My recent fascination with the Battle of Mortain can be attributed to Robert Weiss's account of the siege at Hill 314, "FIRE MISSION! The Siege at Mortain, Normandy, August 1944." Weiss was one of two forward observers working frantically to support 2nd Battalion, 120th Infantry while it was surrounded from August 6-12, 1944. He averaged calling one fire mission every 15 minutes for five days. Weiss is also mentioned in the 1946 unit history:
"Lieutenant Weiss and First Lieutenant Charles A. Barts, the other forward observer from the 230th on the hill, had started firing prepared defensive concentrations early in the attack, supplementing them with sound-located targets sent in by the infantry scouts and outposts. Foggy weather obscured the field of observation until 9:30 or 10:00 A.M. 'When the mist did clear,' related Lieutenant Weiss, 'it left us facing a German attack.' Part of the hill behind Company E was in enemy hands. Enemy machine-gun fire at the observation post rendered it use less: Weiss crawled back to the draw, where a runner sent by Lieutenant Kerley directed him to the south end of the hill. This was the highest point on the hill and probably furnished the best all-around observation. By 2:00 P.M. air bursts from time and ricochet fire discouraged the infantrymen furnishing the bulk of the enemy attack, and the artillerymen settled down to keeping out of the way of an 88mm. gun sniping at the rock outcropping where they were dug in."
Text from "Workhorse of the Western Front: The Story of the 30th Infantry Division" By Robert L. Hewitt. Printed by Infantry Journal Press, Washington, DC in 1946.
Photo from "FIRE MISSION! The Siege at Mortain, Normandy, August 1944" by Robert Weiss, 2002.
🇫🇷 Hello, guys! Next few weeks I’ll post only lighthouse 🙈 from my recent trip to Bretagne and Normandy. Do you know that the first known lighthouse was the Pharos of Alexandria, Egypt. Ptolemy I and his son Ptolemy II constructed it between 300 and 280 B.C. It stood about 130 meters high. This lighthouse was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It was destroyed in stages by invaders and earthquakes, being destroyed in the 1300s.