Nov. 8, 2003 -- Among the most storied units in American military history, the U.S. Army's 10th Mountain Division was formed during the early years of World War II. A unique collection of champion skiers fleeing occupied Europe and American ski bums from New England and the Colorado Rockies were joined together as a foul weather fighting force.
A new book, The Last Ridge: The Epic Story the U.S. Army's 10th Mountain Division and the Assault on Hitler's Europe, and accompanying 90-minute documentary, tell the story of the Division's early days of preparing for battle under harsh conditions and ultimately engaging and defeating a fierce enemy near the war's end.
NPR's Scott Simon spoke with Last Ridge author McKay Jenkins and World War II 10th Mountain Divison veteran Dan Kennerly. The director of the documentary, Abbie Kealy, provided additional audio of other Division veterans remembering their assault on Italy's Mt. Belvedere range, heavily fortified by German troops.