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US 10th Mountain Division in World War II

Overview

The 10th was the only American mountain division to be raised in World War II, and still has a high profile, being involved in operations from Iraq to Somalia and from Haiti to Afghanistan. It did not arrive in Europe until winter 1944/45, but then fought hard in the harsh mountainous terrain of Northern Italy until VE-Day five months later, losing c. 1,000 men killed and c. 3,000 wounded. Fighting in a series of battles in the Po Valley that included an amphibious assault across Lake Garda, the division made a ...

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US 10th Mountain Division in World War II

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Overview

The 10th was the only American mountain division to be raised in World War II, and still has a high profile, being involved in operations from Iraq to Somalia and from Haiti to Afghanistan. It did not arrive in Europe until winter 1944/45, but then fought hard in the harsh mountainous terrain of Northern Italy until VE-Day five months later, losing c. 1,000 men killed and c. 3,000 wounded. Fighting in a series of battles in the Po Valley that included an amphibious assault across Lake Garda, the division made a key contribution to Allied victory in Europe.

The division was special in a number of ways. Its personnel were selected for physical fitness and experience in winter sports, mountaineering, and hunting, unlike the rest of the infantry. Since winter sports were at that time the preserve of the wealthy, the division's educational level was as unusually high as its fitness. It was highly trained in mountain and winter warfare, including the use of skis and snowshoes, while its organization, field clothing, and some personal equipment also differed from that of the usual infantry division. The division made extensive use of pack-mules, and its reconnaissance unit was horse-mounted, conducting the last horse-mounted charge in US history in April 1945.

Featuring full-color artwork and rare photographs, this is the gripping story of the US Army's only mountain division in action during the closing months of World War II.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The author has penned a concise yet thorough and interesting unit history. It is underpinned by bountiful black and white photos as well as color illustrations that capture details of the troops’ clothing and gear. This book should appeal to anyone interested in WWII history. It would also be a gold mine for hobbyists hunting for visual inspirations for dioramas or model figure projects."
- Leo Winston, Toy Soldier & Model Figure (December 2012)

"...describes and illustrates the organization, special clothing and equipment, and evolution of the light infantry concept in general and the 10th Mountain Division in particular, offering a blend of rare military photos with detailed color focus on their uniforms and equipment. The result is a lively blend of history and technical survey in a top pick for any World War II collection."
- James A. Cox, The Midwest Book Review (January 2013)

From the Publisher
"The author has penned a concise yet thorough and interesting unit history. It is underpinned by bountiful black and white photos as well as color illustrations that capture details of the troops’ clothing and gear. This book should appeal to anyone interested in WWII history. It would also be a gold mine for hobbyists hunting for visual inspirations for dioramas or model figure projects."
- Leo Winston, Toy Soldier & Model Figure (December 2012)

"...describes and illustrates the organization, special clothing and equipment, and evolution of the light infantry concept in general and the 10th Mountain Division in particular, offering a blend of rare military photos with detailed color focus on their uniforms and equipment. The result is a lively blend of history and technical survey in a top pick for any World War II collection."
- James A. Cox, The Midwest Book Review (January 2013)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781849088084
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 10/23/2012
  • Series: Men-at-Arms Series
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 811,455
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Gordon L Rottman entered the US Army in 1967, volunteered for Special Forces and completed training as a weapons specialist. He served in the 5th Special Forces Group in Vietnam in 1969-70 and subsequently in airborne infantry, long-range patrol and intelligence assignments until retiring after 26 years. He was a Special Operations Forces scenario writer at the Joint Readiness Training Center for 12 years and is now a freelance writer, living in Texas.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 3

The mountain warfare environment

Chronology 6

Origins of Us Army Mountain Troops 8

Formulating the requirement

Raising and training the units

The light division experiment

The 87th Mountain Goes to "War" 15

The Aleutians

Creation of 10th Mountain Division 17

Training, 1943-44

The mountain infantry regiment

Weapons and equipment

A new commander

Deployment to Italy 33

Riva Ridge and Mt Belvedere-Mt della Torraccia Ridge, February-March 1945

The March offensive, March 3-6

The Spring offensive, April 14-16

Breakout, April 17-20

Po Valley, April 20-26

Lake Garda, April 26-May 2

The End of the Trail 40

Repatriation and inactivation

The Mountaineers live on

Select Bibliography 43

Plate Commentaries 43

Index 48

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