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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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S-2    RE:A little more pot stirring....and stiring    10/31/2005 9:31:02 PM
Carl, he was a marine general who assumed command of 10th Army for five days, until Vinegar Joe arrived.
 
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Carl S    RE:A little more pot stirring....and stiring    11/1/2005 2:48:50 AM
Correct. You win fame & fortune. He was also the next senior general present. For extra points what was his billet before taking command of the 10th Army? The comparison of the US Army & Marine commad capbilities in the Pacific has been misleading. In the various earlier battles the Amphibious corps were not operating independantly. They were a component of US navy operational groups. That is the landing force was a component of a Fleet command the same as its BB or CV task forces, or the fleet logisitcs train. They were as throughly embeded in the structure of the fleet as a army corps is in a army.
 
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AlbanyRifles    RE:A little more pot stirring....Carl S   11/1/2005 8:47:51 AM
Geiger commanded III MAC, which was unusual considering he was an aviator. And he took command of what was essentially an Army staff. And you are spot on that the Navy had overall command of the campaigns in the Central Pacific.
 
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Carl S    RE:A little more pot stirring....Carl S   11/1/2005 8:53:42 PM
I was getting at several things a little deeper than the senior commander a Admiral. Aside from that the Marines were not a independant organization but part of the Navy. The admirals were commanding army & army group size organizations in terms of both manpower and firepower. This included one or more amphibious corps and ground or landing ops spread across many different islands. Depending on how one counts them there were roughly a half dozen distinct USN operations at this scale in the Pacific.
 
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Yimmy    RE:A little more pot stirring....Carl S   11/1/2005 9:10:07 PM
When did the marines become a seperate branch to the US Navy?
 
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Carl S    RE:A little more pot stirring....Carl S   11/1/2005 9:17:58 PM
Geiger may have started his careeer in a Marie rifle company, which was not unusuall for Marine aviators in those days. He may even have gone as far as command a rile company in combat in Hati or Nicargua. Have to check on that. Note that another Marine General Mulcahy commanded the 10 Army Tactical Air Force during the Okinawa campaign. The TAF HQ was formed from the HQ of the 2 Marine Air Wing General Buckner as 10th Army commander reported to Adm K Turner who comanded the entire amphibious force for the Okinawa campaign. Elsewhere US Army Maj Gen Hale reported to Nimitz in his role as commander of Pacfic Ocean Areas Stratigic Air Forces (a seperate organization from Gen. Hap Arnolds 20th Air Force). The dividing lines between US Army and Navy werre starting to disolve in 1944-45, if not earlier.
 
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S-2    RE:A little more pot stirring....Carl S   11/1/2005 9:20:26 PM
"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." Carl, that's the reason I made this comment some threads back. The U.S. Navy certainly had the staff to conduct an operation of the scale of Okinawa. Just not the U.S.M.C.
 
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S-2    RE:A little more pot stirring....Carl S   11/1/2005 9:24:23 PM
"The dividing lines between US Army and Navy werre starting to disolve in 1944-45, if not earlier." Was it as simple as forces that had been operating on separate axes of advance were beginning to converge upon the sole remaining objects, all requiring joint operations at the Army level or higher? That would be my suspicion.
 
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bunkerdestroyer    RE:A little more pot stirring....and stiring    11/2/2005 2:49:28 PM
coulda told you when I read the link about okinawa..the 427pages had the command chart. As far as geiger....well I am proud to say I was a 'geiger tiger' -part of my time was spent at camp geiger during my training.....
 
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bunkerdestroyer    RE:A little more pot stirring.... /Bunkerdestroyer Response    11/2/2005 3:05:48 PM
as I have said, I cant comment to much on okinawa...even if i read about it(100+pages of that site)I still dont comment(usually) unless I have read more about the specifics.... about #3.....you make it sound like a yr long process costing 100's of thousands.....I have a little more faith in the command schools of that time....In addition, I would propose that prior to peral harbor...marine general(bg and mg) were trained just as their army counterparts were.....In addition, since the corps was expanded to 6 mar div, commonsense would dicate that there would be operations of multi-divisional operations and that the MC did not sit on its hands and say "well, we cant do this, so let the army lead us and command us." They might not have had many opportunities for multi-divisional action, but they were ready to handly 2-3-4 div size operations....-though overall, a admiral/va would have been overall in charge(dep. of the navy and the naval component)the marine General or LG would have been incharge of the ground operations. And, the decision for okinawa was not overnight...They had a different route in mind in order to cut Japan off and from its oil and mineral supplies...I think Nimitz finally changed his mind and the JCOS..(someone convinced him..who??)and then decided on the okinawa aspect....In that time frame of adjustment, I dont think that it would be to hard to give additional training to a marine general or LG to command the operation....that is what they do and to assume that in the entire MC there was noone that could have lead a multi-corp attack is silly.. If more Mar Div would have been ready, then perhaps, there would have been 4-5 mar div and only 2 army div on the attack... And about the 'untrained and unschooled'-I dont think the army had to many people with the experience at the start of operation torch....yet they managed to (sloppily) complete the mission....In 1945, I would think that after almost 3 yrs of operations, that there might have been 1 or 2 out of hundreds of generals that might have been able to handle the task..... As far at the Marine Corps mission....you'd have a slightly different history if it was followed to the letter...that statement is irrevelant esp. in a ever expanding world(at that time) and requirements. I seriously doubt congress at that time would have raised an objection...
 
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