Re: Where the Marines in Europe in WWII?
That sums up very well the role of Marines in the European-North African area in WWII.
Actually, at the time of Pearl Harbor, the Marines were not the experts in amphibious operations that they later became. Prior to WWII, the Marines were lightly equipped and intended only as a landing party; at best they would hold a small piece of territory which could be used to land Army forces. The landing ships and landing craft the Marines would later use didn't exist, and most Marine landings up to that time were from ordinary ships' boats.
While experiments had been conducted in the 1930's, the true landing craft was not well developed until 1943. At the time of the Guadalcanal invasion in August 1942, only the LCM and LVT were available in any numbers and the LCM, while it carried tanks, had no bow ramp (actually a Japanese invention).
But landing craft and landing ships were rapidly developed and built in large numbers, and by mid-1943 the Marines had full fighting and staying capability. They had tanks, heavy artillery and close air support (primarily Navy and Marine), plus support from naval guns when and where feasible.
I have often made fun of Marine mythology, but there were no myths involved in what the Marines did in the Pacific. The fighting was hard and brutal and the Marines were heros in every meaning of that word. They deserve the respect of all Americans.
On a lighter note, someone on another site said the Marines had no artillery or air support. I pointed out that they did have integral Marine support in those areas, plus the U.S. armed forces fight as a team and that Marines could, when necessary, call for Army, Navy, or Air Force support, and receive it. A poster, who claimed to have served in the USMC in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam (!!) stated that only the panty-waist Army soldiers needed artillery or air cover and that Marines took those Pacific islands by fixing bayonets and charging. What silly nonsense! I hope that by the time the "three-war Marine" graduates from high school, he might have learned better.
Last edited by Jim K; 04-22-2010 at 09:13 PM..