|Elevation||1,497 m (4,911 ft)|
|Location||Haute-Loire - Lozère, France|
Mont Mouchet is a 1,497-metre high mountain located on the border of the French départements of Cantal, Haute-Loire and Lozère. It is famous for the historical events which took place there, notably during the Second World War where it hosted a group of French resistance fighters, the Maquis du Mont Mouchet. At the summit there is a large cairn and view-point (about 3 metres high) from which there is a splendid panoramic view over much of Central France from the Massif Central to the Alps.
The beast of Gévaudan
On the 19 June 1767, Jean Chastel, accompanied only by his two sons, left to track down the Beast of Gévaudan in the forest of Mont Mouchet. According to Chastel's description, the beast would emerge from the woods onto the track, and sit on its haunches in fright, awaiting an inescapable death.
The beast and the World War II resistance
Historians and other researchers on the beast of Gévaudan have often been taken by the parallel between the story of the beast and that of the French resistance. The fact that 3,000 Nazi soldiers in the search for dissidents were not able to find 6,000 maquis fighters surrounding the Mont Mouchet forest where two centuries earlier, three men had tracked down the beast, tends to support the conspiracy theory that Chastel himself was involved in the massacres, attributed to the beast, which took place in Gévaudan at this time.
- Near to the summit of Mont Mouchet in the commune of Auvers, is a memorial to the resistance alongside a museum of the Haut Gévaudan maquisards.
What took place here was an episode, not as well known as it should be, and very heroic, of the French resistance. I have kept coming to pay homage to the memory of those who fell in battle at this high place in our fatherland, and to salute the former soldiers who fought here under the command of Colonel Gaspard.
General Charles de Gaulle, 5 June 1955
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- (French) History