In August 1943, while American and Allied Forces were embroiled in a titanic struggle against Axis powers in Europe and the Pacific, thousands of US Army troops began converging upon northeastern West Virginia’s Allegheny and Potomac Highlands. The backbone of the Appalachian Mountains, this expansive untamed area, noted for its savage beauty and rich traditional culture, unwittingly played host to the US Army’s most unique World War II training ground until July 1944 – the West Virginia Maneuver Area.
Set amidst the backdrop of West Virginia’s most visited scenic recreation areas, The Cliff-Scaling Soldiers uses rare photographs, film footage, letters, and firsthand accounts from participants to recount this forgotten chapter in the nation’s history. Witness the brutal conditions and unforgiving hardships endured by Maneuver soldiers as they scale the dizzying heights and sheer rock walls of Seneca and Champe Rocks, ford the raging waters of Blackwater Canyon, and negotiate treacherous mountain roadways. Experience their triumph and tragedy, humorous and colorful insight, and impacts on the landscape, people, and folklore of the region.
Edited by Robert C. Whetsell and Gerald Milnes
Photography by Gerald Milnes
Music by Jesse Milnes, Gerald Milnes, and Woody Simmons
20 minutes, Color DVD – $20