ᙡ What is text ጂ The Last Ridge: The Epic Story of America's First Mountain Soldiers and the Assault on Hitler's Europe pdf ᚁ By Mckay Jenkins 춺

ᙡ What is text ጂ The Last Ridge: The Epic Story of America's First Mountain Soldiers and the Assault on Hitler's Europe pdf ᚁ By Mckay Jenkins 춺 ᙡ What is text ጂ The Last Ridge: The Epic Story of America's First Mountain Soldiers and the Assault on Hitler's Europe pdf ᚁ By Mckay Jenkins 춺 CHAPTER ONE SKIERS IN JULY 1942, THIRTY MONTHS before General Hays first cast his eyes on Riva Ridge, a strong minded Irishman named Denis Nunan boarded a troop train at Californias Camp Roberts and headed north to join an experimental training center at Fort Lewis, near Washingtons Mount Rainier Soldiers on the train slept in four Pullman cars and were fed in a baggage car outfitted with a wood burning field stove bolted to the floor Nunan had grown up in Short Hills, New Jersey, just outside New York City, and had never before seen the great mountain ranges of the West As the train clicked north through the mountains and vast forests of the Pacific Northwestpast Mount Shasta, past Klamath Falls, and into the CascadesNunan found himself overcome with delight The majesty of the landscape so transfixed him that he amended his brimming eagerness to join the fight overseas He had thought of himself as training to liberate Europe from the Germans, he told a companion Now, he declared, he was training to protect his own beautiful country Immediately after Pearl Harbor, Nunan had left a desk job at IBM, and he was already well into his basic training at the infantry replacement center at Camp Roberts Upon his arrival on the West Coast, Nunan had instantly noticed a dramatic difference in the sense both soldiers and civilians had about the war San Francisco Bay was full of warships military planes cruised along the Marin headlands armed guards were ubiquitous in the city streets You really know theres a war on out here, he wrote home Too bad the East isnt as awake as they are here When he told his military superiors about his business experience, they automatically pushed him to run the bases IBM machines, but Nunan begged off Although he was thirty two, much older than the average enlisted man, he was determined to fight on the front lines as a private War was a grave business, and he was unwilling to take refuge behind the boys with their necks on the line Indeed, Nunans relative maturity inoculated him from the unbridled bravado native to the typical nineteen year old soldier Already an adult with an established career, Nunan had no illusions about establishing his manhood on the battlefield He signed up not with bloodlust or pride but soberly, a citizen offering to risk his own death in a war he considered unambiguously just Yet Nunans seriousness of purpose was always leavened by a twinkling sense of irony and playfulness For months he had been reading about a remarkable collection of world class skiers and mountaineers being trained as the countrys first mountain troops, and though he hardly fit the mold, he knew instantly that he wanted in The soldiers dressed in winter camouflage, white hoods pulled over faces painted with white grease, their eyes protected from high altitude snow blindness by glacier goggles They rappelled over cliffs, marched over glaciers, and learned to ski in military formation Nunan wanted to join them, even though, by his own admission, the highest he had ever climbed was to the top of a Fifth Avenue bus If nothing else, Nunan figured, the training he would receive as a mountain soldier would serve him well at the front Mountaineering and combat were alike in that the physical dangers native to eachbe they avalanches and rockfalls or sniper fire and land minesrequired learning to live with extreme psychological stress Training at high altitude, under the tutelage of experienced mountain men, would be a good way to prepare for the terrors of war, wherever his unit was sent Mountain training also offered a chance to develop capacities that would be useful long after the war ended superior physical conditioning, high altitude navigation and rescue skills, intimacy with the great mysteries of the wilderness All things a young man would be unlikely to learn in an office job in New Jersey Indeed, from everything Nunan could gather from the newspaper coverage trumpeting their arrival, the mountain troops were a kind of mythical brotherhood, its members descending like gods from mountaintops all over Europe and North America to save the world from the advancing shadows of evil dictatorship By the time Nunan arrived in the Cascades, the training at Fort Lewis had been under way for just six months, but already the camp had attracted dozens of the best skiers in the world The first man to appear at Fort Lewis had been the former captain of the Dartmouth College ski team, Charles McLane When he showed up wearing his ski team sweater, McLane asked a guard at the main gate where the mountain troops were After calling headquarters and checking McLanes papers again, the guard looked McLane over and said, Lad, you are the Mountain Infantry Youre a one man regiment McLane was not lonely for long As word began to spread that the army was forming its first ever mountain units, Fort Lewis began to seem like an Olympic ski lodge than an army base Hard eyed European mountaineersmany having barely escaped Nazi imprisonment in Austria and Norwayhad been recruited to turn mostly teenaged Americans into skilled Alpine soldiers What the Europeans brought to the fledgling troops, in addition to the technical skills necessary for survival in the high mountains, was a tradition of warfare entirely unknown to an American military establishment Fighting in the mountains required not only specialized equipment and practice, none of which American soldiers possessed, it required an entirely different degree of psychological preparation American soldiers were used to training at warm, flatland bases in California and the Deep South, and that alone, regardless of how well the men learned their trade, would be a decided disadvantage against an army with centuries of mountain and cold weather fighting in its history This history was well known to General Frido von Senger und Etterlin, the commander of the Germans the American mountain troops would eventually face When it came to fighting in the mountains, physical preparation and military training were only part of the equation, Senger would write Far important was for soldiers to overcome the natural dread of dying alone on an exposed slab of Alpine rock For soldiers accustomed to fighting only in flat country, he wrote, mountains intensify all fears.The Last Ridge is the breathtaking story of how one mans vision, and the sheer courage of the legendary 10th Mountain Division, helped change the course of World War II in Europe Among the wars countless acts of bravery and sacrifice, this one stands out, and McKay Jenkins brings it to life in his riveting account.Senator John McCainThe 10th Mountain Division was the only American Alpine unit to fight during World War II, and its heroic and daring exploits during the final months of the Italian campaign are fully documented by McKay Jenkins in this stirring, first rate account of men at war.Carlo DEste, author of Eisenhower A Soldiers LifeStymied by army bureaucrats, forced to climb snowfields without ice axes or crampons, trained in skills that were never properly exploited, the soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division nonetheless became the stuff of myth Without McKay Jenkinss meticulous research, the achievements and eccentricities of this remarkable group of men could easily have been forgotten Instead, they have been brought to life.Anne Fadiman, author of The Spirit Catches You and You Fall DownFew have written about the Armys elite 10th Mountain Division, and no one has done so as dramatically and with such passion and insight as McKay Jenkins The perfect war story has, at long last, found the perfect storyteller.Andrew Carroll, editor of War Letters Extraordinary Correspondence from American WarsThe Last Ridge is one of the very best books yet written about any part of the World War II story My friend the late Stephen Ambrose would be proud of this work about one of the most fascinating yet little known records of the mountain ski patrolsboth in war and in the peacetime that followed.Senator George McGovernThe Last Ridge is a great untold story of mountaineering and war Its a terrific read, sharp with characters, full of real drama, and, best of all, its true.Richard Preston, author of The Hot Zone The Last Ridge, based on skillful interviews with the survivors, is a fine account of a great story, long overdue in the telling, and very well told.Peter Matthiessen, author of The Snow Leopard From the Hardcover edition. 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    • The Last Ridge: The Epic Story of America's First Mountain Soldiers and the Assault on Hitler's Europe
    • 4.2
    • 456
    • Format Kindle
    • 336 pages
    • 0375759514
    • Mckay Jenkins
    • Anglais
    • 14 October 2017

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