Published Authors

Ski, Climb, Fight: The 10th Mountain Division and the Rise of Mountain Warfare

by Lance R. Blyth

Mountains, Carl von Clausewitz said, introduce a “retarding element” into warfare. To fight in mountains, armies must overcome this challenge via survival strategies and mobility. But the techniques and technologies for doing so are best found in civilian skiing and mountaineering communities, a situation almost unique to mountain warfare. Ski, Climb, Fight looks at how the 10th Mountain Division of World War II met this challenge and how the U.S. military does so today. The first military history of that storied division, the book is also the first general history of U.S. mountain warfare.

With a focus on strategy and doctrine, Lance R. Blyth explores how the military has adapted civilian gear and skills for surviving and moving in mountainous terrain to effectively conduct operations. He traces the long-standing but largely unexamined relationship between the civilian outdoor recreation industry and the military—a relationship that figures in almost every aspect of military operations in mountainous terrain. Intertwining the history of the World War II 10th Mountain Division and U.S. mountain warfare with the history of American skiing and mountaineering, Ski, Climb, Fight is at once an unprecedented, in-depth account of one of the most celebrated military units of World War II and a fresh look at U.S. mountain warfare from its inception eighty years ago.