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The Saga of the Mountain Soldiers by Curtis W. Casewit

February 11, 2010

Book Review of The Story of the 10th Mountain Division by C.W. Casewit

A good, factual example of American heroism in WWII appropriate for 7th grade and up. The story of the “Mountaineers” is a fascinating piece of military history. Formed in 1942 and stationed west of Denver, Colorado, the 10th are somewhat misunderstood and under appreciated by the traditional military disciplines. For a while the U.S. Army doesn’t really know what to do with the 10th. They are trained in a wide range of skills, but they aren’t really needed as mountaineers until the capture of Mount Belvedere in the Italy’s Apennine Mountains.

The focus of the book is on battle strategies, weapons and training. The 10th Mountain Division took the basic skills of mountaineering to new heights, refining equipment, skills and techniques through trial and error. Their impact on the survival skills and tools of today’s mountaineering cannot be underestimated.

The journalistic style of writing states the facts with little embellishment. The facts, however, do reflect the evils of war. Battle accounts include kinds of weapons used, and numbers of soldiers wounded and killed. Typical soldier slang and cussing is also recorded.


Cuss words ‘hell’ and ‘damn’

Accounts of shooting, wounding, bombs and grenades

The plight of civilians is clearly delineated from soldiers

Enemies of war are treated as such

Mention of the Holocaust with some detail Page 51

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