In the Lion's Mouth, Battle of Mortain

Battle MortainMortain Lion's Mouth
Star Chart
Star Chart Planets

Battle of Mortain

After the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944, the Allies finally broke out of the German defense perimeter toward the end of July and rapidly pushed south.  On August 1, US forces captured Avranches and occupied Mortain the next day.  Realizing that they were in danger of being flanked, the Germans decided to counterattack.  On August 2, Adolf Hitler ordered Field Marshal Günther von Kluge to immediately attack with the German Seventh Army to recapture Avranches.  As von Kluge prepared for the counterattack, Hitler had a grandiose idea of a major offensive to drive the Allies back into the sea.  Hitler wanted to send eight Panzer divisions along with a thousand fighters from the Luftwaffe.  However, only four Panzer divisions could be freed, and the Luftwaffe never made it to the battle due Allied air superiority.

Von Kluge didn't hear from Hitler again until August 6.  By then von Kluge was in the final stages of preparation for an attack to recapture Avranches that was scheduled for 8 PM, although it soon slipped to 2400.  Discussions with Hitler revealed that von Kluge's battle plan to recapture Avranches and re-establish a defensive perimeter were far short of Hitler's plan for a strategic blow to the Allies to divide the US First and Third Armies at Avranches and then destroy the Allied front.  Because of his precarious position with danger of having his assembly points bombed or being flanked by advancing US forces, von Kluge persuaded Hitler to let him proceed with the attack.

The 30th Infantry Division marched into Mortain on August 6 and relieved the 1st Infantry Division at 2000, only 4 hours before the German attack was scheduled to begin.  The 2nd Battalion, 120th Infantry Regiment, 30th Infantry Division occupied the high ground, which was Hill 317 just east of the city of Mortain.  The Battalion was composed of the North Carolina National Guard along with units from South Carolina and Tennessee National Guard.  The 2nd Battalion was augmented by a company of the 3rd Battalion.  Thus, on the hill were about 700 men from three rifle companies and a heavy weapons company with several antitank pieces.  Three roadblocks were established, two to the North and one to the South of Mortain.  The regimental command post was in a hotel in Mortain.
Battle of Mortain
The Germans began their advance shortly after midnight.  The attack first struck in force at 0245, August 7, and by 0315 German forces had overrun Mortain.2,5  The 2nd SS Panzer Division knocked out two of the roadblocks north and south of Mortain.  One roadblock remained operational and knocked out over forty enemy vehicles and tanks during the next days of the battle. When the hill was surrounded by Germans and cut off from the Command Post, Capt. Reynold Erichson assumed command.  Due to the element of surprise, the German forces pressed into Allied lines, and some penetrated within two miles of Avranches.  However, the high ground of Hill 317 soon became a thorn in their side.

From the vantage point of Hill 317, two forward observers of the 230th Field Artillery Battalion called down strikes upon the German columns.  And in the morning British Royal Air Force (RAF) operating from airfields in France attacked the Germans.  By the end of the day only 30 of the 70 German tanks behind Allied lines were operational.  The main German attack quickly halted after daylight due to the artillery and air attacks.

Hill 317 lay directly in the path of the German attack from the East, but in spite of repeated attacks the Americans held the hill with no intention of surrender.  Attempts to resupply the men on the hill with air drops and with smoke shell cases of medical supplies fired from artillery were only partially successful.  The soldiers were fed by French farmers who secretly carried them chickens and vegetables.  At noon on August 12, the 35th Division rescued the Battalion on Hill 317.  The number 35 stands for rest from enemies.  Of the original 700 men, only 357 were able to walk away unharmed.  The Allies also suffered heavy casualties over other parts of the battlefield.  However, pressure by Canadian forces north of Falaise and American forces at Alençon (south of Argenton) had forced the German Seventh Army into a pocket that resembled a lion's mouth.  The German attack had been from the East, which is the direction that corresponds to Leo, the Lion.  Aware of the danger of being trapped, the Germans abandoned their plan to capture Avranches, and retreated through the gap between Falaise and Argenton.

Star Chart

Battle of MortainThe Star Chart for the Battle of Mortain, which struck in force at 0245 on August 7, 1944, contains a Sling, a Plow, and a Boomerang.  A Sling is used for slaying giants, as symbolized by the German tanks.  A Plow symbolizes an attempt to plow someone under.  The Plow pointed to Taurus, which corresponded to the location of Great Britain.  The German counteroffensive was an attempt to Plow through the Allied lines and break apart the US/British partnership.  The Boomerang symbolizes a crisis in timing.  Pointing to the Moon in Aquarius, it symbolized Hitler's push to the sea and the Allied response.

The Ascendant sign at 0245 was Gemini, the Twins, which corresponded to the location of France on the Zodiac Map.  The God of the Covenants Planet in Gemini symbolized the Allied partnership of the US and Great Britain.  And the objective of the German attack, Avranches, corresponded to the location of Gemini on the west side of Mortain.

The Sun Sign was Cancer, the Crab and symbol of security.  Security was the major issue for both the Germans and the Allies in the Battle of Mortain.  The Germans were trying to re-establish a defensive perimeter around Avranches, and the 2nd Battalion on Hill 317 was trying to hold the high ground against the German attack.

