Sunday, January 23, 2011

Rare Footage of My Father's Battleground

This blogger is back after some internet issues, with a new provider that is ground based instead of satellite based.  We'll see how that works, but I can tell you it is very fast by comparison.

We're going to take a break from our in-depth study of the Raid at Cabanatuan in order to post a rare video of my father's battleground in north Italy.  Often, these gems will disappear when you go back to find them, and so I wanted to rush this one forward.

Ski Troops, Camp Hale, Colorado

My late father, Pfc. Kenneth K. Klahn, fought in Italy with the superb 10th Mountain Division in 1945.  More about that later.  Here is a fantastic film archive detailing the German defense of the Gothic Line, in the area of the Monte Belvedere-Monte della Torraccia Massif.  I went there in 2006, with the Tenth Mountain Division Association.  This film depicts the actions before the Tenth arrived, when the allies tried to take Mt Belvedere, but couldn't.  

I usually don't prefer films that over-feature the German forces, but the obvious historical narrative of their defenses is depicted.  And, as I will often note, these are not the "old men and youth" who depicted Germany on her last leg.  These are Parachute Infantry and Waffen SS.  Not depicted, but also defending there were German Mountain Troops.  All first-rate, serious and deadly warriors.  They give the impression of having a surfeit of confidence, and I notice that they know just the right height to place their heads over the parapet.

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