It is a war time love story between one man and two women living through wartime western Colorado and Italy.
The protagonist is Henry Townsend. Suffering from a devastating loss, Henry joins the 10th Mountain Division of the U.S. Army. As an avid skier and intrepid outdoor enthusiast, he begins to heal. His healing, however, isn't complete until a German bullet finds him atop a mountain in Italy.
My research of the 10th Mountain Division lead me to fall in love with these men. There is a wonderful youtube salute to them at: http://www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3D4tJCjLtlybU
As statistics show, the 10th Mountain suffered greatly in their four months in Italy.
10TH MOUNTAIN DIVISION CASUALTIES IN ITALYOn January 6, 1945, the 10th Mountain Division suffered its first casualties in Italy when seven men were killed by mines in Quercianella, near Livorno.
By the time the war in Italy ended, on May 2, 1945 the division had suffered a total of 4866 casualties – 975 killed, 3871 wounded, and 20 taken prisoner.
Casualty percentages. Of the 19,780 men (including 6,416 replacements) who served in the 10th Mountain Division in Italy, 25% became casualties. Of these, 20% were wounded and 5% killed. More than 30% of the men in the three infantry regiments who landed in Naples became casualties. The average casualty rate for the 10th was 1216 per month, for four months.
Comparison with two other infantry units who fought in Italy during WWII.
Of these, the highest number of casualties were suffered by
the 34th Infantry Division. Many other units were present and suffered greatly.
34th Inf 16,401 3,408 20 months 820/month
88th Inf 13,111 2,606 14 months 937/month
10th Mtn 4,866 975 4 months 1216/month
Let us join with Italy in remembering and honoring all of them.