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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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bunkerdestroyer    RE:A little more pot stirring....Carl S   11/2/2005 3:17:16 PM
this is probably more from emotion than fact as I have not studdied the command structure in the pacific that much. but The navy had the staff to conduct the naval/sea aspect. I would suspect what little ground-combat operational training they had was minimal and was geared more for understanding of the operations so that when they were in charge and request came in from the groundforce commander, they had a better understanding and could direct resources better in support.... along that aspect, a marine or army general probably had no buisness commanding an entire task force, but to suggest that an admiral or VA had the training and experience to command and direct GROUND COMBAT/OPERATIONS
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bunkerdestroyer    RE:A little more pot stirring....Carl S   11/2/2005 3:20:48 PM
SORRY wrong button.... -cont..... GROUND COMBAT/ silly.... During these times, marine officers were aboard for various aspects and also to coordinate with the naval firesupport and the marine aircomponet aboard the carriers... Look at Inchon....Gen Mac. was in charge, but it was a marine operation...he did not tell them how to fight, only gave some 'direction'
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S-2    RE:A little more pot stirring....BunkerDestroyer   11/2/2005 7:25:48 PM
"Look at Inchon....Gen Mac. was in charge, but it was a marine operation...he did not tell them how to fight, only gave some 'direction" The Army's 7th I.D. (you know, the guys that linked up with 1st Cav driving north out of Pusan)will be glad to know that it was a "marine operation". So will the folks in 10th U.S. Army Corps, the controlling headquarters. Like I've said, you've got a lot of reading to do. As for your "command discussion", it wasn't real concise, and seemed to miss the point. Let me be blunt. A U.S. Army general and staff, trained to conduct exactly this type operation, was ready. Immediately. Should special dispensation be made to the U.S.M.C. to identify and train a staff for an operation beyond the Marine's doctrinal scope, when a perfectly competent staff was available? Talk about political! What would be the point other than to prove, or disprove the ability of a marine staff to command beyond their required span of control?
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bunkerdestroyer    RE:A little more pot stirring....BunkerDestroyer   11/2/2005 9:38:15 PM
Inchon does not require to much reading. It was MacAruthur's idea and he decided to put MG Almond in charge of it(10th corps) though it was a marine operation(landing) The 'brilliant' MG almond wanted to substitute the 26th inf. for the 5th Mar. initial landings-yeah, no politics there and no egos... one problem, 40% of its strength was raw R.O.K with no amphibious traning. MG Smith(marine) refused and Almond backed down-yeah, real smart move allocating his forces to ensure the success of an already dangerous operation. Needless to say, the marines landed sept 15th. When your 7ID landed(part of its composite was 8000 R.O.K), Sept 18th, the marines were at already at kempo....the mission of the 7ID was to protect the marines flank while it advanced to Seoul...(which they took Sept 28th-or so) So, I guess your right, 7ID did play a big role. Semper Fi
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S-2    RE:A little more pot stirring....BunkerDestroyer Reply   11/2/2005 10:32:52 PM
With the 1st Marine Div on board, choosing an Army unit for the landing made about as much sense as perhaps choosing a marine general to form and train a staff to run an army sized operation at Okinawa. I've no argument that the marines landed first at Inchon. Never did. I hope you see the point that under the command of a U.S. Army Corps commander, and directed by his staff, in conjunction with U.S. Army and allied units, with the able assistance of the U.S. Navy and allied ships, it was hardly a "marine operation". Almond's less than stellar judgement wasn't the first time. Nor would it be his last. Most importantly, though, it wasn't relevant. This was a joint operation under the command of Doug MacArthur, with the landing force under the command of Lt. Gen. Ed. A. Almond, U.S.A. commanding, 10th U.S. Corps. Inchon seems to require more reading than you think. Based upon your comments, that would be my guess.
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bunkerdestroyer    RE:A little more pot stirring....BunkerDestroyer Reply   11/2/2005 11:20:55 PM
its a matter of terms. Yes it was a joint operation per participating units, but since its definition was an invasion, landing a combat force, with the mission(generally written here) to take the pressure off of the Pusan per./allied forces and to cut the NK forces in half/s. forces of its supplies, etc, I look at the overall picture and goal...(though first contact was by a small unit commanded by a navy ensign...) Since the vast majority of the combat element stressed here was marine, as they took the majority of the casulaties, and accomplished the mission(s), it was a marine mission supported by the army,navy, R.O.K, etc..... If during the the luzon landings in jan 45-roughly 5-6 initial army div, and the marines had 1 div who came ashore a week later, and with navy ships, yes, it would be a joint operation by a technical definition, but since the army made the initial landings and had the primary mission and were the majority of the initial fore(well, the entire)-it would be an army operation WITH THE SUPPORT OF THE NAVY AND MARINES Mac putting an army general incharge had no tatical reasoning-reguardless of his skill. (and please dont say the marines did not have anyone that could conduct operations at that level-a whole massive 2 divisions, thusly requiring army command and control) It would make as much sense putting a army general incharge of the iwo landings despite it was 3 mar div vs 1 army reg part. in the last week. I have read about Korea, esp. pusan....I wont repeat much, as it would piss you off(one example: 5th RCT was the reason why the per. held, esp the Naktong battles...the piece said that-and I have read it else where, that the army lost most of its early battles in the retreat to the per. while the marines won most of theirs in their mission to hold the lines, thus enabling the Inchon landings and the successful link up you mention) but anyway....I dont have a problem conceding that since it was 4 div vs 2(plus 1 res for each) that okinawa was an army command-though 2 of the 3 corps were commanded by marines and that G buckner had over 46 marine officers on his staff-I think his xo was a marine, but I might be mistaken Okinawa was truly a joint operation Semper Fi
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bunkerdestroyer    RE:A little more pot stirring....BunkerDestroyer Reply   11/3/2005 5:58:01 PM
oops, not 5th RCT...5th Mar Reg..the 1st provisiojal marine birgade sorry..........
