Original U.S. WWII 10th Mountain Division Alpine Equipment Grouping
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Original Items: One-of-a-kind set. Born out of the sport of skiing, the WWII 10th Mountain Division was formed in 1943 and sent to Italy when the US Army identified that it needed an elite winter-warfare force to fight in the Italian mountains. Ironically, the idea of a winter-warfare unit did not originate within the U.S. Army, but was conceived by a man who was well-versed in history, had been in the military during WWI, and was adamant that a corps of “mountain troops” was vital to America’s national security. As founder and chairman of the National Ski Patrol, Charles Minot “Minnie” Dole, along with his Vermont friends, Robert Langley and Roger Livermore, often discussed and feared that AH could eventually invade the United States through the northeast like America’s enemies had done during the French and Indian War. At the beginning of WWII, Germany had three units of mountain troops compared to none for the United States. In 1941, Dole, who borrowed the mountain troop concept from the Finnish, began a robust campaign to persuade the military to establish a winter-warfare force. As a learned man, Dole knew the Finnish had used ski troops to effectively fight Russia in its history. At this point, the U.S. Army was training its troops to operate in hot environments and the idea of ”winter troops” wasn’t even on its radar. Initially rebuffed by the military,…