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HILL 112, ESQUAY-NOTRE-DAME, CALVADOS, BASSE-NORMANDIE, FRANCE



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Number of Photos:
7
Sample Photo

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Location Category ID:
6015
Address: D8, 14210 Esquay-Notre-Dame
Telephone:
Email:
Opening Times: Accessible at any time
Official Website: Hill 112
Other Links: Operation Jupiter
Operation Epsom
Hill 112
Memories of Hill 112
Tanks in France
Wessex Division
Videogame dramatisation
Churchill Register
Latitude, Longitude: 49.12332053 , -0.46015978
Location Accuracy: 10
Tanks Previously Here:


There is a monument at Hill 112, approximately equidistant between Baron-sur-Odon, Esquay-Notre-Dame and Vieux, on the main D8 road that passes beside Esquay-Notre-Dame. It includes a Churchill tank, and nearby there is also a monument to the 43rd (Wessex) Division.

The Churchill tank is one the best known British tanks of the Second World War, and was the last Infantry Tank to be produced. At the start of the war, the War Office felt that conditions on the Western Front might not be very different from those experienced in the First World War. A specification was issued for a heavy tank invulnerable to anti-tank fire and with a wide trench-crossing ability. Harland and Wolff built pilot models of this A20 design but it fared badly in trials. Vauxhall redesigned it, and it went into production as the A22 Infantry Tank Mark IV in 1941, the name “Churchill” being adopted soon after. It saw a number of design changes during its life including a change from the initial 2pdr main armament to the more powerful 6pdr. However a major redesign resulted in the Mark VII (A22F) which had thicker armour and was designed specifically to mount the 75mm gun.

There is an NTL Totem nearby that reads as follows:

HILL 112: JUST LIKE VERDUN

Between the valleys of the Rivers Odon and Orne, Hill 112, southwest of Caen, is a vantage point overlooking gently undulating ground. From there a vast area can be seen and controlled, including Carpiquet airfield. This high ground, crowned with a thin copse, had definite strategic value. “Whoever holds Hill 112, holds all of Normandy”, it was said.

“EPSOM”: THE SHARP CHECK (26TH JUNE – 1ST JULY 1944)
In the course of this offensive, launched on 26th June, the Scottish of 15th Division crossed the Odon, British 11th Armoured Division advanced as far as Hill 112, but German counterstrokes by the 2nd SS Tank Corps managed to contain the front along the right bank of the Odon.

“JUPITER”: CAPTURING HILL 112 (10TH – 11TH JULY)
The day following the capture of Caen, British 43rd Infantry Division was given orders to take the height. Opposite, 9th and 10th SS Division had turned the area into a defensive position. By the evening of 10th July, the devastated summit had become a no man’s land.
Hill 112, the “Hill of Cornwall” for the British, the “Hill of Calvary” for the Germans, was the object of continuous fighting in a landscape reminiscent of Verdun.

7,000 MEN
Such was the price paid by the Allies, in the course of a terrible war of position, in order to capture a section of slightly higher ground in the plain of Caen, Hill 112 did not finally fall into British hands until 12th August, with the general withdrawal of the German forces.


1) A22 Churchill Tank British


Number of Photos:
7
Sample Photo from Tank with UniqueID 766

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Unique ID: 766
Serial Number:
Registration: “T252348/K” painted on hull front and sides.
Name:
Other Identification:

This Churchill is a Mark VII; it is missing its track guards but is otherwise in a fair condition. A plaque on the right side of the turret reads as follows:

THIS “CHURCHILL” TANK WAS PLACED HERE TO COMMEMORATE THE TANK CREWS, SUPPORTING ARMED FORCES AND MEMBERS OF THE RESISTANCE WHO TOOK PART IN THE BATTLE FOR HILL 112 JUNE – AUGUST 1944

WE WILL REMEMBER THEM
CE “CHURCHILL” CHAR BLINDE A ETE DEPOSEE EN SOUVENIR DES EQUIPAGES DES CHARS, DES AUTRES FORCES ARMEES ET DES MEMBRES DE LA RESISTANCE PARTICIPANT A LA BATAILLE POUR LA COLLINE 112 EN JUIN ET AOUT 1944

NOUS NOUS SOUVIENDRONS

A plaque in front of it states “Acknowledgement to the following for their generous donations which made this memorial possible: the Military Vehicle Trust, MVT Solent Area, Invicta Military Vehicle Preservation Society, War & Peace Show, 43rd Wessex Division Association Members, 43rd Wessex Brigade, Royal Tank Regiment, Royal Armoured Corps, Royal Logistic Corps L.V.H.U. Glos., Royal Engineers, C&C Military Services Ltd., 112 Field Regiment R.A./T.A., Normandy Veterans Association, Brittany Ferries and members of the British Public. May we all remember them.”