The 10th Mountain Division is a light infantry group in the United States Army that originated from World War 2 and served as a mountain and Arctic light infantry unit.
The 10th Mountain Division was founded in 1941 by Charles Minot Dole, head of the National Ski Patrol at the time. Dole had seen the effectiveness of Finnish skier units taking out several Soviet Union tank units. Dole prompted the need for mountain troops and eventually General George C. Marshall, Head of Army Staff, accepted this idea after much lobbying by Dole. Marshall helped bring about the idea of ski units.
December 8th, 1941 the 10th Mountain Division were first activated in Lewis, Washington. The troops then proceeded to train relentlessly on the 14,000 ft. Mt. Ranier. The National Ski Patrol selected the men for the 87th Mountain Infantry Batallion, which would later become the Division itself.
The Division entered combat January 28, 1945. The 87th, 86th and 85th battalions engaged German lines at the 5 mile long Monte Belvedere-Monte della Torraccia Ridge in Italy. Other infantry units had attempted to seize the Ridge, and none had succeeded. The German troops thought the ridge inpassable, and discounted the idea of anyone scaling it. To get to the main target of Mount Belvedere, the 86th Battalion had to take what was known as Riva Ridge. Riva Ridge was a key defense point to Mount Belvedere. The assault, after advanced scouting, was determined to be most effective at night. A 1,500 ascent had to be made to reach the Ridge. The Germans, thinking the outpost untakable, had only stationed a small battalion and were overrun easily. Full assault now ensued on Mount Belvedere as the heavily manned peak, scattered with land mines, was seemingly impenitrable. The 85th and 87th Mountain Battalions then made a bayonet attack. The attack was successful and the peak taken.
Battle vs. Chasseurs Alpins (by LB&SCR)
Somewhere in the Alps, Mid-to-Late 1940's.
Six French Chasseurs Alpins are around their Lorraine 37L, which due to it's track design, as gotten itself stuck in the snow. Three Chasseurs have formed a semi-defensive triangle around the vehicle, while a Chasseur with an FM 24/29 is seated in the open top with his LMG at he read as the major, heavy firepower of the defensive triangle. The two remaining Chasseurs have busied themselves in attempts to dig out the the Lorraine.
Meanwhile, six 10th Mountain Division men, four of them in an M29 Weasel, and two of them walking alongside. The M29 was having no trouble with the snow as they continued forward on a route through the mountains. The Officer, seated in the rear of the Weasel, abruptly gives an order for the Weasel to stop, and the driver brings the vehicle to a halt. The Officer climbs out, alongside a man with a Thompson, and the trudge out to an overlook. There, the Officer takes out a pair of binoculars and peers down at the six Chasseurs. He then lowers them and barks an order at a man with a Springfield, who quickly hurried over to him. He orders the man to keep an eye on them while the rest of them get down there into a position to attack. The sniper nods and takes a prone position on some rocks, while the officer and the other man hurry back to the Weasel, climb in, and order the man to start down the mountain towards the others. It is still at a slow pace, as there is still one man still having to walk beside the Weasel.
The Chasseurs Officer raises his head slightly as a dull humming of an engine reaches his ears, and he gives an order of higher alert to his soldiers. The officer checks the magazine of his MAS-38 while the two men renew their digging effort with more speed.
The 10th Division sniper watches as the M29 chugs down the mountain. He waits until they are almost at their spot before drawing a bead on of the Chasseurs in the defensive triangle. He then pulls the trigger.
The dull cracking sound erupts from afar as a bullet smashes into the helmet of a man holding a MAS-36. Flinging the man head-over-heals and face first onto the snow . The Frenchmen spring into action, seeking whatever cover they can find from their hidden assailent. A few of them hid behind rocks, one rolls behind the Lorraine, and the machine gunner crouches low inside the Lorraine. The M29 Weasel grinds to a halt a distance away from the group, and three of the men disembark to join the man already walking in an assault on the position. A man with a BAR stays in the Weasel, and starts firing bursts of covering fire.
The Chasseur Officer gives an order to attempt to spot the enemy sniper for their own sniper, and a man with a MAS-36 sticks his helmet on the end of his rifle, and slowly raises it slightly above the rocks. In preparation, a man with a Lebel 1886 raises the scope to his eye.
The Springfield cracks again, the helmet rocketing off the end of the rifle. The man hid again, but it was all that was needed for the Chasseurs sniper, he took aim at the enemy snipers position and fired, the bullet smashing into a rock a few inches away from the American sniper's head. He could not move without exposing himself.
Meanwhile, the man in the Lorraine slowly looks up and starts semi-blind firing his Fm24/29 in short bursts towards the American vehicle. The BAR gunner pushes himself down as rounds impact the M29, shattering the windshield. The Americans continue to advance, firing Thompson bursts and Garand rounds. A man with a MAS-36 (one not wearing helmet) pops up and fires a round into the chest of an American with a Garand, but is then quickly cut down by answering bursts of Thompson fire .
Without their sniper support, the three Americans not in the Weasel continue to head forward under BAR supporting fire. Upon being close enough, a man with a Garand pulls out an Mk2 and pulls the pin, chucking it over at the Lorraine. It bounces off the hull and explodes harmlessly next to the vehicle, rocking the vehicle in the shockwave. The American Officer pulls out an Mk2, pulls the pin, and chucks it also at the Lorraine. The grenade lands in the opening of the Lorraine. The man hiding behind it manages to scramble away, but the man inside couldn't get out quickly enough before the grenade went off, broiling him and the Lorraine .
The three remaining Americans: One rifleman, one submachine gunner, and the officer: are now up against three Frenchman: one submachine gunner, one sniper, and the officer. The three frenchmen look at each other for a few moments, before the submachine gunner got up and fired a few bursts towards the advancing Americans. His MAS-38 bursts struck the one submachine gunner , but an answering fire from a Garand cut him down .
The sniper and the Officer drop their weapons and pull out their Modele 1935 sidearms. The sniper and the officer pop up and start firing their sidearms at the two advancing Americans. This catches the Americans off guard and they start blindly firing back at the two, and they quickly shot the sniper multiple times, and he tumbles over .
The Chasseur Officer watched the last man beside him collapse, and he himself crouched back down behind his cover. His mind was racing as of his choices in this debacle. He was outnumbered, and outgunned. That didn't leave a lot of choices besides getting himself killed.
The two Americans slowly advanced forward again, when a pistol being held in one hand, in a non-hostile positon appear. They raised their weapons as the French Officer slowly came out, and put his weapon on the ground. The Officer slowy came forward, with the rifleman covering him, and slowly patted down the the French Officer. Yep, not a weapon on him. The man had figured the odds were against him, and had pulled a sensable move: surrender .
Experts believed that even though the Chasseurs held a massive experience advantage, their weapons were just demolished by the weapons used by the 10th. The 10th had the better rifle, light machine gun, and pistol. There was divided opinions on the submachine gun, so the only edge that the Chasseurs really had was the Sniper rifle, and that was just sheer amount of bullets in the gun. So in the end, in a battle of mountain warriors, the 10th Mountain Dvision comes out as the Deadliest Warrior!