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Subject: Was the USMC the appropriate force to send to Baghdad?
towgunner1960    10/3/2003 10:46:39 PM
I submit that it might have been more efficient to send British troops north to Baghdad instead of the Marine Corps, for the following reasons; U.S. Army and U.K. troops have trained together to fight the type of war that was fought for the last 50 odd years. (Mechanized warfare). The Marine Corps armor, excepting the M1 are totally unsuited for RAPID desert armored fighting, i.e. aav, lav and M198. U.K. and U.S. Army are equipped exactly the way you need to be to fight this type of war,(M1, M2-3, M109), (Challenger, Warrier, AS90). This gives them the ability to shoot and scoot, and to slug it out if needed. The Marine Corps has never trained with the Army to fight massive Soviet style forces the way U.K. and U.S. Army have. It might have been better for USMC to have taken over the British role, attacking southern Iraq, where they could have worked as a combined arms team with naval support, the way they have for over 200+ years. Long range desert armored warfare is not a Marine mission with the equipment and the training they have. If they want to equip themselves the way the Army does to fight this type of war, then they risk losing capability to fight the littorial type of war that they are so magnificant at. This is no way a slight against the Marines, who I have trained with and admire. But what nation can afford to have two armies? If they insist on trying to compete against the Army for that mission, (mech warfare), then what need is there for a Marine Corps? You might as well combine them with the Army.
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timon_phocas    RE:Once again Let's get it straight - Albany   10/30/2005 4:39:29 PM
>>The Army has good standards, good soldiers, and good leaders. But they are not Marines. Marines are the fiercest, most dedicated fighters on earth, regardless of their training or anything else. Navy SEALs and USASOC may be better trained, but you will never find a more dedicated killing machine than a Marine in combat.<< I have served in the Corps as a Recon team leader, computer programmer and artillery forward observer. I loved the Corps, still do. All that notwithstanding, the Army combat arms units that I have seen are very, very good. Their training is tough and realistic. They are skilled, adaptable professional soldiers. I would not want to bet my life on opposing them in combat. If the Corps has any advantage over the Army it is the Corps’ unitary culture. Everybody in the Corps gets trained by the same NCO Drill Instructors, from the Commandant on down. The Army has different boot camps for different military specialties, and therefore different cultures. In addition, every Marine goes through the infantry training school before they are allowed to go on to any other MOS training. When I went from reconnaissance to a computer programming office, the culture was much the same. Differences were a matter of degree, not kind. We knew we were part of an elite, and we were expected to produce requisite results. IBM sold a computer system to the Corps that was deliberately built to preclude networking. We (or rather, the geniuses among us) found a way around that with machine level coding and we used that to build and test the first logistical computer network in some exercises at 29 Palms and with the XVIII Airborne Corps. IBM was a bit chagrined. I did not see that same kind of esprit d’ corps in Army support units that I worked with. The combat arms units, however, were first class.
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bunkerdestroyer    RE:Bunkerdestroyer/S-2 Reply   10/30/2005 5:53:51 PM
s-2...I might be stubborn, but I am fair....I did look at a few sites and ironically the site I chose was the one you put up...I did not read 472 pages-about 100 total of 4-5 diff sections. So, with a little disclaimer on my part: I dont believe I said with authority about ok. and mar/army...just what I believe. In my job(sheriff dep.) I rarely believe what I hear unless I can see myself-I have quite literally been lied to, or had a 'story told' to me over 1500-2000+times..but I am not saying you or others are lying or stupid or ignorant...after 9 yrs of my job, and from what I see out in the world and reading idiotic web sites, weither their 'offical' or not, I still sometimes need a couple of examples or more before I change my mind on a topic-esp in books where I can read about a battle and depending on the author and time the book was written, several facts and impressions can be different... so....clear as mud well....and a little was funnin' after that.....I will say that the army did pay a major role in the battle. They suffered more cas. 2 div hit the beaches with the 2 mardiv(I think) One point I had was I said from memory...... well, now, a little is refreshed...the marines took shuri castle and I remember that being emphasized by the marines when I was in, and during my 2 pumps on the was blind faith that the history was correct. well, part was...they did take shuri castle, but what wasnt said was that the army had battled there for weeks before hand and I think alot before the marines joined in that particular battle..... so, in conjunction with my above disclaimer-to validate my beliefs....I was taught something in the corps, but it was not the entire you see, it wasnt that I was dismissing you, its is, 'ok, thats your point, so since you persist in it, I will check it out.' Kinda makes me pissed-sorta....I dont like taking a stand only to find out my info was not complete....(weither it was in jest or not) anyway, enough of the sobs... The army had their mission and the marines theirs...both were vital, and with more units involved on the ground, it can be said that they(army) played a bigger role. I wont validate the 'bigger role' as I have read only 100 of 400+ and it is only one source....but it looks that way. but still, SEMPER FI
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shek    RE:Once again Let's get it straight - Timon Phocas   10/30/2005 8:11:12 PM
A great post and well worded.
