Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Ski warfare, the use of ski equipped troops in war is first recorded by the Danish historian Saxo Grammaticus in the 13th century. The speed and distance that ski troops are able to cover has led to parallels being drawn between them and light cavalry.
Perhaps learning from the Finns, during World War II the Soviet Union deployed several ski battalions, notably in their 1941 counter attack in the Battle of Moscow. During the same war, in Operation Gunnerside commandos dropped by parachute skied long distances in order to reach and destroy a heavy water plant at Telemark, Norway, being used by the Germans as part of their nuclear research programme. Also during WWII, the US Army 10th Mountain Division was activated and trained for ski combat. They were deployed in Italy.
The sport of Biathlon was developed from military skiing patrols.
Many nations now train troops in skiing and winter warfare, including:
- United States Army 10th Mountain Division
- Britain's 3 Commando Brigade
- the French 7th, 13th and 27th Battalion of Chasseurs Alpins
- Switzerland's 3rd Mountain Army Corps (Corps d’armée de montagne 3)
- Sweden's K4 - Norrlands dragonregemente (K4 - Norrlands Dragoon Regiment) external link, English and Swedish
- Finnish Army, every soldier trained also in ski combat.
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