Wow! What a great read! And written by Kris Tualla and Thomas Duhs, a former Littleton resident. They have written a captivating historical fiction based on the 10th Mountain Division that trained at Camp Hale in Colorado 1941-1945 and served in Italy towards the end of the World War II. Duhs is a graduate of AHS 1967 and a former Littletonite and now lives in Colorado Springs.
The story is told through the eyes of Jack Franklin when his grandson asks him about his war experiences. Reluctant at first, Jack realized he had a story to tell. The people he met that changed his life and that the elite corps of the 10th Division he served with helped change the course of WWII as they fought in Italy.
Duhs partnered his research of the war, battles and people of the 10th Mountain Division with Tuallua who is an award winning and internationally published author of historical romance and suspense novels. They based their main characters, Jack Franklin and Elizabeth Harkins, on actual people and used composites of others to create sub characters. The book was one that you didn’t want to put down until the end.
The 10th Mountain Division was the brain child of Charles Minot Dole, then President of the National Ski Patrol, who became concerned about what might happen if the Germans attacked the US from Canada. He successfully lobbied the War Department for a US force similar to a Finnish force that was trained to fight in harsh weather conditions and rugged terrain.
The men with this foresight responsible for the creation of the 10th cannot be thanked enough for the preparation and training that was never needed at our border but proved pivotal in Italy on Riva Ridge in World War II.