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S-2    RE:Once again Let's get it straight - Timon Phocas & Bunker Destroyer   10/30/2005 10:56:58 PM
My first two OERs were written by a Marine major, who was my branch chief. I served with him and four other marine officers, and three army officers in my first duty assignment. I've never forgotten any of them, and am forever grateful for the many and hard lessons that they pounded into my thick, incompetent skull. To this day, I stand humbly in awe of both CWO4 "Gunner" Boise, and Maj. Richard Harmon- Two of the greatest officers and marines, with certainly more influence upon me than any leaders I've met since, save two Army officers much later. I doubt, though, that I'd have made it further without Boise and Harmon. I knew so little, and they taught me so much. When they finished, I wasn't sure that I wasn't a marine. Lot's of amazing Marine stories from those days, as half of the Weapons and Gunnery departments were marine officers. A great group of men, and some of the most professional officers I've witnessed. Still, I'm Army, and wouldn't have it any other way. You'll never hear me knock the U.S.M.C., though. Those men compelled me to raise above byself, and learn the meaning of technical competence, and professional devotion to my craft. Garryowen. (:-)
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AlbanyRifles    A little more pot stirring....    10/31/2005 11:36:18 AM
Liver, I believe the British Army would have done just fine in that role…but at what cost? By that I mean it would taken a huge part of the British Army….which is about 3 divisions (-) in size. But its doctrine and tactics are such it could have done the job. That said it was THE force to send into Basra….a combination of its combat power and experience in Northern Ireland made it the right force. BD, From the realm of dragging a dead horse to water…. Okinawa was an Army command because it was a field army fight, i.e., 2 or more corps fighting under a single command. The USMC just did not have the experience at that level to control and sustain that kind of fight. That is why the Army was given the job. And I believe you will find the majority of the support units were Army as well. As for the Philippines…..the majority of the US forces who surrendered on Bataan were USAAF and Army Service Forces. There was only 1 major ground maneuver unit in the Philippines the 31st Infantry Regiment. Also, my count was off: US Army in WW II 67 Infantry Division, 16 Armored (14 saw combat), 5 airborne and 2 cavalry Timon Phocas (Almost wrote TP but that didn’t look right), You hit on an excellent point. With the Army mission to provide the infrastructure for a theater a lot of specialization occurs which pulls folks away form a warrior mentality. GEN Schoomaker is doing a great job in changing that but it will take time. As I mentioned, in the CSS branches there is a lot more realistic combat training going on… fire convoy training, CSS soldiers getting plenty of range time. And we tend to be branch-centric in our thoughts rather than service-centric like the Corps. We are just too big. Remember, when you add in t he USMCR, you have 4 divisions. When we add in the National Guard, we have 18 divisions and 19 separate brigades…..and a lot of history to be proud of…..just like the Corps.
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AlbanyRifles    RE:A little more pot stirring....part 2    10/31/2005 12:54:56 PM
US Army Divisions in the Pacific in World War II -17 Infantry Division 6, 7, 24, 25, 31, 32, 33, 37, 38, 40, 41, 43, 77, 81, 93, 96, Americal 11th Airborne Division 503 Parachute Infantry Regiment Several other RCTs 1st & 2d Cavalry Divisions (fought as Infantry) 10 tank battalions
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Liver    RE:A little more pot stirring....    10/31/2005 4:40:34 PM
Cheers Albany ... i was just wondering with so many people saying that the USMC was not appropriate what were that alternatives .... i mean i doubt that us brits were planning on feilding the vast majority of our armed forces especialy with other commitments and with our link with basra. P.P.S. i read ("iraq war" by john keegan) that the US based its strategy in takeing Baghdad on the UK in Basra, which was in turn based on the british army operation to "capture" "free" (london)derry in NI. does anyone know if this is this true i realise the author may be biased as he is a brit military historian but i would be interested if anyone knew - thanks again
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bunkerdestroyer    RE:A little more pot stirring....    10/31/2005 6:10:06 PM
people bend thread meanings. not jumpin on you, but I very little with authority on the phill. I've said several times. From statistical/paperwork facts I was relating the surrender of x-amount per se. and about ok. The marines fully had the ability to command and control and organize and run that operation. Gen B got it due to the army component and that the JCOS decided on it. He was to head-I think the invasion of Formosa, or perhaps another area in the south before ok. was the final destination in the strategic planning.
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Carl S    RE:A little more pot stirring....and stiring    10/31/2005 9:06:36 PM
Heres a trivia question about commanders, the Tenth Army, & Okinawa. Who was Geiger & what did he do there?
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S-2    RE:A little more pot stirring.... /Bunkerdestroyer Response    10/31/2005 9:20:31 PM
"Gen B got it due to the army component and that the JCOS decided on it. He was to head-I think the invasion of Formosa, or perhaps another area in the south before ok. was the final destination in the strategic planning" You say political. Let's look at it differently. 1.) Gen. Buckner, trained to command field armies, had a fully formed and trained headquarters staff for just that purpose. The need to deploy a field army to Taiwan/Formosa had been eliminated by events. He and his staff would be the logical choice to command and manage the Okinawa campaign, given their preparedness, training, and traditional role of the U.S. Army-as indicated numerous times by Albany Rifles- The U.S. Army is designed to plan, conduct, and win campaigns and wars. 2.) Your assumptions about Marine command skills at that level evidently don't consider the following- a.) Okinawa was a six division battle with two corps operating simultaneously on two, then a single front. No marine commander had commanded a corps sized engagement before Iwo Jima, IIRC, much less a field army. Nor did a marine "field army battle staff" to support such an operation as Okinawa exist, much less trained to perform such a task. 3.) Now, given the above information, I pose to you a question-Would it have not been a unwise, but POLITICAL choice to take valuable time to identify a marine commander and staff, train them in the conduct of multiple corp, operational warfare to do what a trained U.S. Army commander and staff were available to do immediately? The U.S.M.C. may have possessed the talent amongst its officers to do so. However, that talent was unschooled, and untrained, and not configured for the mission. Nor was it a part of their mandated mission from congress. Frankly, the U.S. Navy would receive consideration for that command level before the marines would have. No offense. That's just the way it is.
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