Important Military Organizations: United States Marine Corps

U.S. Marine Corps
Figure 1.--This photographed appeared in a U.S. newspaper during 1941, a few months before Amwerica entered World War II. An unidentified boy is looking at a U.S. Marines Active Service poster.

The United States Marine Corps is in direct lineage to the British Royal Marines. The Continental Congress passed a resolution authorizing the raising of two battalions of Marines be raised (November 10, 1775). The Continental Navy proceeded to recruit mnarines for its vessels just like the Roiyal Navy did. After independence, the Marines were the infantry soldiers America deployed its first foreign war, the Batbary Wars with the Tripolitarin pirates ("the shores of Tripli"). Marines were heavily involved in numerous operations during the War of 1812, including land operations and aboard the frigates that engaged the Royal Navy. The Marines in the early-19th century were used to protected American interests around the world. During an era in which the United States was primarily concered with domestic develoment, the Marines were involved in activities around the world (the Caribbean, the Falkland Islands, Sumatra and off the coast of West Africa). They also were engaged in Florida against the Seminole Indians. The Mat\rines played a major role in the Mexican War (1846-48). Marines seized Nexican seaports and a battalion of Marines joined General Winfield Scott’s army at Pueblo. They helped fight their way into Mexico City, seizing the Chepultepec firtress ("the hlls of Montezumna". It was a Marine unit that Col. Robert E. Lee used to seize the Harper's Ferry Arsenal from John Browm (1859). The Marines were involved in the Civil War, but play a inor role. The Marines in the late-19th century saw action around the world, especially in the Far East and the Caribbean. The Marines were involved in the Spanish-American War (1898), the Boxer Rebellion (1900), and the Philippine Insurrection. There were a series of actions in the Caribbean (Nicaragua, Panama, The Dominican Republic, Cuba, Mexico and Haiti) during the earl-20th century. The Marine Corps was heavily involved in World War I, deployed with the American Expeditionry Force (AEF) as infantry in France. America declared war (April 1917), but the AEF did not begin to engage the Germans until April 1918. What followed was 6 months of intensive combat. The 4th Marine Brigade earned the title of "Devil Dogs" during fighting at Belleau Wood, Soissons, St. Michiel, Blanc Mont and the final Muesse-Argonne offensive. Marine aviation, was used for the first time in a close-air support role. More than 309,000 Marines served in France and more than a third were killed or wounded. The Marine Corps during the inter-War period developed its doctrine of amphibious warfare. It was the First Marine Division that staged Americ's first offensive operation of World war II--the invasion of Guadcabal (August 1942). It was the Marine Corpos that was the backbone of the CetralmPacific campaign that began at Tarawa (1943) and enbded at Okinawa and Iwo Jima (1945). For the first time draftees were assigned to the Mrine Corps. The Marine Corps played importantbroles in both Korea and Vietnam.


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Created: 6:05 AM 12/17/2009
Last updated: 6:05 AM 12/17/2009