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Thomas R. Brooks - Tenth Mountain Division
The history in this book seems to be based on previously published materials. It provides a good overview of the 10th Mountain Division's history, but is rather dry and doesn't contain much original material. There are a number of good photographs. Most seem to have been obtained directly from division veterans.
Tenth Mountain Division History
p. 15, "Beginnings:" Describes the efforts of Charles Minot Dole and others to establish a mountain division in the U.S. Army in 1940-41. The author writes: "The Army had to be discouraged from cross-country skiing and to undertake more demanding mountain skiing."
p. 16, "Skiers Into Soldiers:" Describes the creation of the 87th Mountain Infantry Regiment late in 1941, training on Mt Rainier, and efforts to fill out the regiment. The author provides excerpts from the applications of several early "three-letter men." He credits Walter Prager with setting up the artificial climbing wall at Fort Lewis, dubbed the "Pragerwand."
p. 18, "Camp Hale:" Describes the siting and construction of Camp Hale in Colorado and continuing efforts to recruit men for the new division. The standard load carried by each solder included 52 items totalling 84 pounds, four ounces. Major Walter Wood, an observer from Washington, declared this load heavy enough to render men useless in battle. Wood recognized a potential avalanche slope during an exercise on Homestake Mountain. Artillery fire brought down the suspect slope.
p. 20, "Kiska:" Contains background of the Kiska operation as well as a description of the invasion during the summer of 1943.
p. 23, "Schuss the Mountain: D-Series:" Describes the division-wide war games in the mountains above Camp Hale in March and April, 1944.
p. 25, "Sweating It Out In Texas:" Describes the plunge in morale that followed the move to Camp Swift, Texas. The author provides background of General George P. Hays, who became commander in November 1944, shortly after the division was reorganized as the 10th Mountain Division.
p. 26, "Italy:" Describes the arrival of the division in Italy in December 1944 and early patrol operations, including the Mt Spigolino ski patrol led by Lt. Donald E. Traynor.
p. 28, "Belvedere:" Describes the series of attacks from Riva Ridge (February 19, 1945) to Monte della Spe (March 5). On p. 30 is a fine photo of Riva Ridge.
p. 32, "On To The Po:" In this account of the spring offensive, the author credits Generals Truscott and Crittenberger with urging General Hays to drive the 10th toward the Po River once they broke out of the Apennine foothills. On May 2, the Germans in Italy surrendered. In 114 days of combat, 992 mountaineers lost their lives; 4,154 were wounded.
p. 38, "Occupation:" Describes division activities between the German surrender and the disbanding of the 10th Mountain Division on November 30, 1945.
p. 40, "Aftermath:" Describes post-war activities of division veterans as well as the reactivation of the division following the war, with duties ranging from Haiti to Somalia.
Tenth Mountain Division Special Stories
p. 49, "Birth Pains Of the 10th Mountain Division:" Minnie Dole recalls the birth of the division in this account written for the division's first reunion. On p. 48 is a photo from The Stars & Stripes of the Mt Spigolino ski patrol led by Lt. Donald Traynor, showing all five patrol members.
p. 53, "National Ski Patrol Bulletin No. 10E7a:" Describes the procedure for applying to the mountain troops.
p. 66: Photo of Cragg Gilbert and Donald Trayner preparing for the Mt Spigolino ski patrol.
Tenth Mountain Division Veterans
p. 147: Short biographical sketch of William Allan Long, Pfc.
p. 184: Short biographical sketches of Eugene P. Winters and John B. Woodward, Ltc.
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