2-457 Memorandum for G-3: (Attention Colonel Walker), May 16, 1941

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: May 16, 1941

Memorandum for G-3: (Attention Colonel Walker1)

May 16, 1941 [Washington, D.C.]

Mr. Flynn presented these papers to me personally, with oral explanation.2 He told me that he had discussed the matter with you and that you and some other officer had actually been in the area he refers to.

This thought occurs to me: We have been mulling over the problem of the establishment of a division camp in a high altitude. There is a serious difference of opinion and a heavy cost item involved. Might not the problem be met, at least in a smaller way, in another manner. Suppose Fiske’s idea of a Ski School was enlarged somewhat and there were assembled there selected officers and men from particular divisions, and organized into provisional battalions.3 I do not now see, outside of Alaska and for a very few people in Greenland, other than a remote possibility for the employment of men at high altitudes. If such an eventuality occurred, we would at least have provisional units of selected men who could be quickly gathered together and sent to the area in question. We would at least have a beginning, and at the same time be establishing a basis for a more effective spread of the knowledge of skiing.

Naturally I have had no time to analyze the various pros and cons, so do not attach serious weight to what I propose merely because I happened to propose it.

Document Copy Text Source: Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs (RG 165), Records of the Office of the Chief of Staff (OCS), 21112-52, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.

Document Format: Typed memorandum.

1. Lieutenant Colonel Nelson M. Walker was in the Training Branch of G-3.

2. Thomas J. Flynn of Aspen, Colorado, had met with Marshall on the morning of May 16 and had urged that the army establish a ski academy near that mountain town. Army interest in winter and mountain troop training was stimulated by the Finnish Army’s initial successes against the Soviet Army in the Russo-Finnish War. Marshall was also interested in the morale aspects of winter sports for troops stationed in cold climates. See Memorandum for Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3, September 12, 1940, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #2-257 [2: 303-4].

3. Lieutenant Colonel Normal E. Fiske, the United States military attach

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