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“Mission Mt. Mangart” Untold stories of the 10th Mt. Division of WW2

Written, directed, edited, and produced by professional skier, documentary filmmaker and
Colorado Snowsports Hall of Fame inductee, Chris Anthony, with an original film score by
composer Carlo Nicolau and Chris Anthony. “Mission Mt. Mangart” follows the 10th
Mountain Division’s trailblazing efforts by this experimental infantry unit from concept to the
end of the WW2. The division was originally recruited volunteer world-class athletes,
mountain men and cowboys from 1941 – 1942. Developing a very unique collection of
personalities even by today’s standards if not more so. In the end the 10th Mountain Division
left behind an indelible legacy equally matched by their legendary heroism during wartime.

About the film:
While many stories have been created about the 10th’s history, this documentary delves into
those untold tales from a unique perspective by professional skier Chris Anthony who
serendipitously stumbled upon the division’s exploits during his own skiing career. Taking six
years to complete, this story found Anthony and would not let him go. Anthony’s life journey
was designed to be the person that would stumble across the ingredients needed to put this
documentary together in a timeline only he could do.
Anthony tells the story as a flashback from present day while jumping back in time to follow
the 10th from 1939 – June 3rd 1945 with in-depth narration as well as interviews of original 10th
Mountain Division soldiers.

The film chronicles efforts of a few characters including pioneers Deborah Bankart and
American Mexican Cruz Rios. Bankart’s involvement in the recruiting of the first wave of
soldiers for the new experimental unit and her volunteer involvement on the front lines in
Italy with the American Red Cross are brought to life by Olympic Gold Medalist and
World Champion Coloradan Mikaela Shiffrin. Cruz Rios, a motorman and dynamite
expert was one of 300 Mexican Americans who served in this internationally diverse division
made up European immigrants. Rios had never skied but became a quick study and became
a life long skier post war after he learned to ski at Camp Hale, Colorado during basic training.
During wartime Rios captured moments if the war in color from a camera he carried with him
during the war.

The documentary also touches on the twenty-five men who went missing in Lake Garda, Italy
April 29th , 1945 during the Battle for Torbole and Riva Del Garda – a sacrifice that until
recently, went relatively unnoticed.

Portions of the documentary are filled with the voices and first hand accounts from veteran’s
of the 10th, Many who have passed on. One of those soldiers is still with us today and played
an important roll in Chris Anthony’s research. Bruce Campbell was part of the 87 th. He left
home when at the age of 17, signed up for the War Effort, ended up in Camp Hale, Colorado
with the 10th because of his athletic skills. Bruce’s narration voice enhances the
documentaries color.

The story leads up to Germany’s surrender of Italy to the 10th May 2, 1945. Then explains
how the Division ended up on the Yugoslavian border in the Julian Alps from May to July
1945 as peacekeepers when the Yugoslavian Dictator Joseph Tito pushed his Army over the
Italian border.

During previous combat the 10th captured a supply of German ski gear with hopes it would
prove useful. That opportunity arose after successfully pushing the Yugoslavian Army out of
Italy then held the line in the Julian Alps. It was during that time period they gazed upon the
massive snowfield on Mt. Mangart and remembered before soldiers they were skiers.
On June 3, 1945, on a majestic Mangart located in the Julian Alps, the 10 th hosted their first
divisional ski race since the onset of war.

The story of the 10th Mountain Division is intertwined with that of Anthony and his six-
year journey of discovery into this period of history. To complete this massive undertaking,
Anthony received aid from the Slovenian Association of Mountain Soldiers, NATO, The
Slovenian Mountain Troops, Slovenian Ministry of Defense, and United States Embassy in
Slovenia as well as assistance from retired Slovenian Brigadier General, Janez Kavar – now a
historian of mountain troops.

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