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S-2    RE:A little more pot stirring....BunkerDestroyer Reply   11/3/2005 8:34:03 PM
Checked again, and don't know where you came up to three corps in Okinawa? III Marine Amphibious Corps, and XXIV U.S. Corps, under 10th U.S. Army. Four army divisions and two marine divisions (with modest elements from the 8th Marines at the end of the battle). I know of the Army units to which you refer in the 24th Inf. Div. Those units that retreated south from Taejon bought the time for the 5th Marines to arrive-along with the 2nd Inf. Div., 25th Inf. Division, and the 1st Cav. Division. My father fought as an M-24 Chaffee commander-Recon Plt., HHC/70th (Heavy)Armor Bn., attached to the 1st Cav. Your reference was to the debacle surrounding two army artillery battalions that were destroyed. Interesting story as it seems that the commander of 2nd bn. 5th Marines chose to disobey orders not to conduct a night withdrawal over mountain roads of dubious quality on Aug. 11, 1950 and ordered these units through. Stuck without their marine security, they were attacked and dispersed at dawn on the twelth of Aug by NKPA tank units. You draw your own conclusions, but I know that I've got mine.
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bunkerdestroyer    RE:A little more pot stirring....BunkerDestroyer Reply   11/3/2005 10:00:38 PM
the 3rd corps was the attached tatical air support-marine mg mulcahy was in command.... as far as korea, I am no expert, and with family ties, I'm not stepping on family ground....esp as I have a good family friend who was in korea from 52 onward(at least a yr)-he did not talk about it much and I didnt prod him Nor will I soil army history and sacrifice... As you should know, the military was drastically cut...the marines were hated by truman and reduced to 6 bn+ and about 33000 men-not inc. res(which enabled Inchon to be pulled off). The army suffered as well. the 24th was not a seasoned unit. There for, it was easily handled by the NK. Their performance gave the early black eye. But that is generic. If you look at it, they still did a good job for the training they received. They were the road bump. While they might have been handeled, they bought time for other units such as the 27th and 25th Id. From what I read, these were only fair units. They too were speed bumps. In the blood of men, they did enough to slow the NK for experienced forces to arrive. Not to blow smoke up your six, but all of what I read identifies the 1st cav. as the first good unit to arrive in strength. With their arrival in early july, the 1st prov mar birgade in early august, and then the few allies, and the necessary supplies and vital airsupport stopped the NK cold. In hindsight, I dont think inchon was tech. necessary, as the point of view that by that time, the NK were beaten and bled. I guess the landings 1)quickened it, and enabled the journey to the par. to be quicker 2) ensured a more complete destruction of the NK 3) was a good moral booster for the world and the us...... I have read several stories of M-24s going up against t-34s early on. Not blowing smoke again, but in one aspect that was hella brave for the crews. Guts and heroics are what helped stem the NK drive in the early part. The other part, esp after tank battles in ww2, was partially criminal..... Yes, I know they were speed bumps and needed time to bring in the m-4/m-26s, but still, command knew that an m-24 stood little chance against a t-34...alot of men perhaps died needlessly.... I hope in one sence your father was not one of those thrown into the early fray as a speed bump-hella guts/bravery on their part, but on the other part, as part of the 1st cav, a much better unit, I would surmise he had quality support on the ground and from the air....thus enabling them to whoop up on the NK units/surviving armor. After the first 3 months were over, the question of whose good goes out the window. Now you have oct, nov, thanksgiving and rougly 3 more yrs... Semper Fi
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AlbanyRifles    RE:A little more pot stirring....BunkerDestroyer Reply   11/3/2005 11:45:57 PM
BD Your ugly and mother dresses you funny!!!! Now that I have the obligatory insult to the USMC out of the way.... Levels of command. In WW II there is no doubt that th eUSMC had commanders and stafs competent enough to handle a crosp fight. they showed that many times. but the Army was the only one with the experience to handle field armys. The USMC did not even have the doctrine for it while the Amry did. Question: How many Marine DIVISIONS existed before 1941? Follow on: How many Army filed armies fought in WW 1? Understand my point?
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