In November 1939, during the Soviet Union's invasion of Finland, Russian efforts were frustrated following the destruction of two armored divisions by Finnish soldiers on skis. The conflict caught global attention as the outnumbered and outgunned Finnish soldiers were able to use the difficult local terrain to their advantage, severely hampering the Soviet attacks and embarrassing their military. Upon seeing the effectiveness of these troops, Charles Minot Dole, the president of the National Ski Patrol, began to lobby the War Department of the need for a similar unit of troops in the United States Army, trained for fighting in winter and mountain warfare. In September 1940, Dole was able to present his case to General George Marshall, the U. S. Army Chief of Staff, who agreed with Dole's assessment, deciding to create a "Mountain" unit for fighting in harsh terrain. The U. S. Army authorized the formation of the platoon sized Army Ski Patrol in November 1940. The first Patrol was formed at Camp Murray as part of the 41st Infantry Division under Lt. Ralph S. Phelps (later to become commanding General of the 41st). The army, prompted by fears that its standing force would not perform well in the event of a winter attack on the Northeastern coast, as well as knowledge that the German Army already had three mountain warfare divisions known as Gebirsjagers, approved the concept for a division. This required an overhaul of U. S. military doctrine, as the concept of winter warfare had not been tested in the army since 1914. At first, planners envisioned ten mountain divisions, but personnel shortages revised the goal to three. Eventually, the 10th Mountain Division would be the only one brought to active duty. Military leaders continued to express concern of the feasibility of a division-sized mountain warfare unit until the fall of 1941, when they received reports that Greek mountain troops had held back superior numbers of unprepared Italian troops in the Albanian mountains during the Greco-Italian War. The Italian military had lost a disastrous 25,000 men in the campaign because of their lack of preparedness to fight in the mountains. On 22 October 1941, General Marshall decided to form the first battalion of mountain warfare troops for a new mountain division. The Ski Patrol would assist in its training.