The Moon Sign was Aquarius, the Water Bearer.  The Moon in Aquarius symbolized the Nazi push to the sea.  Since Aquarius corresponds to both the water on the Earth as well as in the air, this also symbolized Allied air power.  Eisenhower credited the British RAF with saving the day by attacking the German tank columns.  Allied air power dominated the sky and stalled the German offensive.


The Sling had all the planets within 120 degrees on one side of the chart except for one on the other side of the chart.  The Center of the Sling on the other side symbolized the point around which the Sling revolved.  The Sling symbolized the German tank columns, which attacked the Allied lines across a 10,000 yard front.  The Center of the Sling was the Moon in Aquarius.  It symbolized Hitler's preoccupation with the push to the sea.  Hitler's battle plan corresponded to the Sling overhead.  Since a Sling is used for slaying giants, the Sling also symbolized the Allied air and land attacks that knocked out the German tanks, which symbolized giants.

The Lion's Mouth

The Red Planet in Leo was in opposition to the Moon in Aquarius.  The Red Planet in Leo symbolizes the Lion's mouth.  The Falaise pocket symbolized a Lion's mouth.  Mortain and Hill 317 were in the Lion's mouth.  This is a symbol of Satan, the roaring lion seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).  The German counteroffensive was a Satanic counterattack designed to devour the Allies.  The Lion's mouth also symbolizes Evidence Testing, which is suffering from the hand of Satan designed to test the believer.  Examples include Christ on the Cross (Psalm 22:13, 21); Job's suffering, Daniel in the lion's den (Daniel 6:16-24), the mouth of the Antichrist (Revelation 13:2), and Paul delivered from the lion's mouth (2 Timothy 4:17).

The 2nd Battalion, 120th Infantry Regiment on Hill 317 were being tested.  The men must fight a defensive battle to withstand the full force of the German army just as the believer must resist the devil (1 Peter 5:9; James 4:7).  Hitler symbolized the Antichrist, and the American soldiers must resist him to prevent Satan from conquering the world.  This same thing will happen when the Dictator of the Revived Roman Empire attacks the Army of Israel in the Armageddon War.

The Plow

The Plow resolves the opposition of two planets into a third, which is at the point of the Plow to symbolize being plowed under.  The two planets in opposition were the Red Planet in Leo and the Moon in Aquarius.  The point of the Plow was the Mediator Planet in Taurus, which corresponds to Great Britain on the Zodiac Map.  The Mediator Planet in Taurus symbolizes success through a mediator.  Great Britain was the mediator that brought the US and other Allied powers into the war against Germany.  The German counteroffensive was an attempt to plow through the Allied lines to separate the US and Great Britain and then to destroy them.

The Boomerang

The Boomerang represents a crisis in timing.  The fast-moving Allied offensive after the breakout had the potential of flanking the German Seventh Army.  Von Kluge was keenly aware of the need to re-establish the German lines of defense around Avranches.  However, Hitler came up with a grandiose plan for a major counteroffensive to push the Allies into the the sea.  That was symbolized by the point of the Boomerang on the Moon in Aquarius.  The Boomerang symbolized Hitler's grandiose plan.  Furthermore, the Boomerang was skewed and off-center to symbolize the weakness in timing of Hitler's plan.  The Almighty God Planet in opposition in the base of the Boomerang was off-center and not in direct opposition to the Moon at the point.  Hitler messed up von Kluge's plan for the counterattack by calling for a major counteroffensive just prior to the attack.

The base of the Boomerang stretched from Cancer, the Crab and symbol of security, to Virgo, the symbol of Virgin Israel.  In between were four planets in Leo, the Lion, which corresponded to both the lion's mouth of the German attack as well as North Carolina on the Zodiac Map.  Security was the issue for the Germans, who were trying to establish a better defensive perimeter.  But security was the major issue for the 2nd Battalion on Hill 317, who needed to hold like a crab grasping with its pincers.  Thus, the center of the Boomerang, which stretched along a center line from Leo to Aquarius, symbolized both the German attack from the East and the Allied opposition.

The base of the Boomerang began with the Last Adam Planet in Cancer, which symbolized scourging.  The suffering in the Battle of Mortain was severe.  At the other end of the base of the Boomerang was the Redeemer Planet in Virgo, the symbol of the Redeemer of Virgin Israel.  Virgo also corresponds to Poland where the Holocaust began in 1939.  Whereas, the Allies were trying to win a war, the Lord was in the process of delivering Israel.  The Almighty God Planet in Leo was the center of opposition at the base of the Boomerang.  But since the Boomerang was skewed off-center, the center of opposition was weakened.  The Almighty God Planet in Leo symbolized a ruler or sovereign.  Hitler, under the power of Satan, took over the planning of the German counterattack.  Just as the Boomerang was off-center, Hitler's plan was off base and contributed to German defeat.


