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Abbaye Blanche
Abbaye Blanche
Coat of arms of Mortain
Coat of arms
Mortain is located in France
Coordinates: 48°38′55″N 0°56′23″W / 48.6486°N 0.9397°W / 48.6486; -0.9397Coordinates: 48°38′55″N 0°56′23″W / 48.6486°N 0.9397°W / 48.6486; -0.9397
Country France
Region Lower Normandy
Department Manche
Arrondissement Avranches
Canton Mortain
Intercommunality Mortain
 • Mayor (2008–2014) Michel Desfoux
 • Land1 7.44 km2 (2.87 sq mi)
Population (2006)
 • Population2 1,893
 • Population2 density 250/km2 (660/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 50359 / 50140
Elevation 102–327 m (335–1,073 ft)
(avg. 232 m or 761 ft)

1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Mortain is a commune in the Manche department in Normandy in north-western France.


Mortain is situated on a rocky hill rising above the gorge of the Cance, a tributary of the Sélune.


Mortain is the seat of a canton. It is a former subprefecture of the Manche department and the seat of the former arrondissement of Mortain, which existed from 1790 to 1926.

Remembrance memorial - 30th Infantry Division


In the Middle Ages Mortain was the head of an important county (comté), reserved for the reigning house of Normandy (see List of Counts of Mortain). Around 1027 it was established for Robert, who was probably an illegitimate son of Richard I of Normandy. He was succeeded by William Warlenc ("the waning") who was probably his son. In or about 1049 Duke William took it from William Warlenc and bestowed it on his half-brother, Robert, thenceforth known as "count of Mortain," whose vast possessions in England after the Conquest (1066) gave name to "the small fees of Mortain," which owed less feudal service than others. Robert was succeeded as count by his son William, Count of Mortain, who rebelled against Henry I, was captured at the battle of Tinchebrai (1106) and forfeited his possessions. Some years later, Henry bestowed the comtéship on his nephew Stephen, who became king in 1135. On Stephen's death (1154) his surviving son William became count of Mortain, but when William died childless in 1159 the title was resumed by Henry II. On the accession of Richard I (1189) he granted it to his brother John, who was thenceforth known as count of Mortain until he ascended the throne (1199). With his loss of Normandy the comté was lost, but after the recapture of the province by the House of Lancaster, Edmund Beaufort, a grandson of John of Gaunt, was created count of Mortain and so styled till 1441, when he was made earl of Dorset.

In August 1944, Mortain was the site of an important battle between the German and American forces. Over a period of six nights the 30th Infantry Division fought valiantly (with one radio with dying batteries) against the German Panzer counter-attack of Operation Lüttich, to preserve the breakout established in Operation Cobra. Famed author J.D. Salinger fought alongside the American forces - an experience in which his daughter claims led to post-traumatic syndrome[citation needed].


Arms of Mortain
The arms of Mortain are blazoned :
Azure, semy de lys Or, a bend compony argent and gules.
arms borrowed from Évreux-Navarre family, former counts of Mortain and kings of Navarre.


The parish church of St Evroult is a magnificent example of the transitional style of the early 13th century. Close to the town is the Abbaye Blanche, founded as a Benedictine convent in 1105 and soon afterwards affiliated to Cîteaux. The church is a perfect example of a Cistercian monastic church of the late 12th century, and portions of the 12th-century cloisters also survive. The ruins of a castle was once the home of the cruel Sir Guillaume de Mortain and the site of the Gap of Goeblin.

Notable people[edit]

Mortain was the birthplace of Ferdinand André Fouqué (1828–1904), geologist and petrologist.

International relations[edit]

Twin towns – Sister cities[edit]

Mortain is twinned with:

External Sources[edit]


  1. ^ "British towns twinned with French towns [via WaybackMachine.com]". Archant Community Media Ltd. Archived from the original on 5 July 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-20. 
  2. ^ "Dorset Twinning Association List". The Dorset Twinning Association. Archived from the original on 2013-06-21. Retrieved 2013-08-01. 

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mortain — Please support Wikipedia.
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5581 videos foundNext > 

Above the town of Mortain

A walk above the town of Mortain. Here the allied forces in world war II made advances. A memorial marks the spot. Followed by a brief stop in Vere.

The battle of mortain/ Operation Lüttich

Operation Lüttich was a codename given to a German counterattack during the Battle of Normandy, which took place around the American positions near Mortain f...

