10th Mountain Division at Camp Hale (Images of America) (Paperback)
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In 1942, at the beginning of World War II, the US Army built its most unusual military post for its most unusual division in a high, remote, Rocky Mountain valley 100 miles west of Denver, Colorado. Located at 9,250 feet above sea level, Camp Hale was the training home of the famed 13,459-man 10th Mountain Division, which trained in mountain warfare techniques for two years--and almost missed the war. After they were finally deployed for combat in early 1945 in the Northern Apennine Mountains of Italy, the young men of the 10th never lost a battle or gave up a foot of ground. And, after the war, many of the veterans returned home to create America's ski and winter sports industry. Building Camp Hale was an incredible feat of wartime engineering and construction. To transform the wild, alpine meadow into an Army camp, 10,000 civilian construction workers were hired to scrape away the vegetation; level the valley floor; install roads and water and sewer lines; build 1,000 structures and two ski areas; and relocate a highway and railroad line--all within seven months and at a cost of $31 million (over a half billion dollars in today's money). Yet Camp Hale was demolished two years after it was built.