Boys of Winter – 10th Mountain Division Book Delivers

Post by blogger | July 9, 2009      

Much of my reading has, for years, included a generous sampling of the realm of climbing, mountaineering, and backcountry skiing. I’m certain this is unlikely to change. But for different view, I decided to read a book that melds the gripping history of the march toward the end of WWII with the fledgling ski industry — the ski boom that really began at the hands of many men who made the 10th Mountain Division an elite fighting force.

There are so many fantastic personalities that come alive in this book that I’m sure author Charles J. Sanders struggled over who to highlight. He chose, in the end, to tell the stories of three young men who lived with the intensity and fire that ultimately foretold the genesis of the ski industry as we know it, and ushered in the freedom necessary to enjoy such a pastime.
So much was won when WWII was finished in Europe. Subsequent generations can scarcely fathom how life in America has been shaped by our decisive victory over the encroaching Nazis.

I’m one of those who has a very limited perspective. I’ve wanted that to change. Ignorance of history can’t continue to rule, at least not for me. The Boys of Winter: Life and Death in the U.S. Ski Troops During the Second World War has helped open my eyes. Sacrifice, love of country, and even love of skiing can coexist in ways that are profound and lasting. Examples of such are the fabric of The Boys of Winter. If you love to ski and love freedom, highly recommended.


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2 Responses to “Boys of Winter – 10th Mountain Division Book Delivers”

  1. Randonnee July 10th, 2009 6:53 pm

    Hey I think that is a great book as well- thanks. When I read it I wrote about it in a Forum. There are several excellent books about 10 th Mtn Div. As well, I am very interested in explaining WWII history to younger folks. In WWII the bad guys nearly won, democracy was vanquished except for the USA, and Great Britain survived on the thinnest margin. I ski patrolled with a 10th Mtn veteran and know an old log cutter here in Leavenworth WA who went to Italy in the 10th. The old log cutter here scoffs at the glory described in the books, it was rough. He was on the line in Italy and said he never fired his rifle- the fighting was always to either side of his platoon. He said artillery was the biggest hazard. I own the excellent video “Fire On The Mountain” about the 10th Mtn Div and includes narration and interviews of !0th Veterans- thanks to them. “Sempre Avanti.”

  2. nintendo dsi r4 December 6th, 2009 11:39 pm

    “Packs On!” is a collection of individual memoirs by soldiers who served in the 10th Mountain Division during the Second World War. Author A.B. Feuer provides an introduction and timeline on the Division’s service; the rest of the book contains stories from soldiers about themselves, their buddies and their service. The individual memoirs have been edited by Feuer and are arranged in rough chronological order.

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