Did you know Aussie diggers could ski?

Did you know that Aussies soldiers were once drafted to specialist units in World War II, where they were trained in the use of skis! True story!

The soldiers were situated above Becharre in the Lebanon Ranges at 1981 m, which is roughly equivalent to the height of Mount Feathertop, Victoria. The men were to take part in reconnaissance and fighting patrols and their training covered bivouacking above the snow line, tactics in offensive and defensive patrols, signalling and intelligence duties.


Image: Syria, Middle East. 1941. Snow sprays up as Australian soldiers attending the newly opened 1 Australian Corps Ski School in Lebanon are shown a snow removal vehicle at work on a road. The soldier at right is wearing white alpine gear.


Image: 1942. Lebanon. Men recruited from Australian Army Units, now pupils at the 1 Australian Corps Ski School. These pictures show the morning parade before going to the training grounds. (Negative supplied by F. Hurley)

Feature Image courtesy of http://www.ww2australia.gov.au/index.html; lower images courtesy the Australian War Memorial.



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