Mortain used to be a very important town during the middle ages. It was on one of the many routes to the Mont Saint Michel. From the high ground that dominates the town, the pilgrims could see the famous Mount for the first time, it was named Montjoie or the Mount of the Happiness.
This position was named Hill 314 (and 317) during WWII. The “lost Battalion” from 120th Regiment resisted to all the German attacks during several days.
These men were re-supplied by planes and even by recycled smoke shells from the US Howitzers.
By holding this high ground, the observers could communicate the German position to the artillery.
They were then stopping the German Counterattack codenamed Luttich from the 6th of August 1944.