From: De Eye-lands, Mon
The light division was planned as an all-purpose division useable in any conditions where relatively little equipment would be carried; mountain, jungle, airborn, or amphibious operations where it could rely on attached pack mules, native bearers, gliders, or landing craft, respectively. Three were formed 89th Light (Truck), 71st Light (Pack, Jungle), and 10th Light (Pack, Alpine). 71st and 89th were converted to standard infantry divisions. 10th was retained in light of its high proportion of mountaineers and skiers in order to prevent dilution of valuable training and assets. With the new TO 7-131 (4 Nov. 1944) it became essentially an infantry division containing ski-mountain personnel and animals substituting for some motor transport.
Paraphrased from Shelby Stanton.
Under TO 7-131, the “Mtn” Regt was 1/3 larger than a contemporary Para or Glider Regt; 143:2891, vs 114:1951, and 81:1540, respectively (a standard Inf Regt was 152:3100, for comparison). It had 3 times as many MMGs and LMGs as a Para or Glider Regt and, in fact, had the same number of MMGs, and twice the LMG authorization, of a Std Regt. 1/3 more mortars (same as a Std). Half as many 2 ½ ton trucks as a Std, but 60% more than a contemporary Glider Regt. Same number of ¾ ton weapon carriers and jeeps as a Para or Glider Regt, but replaced their 150 or so utility carts, jeeps, etc.. with 950 animals (of which 135 were riding animals, presumably substitutions for jeeps).
Recon and Eng units were similar to Std TO units, but with a higher percentage of animals. The AT Bn was standard in all respects. The divisional QM Bn was designed to be substituted out with a standard QM Coy/Bn having the requisite amount of motor transport.
DivArty was three Bns of 75mm pack howitzers (light, animal). But the commander of the 605th convinced MG L.E.Jones to use the batteries of the 605th just like the gun companies of contemporary Inf Regts. That was done and throughout Italy, the 10th was directly supported by the 1125th (105mm, attached). The majority of conventional Arty support for the 19th was done by the 1125th and Corps Arty.
10th Mountain was not an air-deployable unit under any rational definition of the term.
10th Mountain was probably the last unit the US would designate for Japan Ops. Their training and experience would make them invaluable for “specific” operations. Japan has mountainous terrain, but it isn’t Alta, frikkin Utah. Maybe, just maybe, in a fever dream of a staffer from Iowa, the Coronet troops isolate the last Japanese holdouts in the central mountains and we need some mountain goats to go get them. Notwithstanding the Marines have been doing that sort of thing since forever.
No. Sorry, but 10th Mountain gets to go home.
Nous n'avons pas peur! Vive la liberté! Moi aussi je suis Charlie!
Yippy Ki Yay.