Monday, June 13, 2016

Monterey Pass during World War Two

Monterey Pass during World War Two
9th-12th Grades (Running Time: 45 minutes)


Students will learn about the Monterey Pass area during World War Two when the Federal Government seized Camp Ritchie for training American soldiers for Counter Intelligence. Students will learn about some of the training that American soldiers went through as well as military maneuvers occurred at Monterey Pass. Group size: Up to 20. Time: 45 minutes


1. Using reproduction items, students will be able to learn what average German soldier would have worn, carried, and used on a daily basis. Students will also learn how American soldiers used these items to conduct training exercises. Students will also hear stories about how the area was transformed into a military post and some of the mock battles that were conducted. 

Materials Used:

1. For the living historian, he would display examples of clothing that was worn by both the American and German soldiers. He would also display one set of German accouterments showing the students what the average soldier would have carried on patrol or in combat. 

2. An unloaded rifle would be shown to the students to discuss weapon policies and basic training of a soldier such as “Manual of Arms”.

3. A haversack containing food rations of the average soldier can be shown and passed around for the students to hold. Cooking utensils could be shown including the mess kit.


1. The Living Historian would bring period reproductions and original items as part of his display, and display those items in such a way to make them visible to the students.

2. The Living Historian will give a basic overview of Camp Ritchie and a brief overview of military operations in our area, encouraging student participation.

3.  The Living Historian will explain all items, unpacking contents of the kit for the students to see.

Topics to Highlight:

1. Introduction

a. What is a Living Historian and what does he do?

2. Explain Monterey Pass during World War II.

a. Camp Ritchie

i. What was Camp Ritchie?

ii. What was life like living on base?

iii. What did American soldiers learn at Camp Ritchie?

iv. Military maneuvers and mock battles.

v. The Ritchie Boys and their contribution to the war in Europe

vi. Where did these soldiers go after Camp Ritchie? 

b. Simulation Class for the German Soldier

i. Uniforms parts

ii. Issued gear

iii. Personal items

iv. Rations

v. The weapon

vi. How did the German uniform differ from the U.S. Army?

3. Make sure that students are given an opportunity to ask any further questions they may have after the presentation

Closure: Ask the students if they had anyone serve in World War II. 

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