American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Now It Can be Told

  • Notes
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1946

Now It Can be Told

During the course of the war many members of the American Alpine Club may have felt grieved that the Club was not taking a greater part in the war effort. If so, they were deceived, for the President, the Council, the Mountain Warfare Committee, and a large number of individual Club Members actually were contributing valuable services in a variety of ways. On many of their activities censorship is now being lifted, and it is hoped that the Journal will be able to record in considerable detail the Club’s contributions to the 10th Mountain Division as well as to divers military enterprises where civilian mountaineering background was of major importance.

Although detailed discussion of the Club’s part in the war effort must be left for the next issue of the Journal, it is considered appropriate at this time to indicate at least some of the activities in which members of the American Alpine Club were able to take part because of their background of mountain experience:

Translation of pre-war foreign military documents concerning mountain divisions or mountain warfare.

Assistance in selecting personnel of the 10th Mountain Division in cooperation with the National Ski Patrol.

Active participation in combat with the 10th Mountain Division.

Editing of the American Handbook of Mountaineering and other material for military mountaineering instruction.

Cooperation with the War Department on mountain training policies.

Aid in charting possible routes of attack in Alaska and other mountain areas.

Testing expeditions such as the Wood Yukon Expedition and Mt. McKinley Expedition.

Development of mountain and cold weather equipment which could be made in this country by large scale production methods.

Assistance in developing emergency equipment for the Army Air Forces and special units.

Assistance in setting up search and rescue squadrons and in training Army Air Forces personnel in survival and rescue techniques.

Assistance in training ground force units in active theaters overseas and in the U. S. with regard to travel and warfare in rough country or mountain areas.

Giving training to troops in active theaters overseas and in continental U. S. and Alaska in fundamentals of cold weather living.

Intelligence work throughout the war concerning foreign mountain troops, including the editing of standard official documents concerning them.

Development of high altitude clothing and equipment for the Air Forces.

Assistance to the Army Air Forces through the Arctic Desert Tropic Information Center and the many arctic enterprises it guided throughout the war.

Assistance in setting up bases in Greenland and northern Canada, and in outfitting forces in these areas.

Research into the physiological effects of high altitude on fliers.

Physiological studies on protection against cold and fatigue.

Assistance on U. S. and Canadian maneuvers of various kinds involving rough country or mountain problems.

Assistance in giving mountain training to Canadian troops.

Participation in setting up mountain training centers both in this country and overseas.

Development of climatic maps for long range military planning.

Assistance in equipping allied mountain troops for special operations.

Liaison with allied armies on problems of mountain warfare.

Active participation in rescue work involving mountaineering techniques.

Assistance in testing the effect of high altitude on the trajectory and performance of Ordnance items.


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