There were four planets in Leo, the Lion.  This added power to the significance of the sign.  Leo symbolizes the Lord Jesus Christ as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah who will return at the Second Advent to conquer the enemies of Israel.  And Leo symbolizes the counterattack of Satan, the roaring lion.  The German attack came from the East from the direction of Leo.  The 2nd Battalion on Hill 317 was in the lion's mouth.  The Battalion was from North Carolina, the region that corresponds to Leo.

Two of the planets in Leo, the Almighty God and the Red Planet, have already been discussed.  The Morning Star and Savior Planet were also in Leo.  The Morning Star in Leo symbolizes royal glory.  Hitler's grandiose plan for the counteroffensive was an attempt to achieve royal glory.  However, the believer who passes Evidence Testing will receive the rewards like the Order of the Morning Star and rule and reign with Christ in the Millennium.  Passing Evidence Testing was symbolized by the 2nd Battalion holding Hill 317.  The Savior Planet in Leo symbolizes the Lord as the deliverer.  He will deliver Israel at the Second Advent, and He delivered the 2nd Battalion on Hill 317.  The Battalion was rescued by the 35th Division, where 35 stands for rest from enemies.


After the D-Day Battle of Normandy, the most significant battle in World War II in Europe was the Battle of Mortain.  When the German counteroffensive met the Allied offensive at Mortain, the combat lines formed the image of a lion's mouth.  The Germans attacked from the East from the direction of Leo.  The rumble of the Panzer divisions was like a roaring lion.  Directly in the path of the German attack was Mortain with Hill 317 occupied by the US 2nd Battalion, 120th Infantry Regiment, 30th Infantry Division.  The 2nd Battalion, which took about 50% casualties, was in the lion's mouth as symbolized by the Red Planet in Leo overhead.  The Red Planet was also in Leo when the American Revolutionary War began at Lexington.  That battle was also from the East just as the German counteroffensive in the Battle of Mortain.  Both the American Revolutionary War and World War II symbolized the Armageddon War.

The Lion's mouth is a symbol of Evidence Testing in which God demonstrates the power of the weak, in Grace to overcome Satan and the world.  Being in the lion's mouth is a totally hopeless situation.  The ultimate symbol of being in the Lion's mouth was Jesus Christ on the Cross.  The soldiers on Hill 317 were delivered into the lion's mouth without their commanding officers, which was all the Plan of God to demonstrate how He will deliver virgin Israel from the lion's mouth at the Second Advent.

As the German Panzer divisions attacked, a Sling was overhead in the sky.  A Sling is used for slaying giants, which were symbolized by the German tanks.  The Center of the Sling was the Moon in Aquarius, the Water Bearer and symbol of water on the Earth and above the Earth.  The Moon in Aquarius symbolized Hitler's grandiose plan to drive the Allies into the sea.  The objective of the attack was Avranches by the sea.  However, the Moon in Aquarius was also near Midheaven to symbolize the power of the British Royal Air Force over the German tank columns.  The air attack stalled the German offense on the first day, August 7, where 7 is for Categorical Punishment.  It was Day 220, for cursing.

The Plow in the Star Chart symbolized the attempt of the Germans to plow through the Allied lines and divide and conquer.  And the off-center Boomerang between Leo and Aquarius symbolized the crisis in timing of the German counteroffensive and the Allied defense.  The timing of the German attack was disrupted by attempts to implement Hitler's grandiose plan.  German inability to assemble all of the elements prior to beginning the battle contributed to shortcomings on the battlefield that led to failure.  And German losses in the Battle of Mortain severely hampered German ability to succeed for the rest of the war.

The Lord allowed the Germans to retreat from the lion's mouth through the Falaise gap.  Although Generals Bradley and Montgomery had agreed on August 8 to close the gap, it didn't happen.  While many analysts have pointed the finger after the fact to blame one or the other, the Lord controls history.  He created the lion's mouth, and He let the Germans escape.  Otherwise, the Allies would have been the symbol of the lion's mouth of Satan.  There were Christians on both the German and Allied sides just as there were in the War Between the States.  The Allies had won a great spiritual victory in symbolically passing Evidence Testing to prove the metal of the winner believer.  It is God who decides if the attacker lives or dies.  The year 1944 was a year of suffering (44), and victory did not come until 1945, for victory over the stronghold.

Battle of Mortain Star Chart Planets

Sun Cancer Security
Moon Aquarius Nazi push to the sea, Allied air power
Savior Leo Lord deliverer
Morning Star Leo Royal glory
Red Planet Leo Lion's mouth
Almighty God Leo Ruler, sovereign
Ring Planet Gemini Allied partnership
Mediator Taurus Success through a mediator
Redeemer Virgo Redeemer of virgin Israel
Last Adam Cancer Scourging



1. David W. Hogan.  "Northern France," U.S. Army Center of Military History.
2.  Martin Blumenson.  United States Army in World War II European Theater of Operations, Breakout and Pursuit, "The Mortain Counterattack," 1961.
3.  Martin Blumenson.  "The Mortain Counterattack,"  July 1958.
4.  "Atlases," The History Department, US Military Academy.
5.  Murray H. Fowler.  "G-3 Supplement, Normandy," Spearhead in the West, 1946.

Released June 2008 - Revised Feb. 25, 2010

Author: Larry Wood
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