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Army Pictorial Center - Climb to Glory
This two-part B&W film consists almost entirely of footage of the 10th Mountain Division in Italy during WWII. The film is narrated by a handful of 10th veterans as well as German soldiers and Italian civilians. It includes footage of General George P. Hays revisiting battle scenes and offering his recollections. It is likely that all combat footage in more recent 10th films came from this one. The film is a record of the combat in Italy. It includes nothing about the formation and training of the division nor the Kiska operation. The live scenes and narration are powerful, but the film has a somewhat dry, documentary feel. The stories of individual soldiers are de-emphasized, unlike later films about the 10th.
Part I is narrated by Bill Putnam (lieutenant, 85th Regiment), Ben Bush (sergeant, 86th), George P. Hays (commanding general of the 10th), Hans Jeorg Hildebrandt (a German general) and a German sergeant whose name I cannot make out well enough to spell. This part depicts the arrival of the 10th in Italy, early skirmishes and patrols, accounts by Italian villagers, and finally the attacks on Riva Ridge and the Belvedere group. The Riva attack is the only place where the special mountain skills of the 10th are discussed or shown. Following these battles German commanders referred to the 10th as an "elite mountain division." This part ends with the division securing its initial objectives in the Apennines, including Mt Belvedere.
Part II is narrated by Bill Putnam, Ben Bush, George P. Hays, Hans Jeorg Hildebrandt, William J. Moran (10th Division chaplain), Franz Hubel (soldier in a German heavy artillery unit), Horst Kugelmeyer (a German corporal), and two Italian civilians. This part describes the battles to take Mt Della Spe and Roca Rofino (last obstacles to the Po Valley) and the subsequent push northward, capturing bridges, crossing the Po River, capturing Verona, and advancing up the shores of Lake Garda to Riva, at which point the war in Italy ended.
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