Mortain, Manche, France.

Video of Mortain in Manche, France. You can read about Mortain at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mortain It was the scene of a German offensive against America...

[HD]CoH Invasion of Normandy Mission 13 Mortain Counterattack (Play Through)

Hi everyone This video is the playthrough of the 13th mission (Mortain Counterattack) in the Campaign. The American campaign is almost over but fear not! I h...

f000007 Mortain / Fontenermont / Vire / Manche

Référence: f000007 Support: Bobine Taille: 198 Mo Durée: 07:52 min Cameraman: Rosenmann / Newman Unités: 2nd Armored Division / 3rd Armored Division / 9th In...

Video 9 - Squad Leader - Mortain Series 4B

Part 9 of 12 Part Video series depicts the combat during Operation Luttich, the German counteroffensive in the Mortain area. Videos are based on 10 scenarios...

US soldiers advance along ruined town of Mortain in France. HD Stock Footage

Link to order this clip: http://www.criticalpast.com/video/65675077006_American-soldiers_soldiers-advancing_wrecked-American-trucks_leaning-against-wall Hist...

Company of Heroes- Mission 12- Mortain- Part 1

All viewers, subscribers or not, are encouraged follow my twitchtv live streams at http://www.twitch.tv/generalpatton213. I am always willing and happy to pl...

Company of Heroes 1 - Mission 12 - Mortain - Playthrough

Company of Heroes 1 - Mission 12 - Mortain - Playthrough.

Company of Heroes- Mission 13- Mortain Counterattack- Part 1

All viewers, subscribers or not, are encouraged follow my twitchtv live streams at http://www.twitch.tv/generalpatton213. I am always willing and happy to pl...

5581 videos foundNext > 

98 news items

Wed, 06 Aug 2014 21:02:53 -0700

Ce jour-là, sur ordre d'Hitler, avait été lancée une contre-attaque destinée à aller de Mortain jusqu'à la mer pour couper la route des Américains entre le Cotentin et la Bretagne. L'opération s'est soldée par un échec et va précipiter la fin de l ...

Voix Bocage

Voix Bocage
Sun, 10 Aug 2014 05:02:17 -0700

Le festival de musique Les'Tain Tam Arts, proposé par l'Office de tourisme du Mortainais, se poursuit jusqu'au 14 août dans les jardins de la piscine de Mortain. Jeudi 14 août : Pied's Trad. Musique traditionnelle. Ce trio est constitué de musiciens ...


Sat, 16 Aug 2014 19:07:52 -0700

Mortain a été une des dernières communes libérées de la Manche, en août 1944, après les violents combats de la cote 314, lors de la contre-attaque des troupes allemandes dans ce qu'il est convenu d'appeler la Bataille de Mortain. C'est le 12 août ...


Tue, 12 Aug 2014 01:12:35 -0700

Some 300,000 of his finest troops were trapped between Mortain, Falaise and Argenton. Only the hesitancy of the Allied pincer movement allowed tens of thousands to escape east. Even so, by mid-August 1944, 100,000 retreating German soldiers were all ...
Thu, 14 Aug 2014 19:48:45 -0700

Here, his half-brother, Count Robert of Mortain, built a 'motte and bailey' castle with two moats. Substantial ruins of the Castle still remain. This was the favourite home of the Black Prince, who honeymooned here with the Fair Maid of Kent. Geoffrey ...
Fayetteville Observer
Fri, 08 Aug 2014 21:06:46 -0700

Although casualties had decimated it, the 120th Regiment still retained a strong core of North Carolinians. From Aug. 7 to 12, 1944, the surrounded regiment held off elements of four German Panzer divisions in the battle of Mortain, a battle credited ...
Paris Courses
Fri, 22 Aug 2014 09:52:30 -0700

On attaque la semaine par un quinté difficile sur l'hippodrome de Vincennes, le Prix de Mortain (6 à 8 ans – 2850 mètres GP – 18 pts) ce lundi 25 août. Finalement éliminé avec Upsos de Guez, les nouvelles réglementations sur le nombre de partants à ...


Thu, 21 Aug 2014 20:56:15 -0700

Mais l'échec des Allemands dans leur contre-attaque de Mortain incite Bradley, le commandant des Armées américaines en France, à revoir ses plans. Il ordonne à deux divisions lancées vers la Seine, dont la 2e DB française du général Leclerc, de tourner.

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