by Kris Tualla
A Novel About The Tenth Mountain Division: 1943-1945
Kansas plains resident Lucas Thor “Thunder” Hansen hasn’t skied a day in his life when he enlists in the United States Army’s new Ski Troops. Working his family’s farm for the last six years has left Lucas feeling lost. He arrives at Camp Hale, Colorado in January of 1943 hoping to find a new purpose for his life there.
Denver native Parker Williams has spent five years teaching English Literature in a local high schoolâ??and hated every minute of it. As soon as the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps is formed Parker enlists. Stationed at Camp Hale in June of 1943, she is assigned to the Censors’ Office because of her college education.
By January of 1945 the now-ready 10th Mountain Division is on the front line in northern Italy. Their first successful mission is to remove the Germans both from Mount Belvedere and its defensive position on the face of Riva Ridge.
During the next two-and-a-half months the 10th soldiers continue to push north and east, battling the German Army and pushing them out of Italy through the Apennine Mountains and the Italian Alps. The Americans don’t stop their advance until Germany unconditionally surrenders in Italy and Austria on May 2, 1945. Less than a week later, Germany surrenders on all fronts on May 7, 1945. World War II in Europe is over.
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