and the two officers and 70 soldiers who had sealed themselves inside finally surrendered to the Suffolks on June 7.

The site also features a R605 shelter for an anti-tank gun, a well, water reservoir, and underground kitchen and mess facility along with several personnel shelters. A series of Bf58c machine gun Tobruks ring the site.

The volunteers who care for the site have also acquired a Churchill tank from the Tank Museum at Samur and work has already begun on restoring the vehicle. You can see it up close at the edge of the car park.


Directions to bunker sites in this area...

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