Synopsis by Mark Deming
In 1941, as the United States was entering World War II, the U.S. Army formed the 10th Mountain Division, the first battalion trained specifically to fight under cold-weather conditions. In addition to traditional fighting skills, the 10th Mountain Division were also experts in skiing, avalanche safety, and mountain and rock climbing. The innovations created for the 10th Mountain Division included nylon climbing rope, the snowmobile, and "mummy" style sleeping bags; the Division was also involved in a heroic assault on Italy's Riva Ridge in 1945, in which the men scaled a sheer, snow-covered 2,300 foot surface to claim the territory from German troops, a strategically crucial battle that was won at a fearsome cost (1,000 American soldiers died in the Riva Ridge battle and another 4,000 were injured). After the war, many veterans of the 10th Mountain Division went on to distinguish themselves, including founding the Sierra Club, Outward Bound, and the first major ski resort in Vail, Colorado. Fire on the Mountain examines the remarkable history of the 10th Mountain Division, including rare combat footage of the platoon in action, interviews with a number of surviving veterans, and film from a historic meeting between American and German survivors of the Riva Ridge battle.
war, battle [war], career, courage, man-vs-nature, mountainman, Nazism, skiing, soldier, training