Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

USMC and ETO.

Discussion in 'Western Europe' started by Gramagrass, Aug 23, 2020.

  1. Gramagrass

    Gramagrass New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2020
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    7
    I have heard that there was a small number that helped out with Anzio landing and again at Normandy but could not find supportive documents. Maybe somebody can correct me on this that.
    never-less, why was USMC, of any sized, did not fought in ETO? Could this be a result of what happen way back in June of 1918, in the battle of Belleau Wood? USMC got the famed of Defeating Germany while the army got less recognized. When it came to round two, few top army officials wanted to make sure that USMC will not fight the Germans and it will be the Army who will get the spotlight. IDK, something I read a long time ago.
     
  2. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2011
    Messages:
    7,217
    Likes Received:
    1,267
    Location:
    The Land of 10,000 Loons
    Here's an article that may help answer your question: A Different War: Marines in Europe and North Africa

    We have some USMC vets & experts here who will probably do a better job answering your question. However, I believe the reason the USMC was primarily in the PTO was because they were part of the Navy and the PTO was primarily a Navy show. The ETO and MTO were primarily land operations which favored the Army. Of course, the Army was also very much involved in the PTO, but that's a different discussion.

    EDIT: There were also a few Marines that served in the OSS in the ETO.
     
    bronk7 and Slipdigit like this.
  3. Gramagrass

    Gramagrass New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2020
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    7
    Thanks for responding.

    So reading the linked you posted and caught this; “Many Marine aviators visited England and Egypt during this time, and what they learned from the RAF would have a profound effect upon the development of tactics and techniques employed by the Marine air arm during World War II.” Wow, I had no idea.
     
  4. R Leonard

    R Leonard Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Messages:
    1,043
    Likes Received:
    688
    Location:
    The Old Dominion
    Most of these USMC aviators were involved in establishing the first Marine night-fighter squadrons and their time with the RAF was in furtherance of that project.

    Also as our USMC friends can tell us, the Marine Corps is NOT part of the Navy. The USMC is a separate naval service which falls under the Navy Department; that does not equal "part of the Navy."
     
    RichTO90 likes this.
  5. ARWR

    ARWR Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2020
    Messages:
    277
    Likes Received:
    79
    Location:
    The Shire
    Roosevelt and Churchill had reached an agreement that in Europe the Admiralty would take the naval lead and in the Pacific the Navy Department
     
  6. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    2,936
    Likes Received:
    672
    In WWI there was only one theater for significant ground combat.

    In the interwar period, the Navy and Marine Corps focused on planning for a cross-Pacific war against Japan, which would include numerous amphibious landings, mainly expected to be on small islands, after which they would move on to the next objective. When war came, there was more than enough work for the Marines in the Pacific; indeed twenty Army divisions ended up fighting there along with all six Marine divisions.

    While there were amphibious landings in the European-Mediterranean theater, the majority of American troops there never participated in one; there would have been little point in sending specialized amphibious forces there.
     
  7. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2015
    Messages:
    2,286
    Likes Received:
    910
    Indeed. Many may not realize that only a small number of divisions in the ETO were trained and/or experienced in amphibious assault. For example, the 28th ID was the last American division fully-trained in amphibious assault in the ETOUSA. It was SHAEF reserve for NEPTUNE and was held for any potential subsidiary assault until mid-July 1944. Once it was committed on the Continent there was no uncommitted amphibious capability in the ETO. That is also why the VI Corps and the 3d, 36th, and 45th ID were chosen for DRAGOON, they were all amphibiously trained and experienced.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2020
  8. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2011
    Messages:
    7,217
    Likes Received:
    1,267
    Location:
    The Land of 10,000 Loons
    Poor wording on my part. Thank you for the correction.
     
  9. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Messages:
    14,075
    Likes Received:
    2,460
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
  10. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Messages:
    1,772
    Likes Received:
    563
    Location:
    London UK
    The allied expeditionary force under Eisenhower was multi service and multi national. US Marines did contribute towards planning combined operations - but they were not the only organisation bringing relevant expertise and knowledge. For example the ETOUSA conference on amphibious landings held in May 1943 included addresses by Lt Col R. O Bare USMC presented a case study about the planning and training of a US Army Division to mount the Aleutian operation. and Lt Col A. T. MASON USMC presented on the subject of landing a combined arms force. Not what the combined force would do ashore, but how to plan to get the right troops at the right time.
     
  11. R Leonard

    R Leonard Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Messages:
    1,043
    Likes Received:
    688
    Location:
    The Old Dominion
    I believe there were some Marines, drawn from various ships' companies, who went ashore during Operation Dragoon, but I think it was an administrative landing, not combat landing. Willing to be corrected.
     
  12. GITom1944

    GITom1944 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2020
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    4
    By D+1, the Army Rangers at Pointe du Hoc needed ammunition and reinforcements. There was some thought given to sending the 84 marines from the ship's detachment on board the battleship USS Texas ashore, but the plan was eventually scrapped. The Texas did send ammunition ashore and evacuated wounded Rangers and German prisoners. The marines on the battleship guarded the POWs until they could be transferred to another ship.
     
  13. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Messages:
    1,772
    Likes Received:
    563
    Location:
    London UK
    Perhaps in search of some of the fabled produce of France. If they could not bring these back to the dry US Fleet, could an "Administrative landing" be interpreted as American version the Royal Marines call a Run Ashore. ;)

    A few glimpses of runs ashore here
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2020
  14. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2013
    Messages:
    4,753
    Likes Received:
    328
    Location:
    MIDWEST
    ...there were a lot of Army units in the PTO....someone can give us the total USMC vs Army units? the Army did amphibious landings ..a well known one was the Munda operation--where they did very poorly --one of the reasons was they were not that experienced...and it wasn't because of the amphibious aspect, but the terrain, jungle,etc

    ....I posted in another thread of how the higher ups were limited in their planning because there were not many ''experienced'' units in the PTO in 1943--not enough for the needs .....and they specifically named the Army as not ''experienced'' ....
    ...but the Army did well in other battles

    .... the USMC air support was ''better'' coordinated, ''better''--one of the reasons was they had USMC pilots knowing their mission was to support their fellow Marines--where as the Army had to deal with the USAAF--a ''''non-organic'' force

    ...the Marines basic mission is amphibious--Marine means ''from the sea''--and they were stationed on ships--so their whole ''being'', culture was amphibious = naturally they would be in the PTO

    ..the USMC was also known as a ''small, light infantry--quick reaction force'' =not a heavy force....the ''heavy force was needed in the ETO - mucho tanks/huge area/etc...where as a lot of the PTO were very ''small''' battles regarding area and troops....not much tank warfare on the small islands/etc..less tanks = less trucks/less vehicle fuel/less everything

    ...I was in the USMC for 8 years...I have a bunch of USMC history books laying around ....if I find some more interesting stuff, I'll post it
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2020
  15. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2013
    Messages:
    4,753
    Likes Received:
    328
    Location:
    MIDWEST
    yes, thank you ..we were always taught we are a department of the Navy.....
     
  16. Gramagrass

    Gramagrass New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2020
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    7
    makes sense with the relations of gound troops and pilots.
     
  17. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    Messages:
    8,875
    Likes Received:
    1,710
    Location:
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    The Men’s Department....
     
  18. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    2,936
    Likes Received:
    672
    21 Army divisions served in the Pacific theater, 20 of which saw combat. The 98th Infantry Division was in Hawaii at the end of the war, preparing for the invasion of Japan. The rest:

    Infantry: 6, 7, 23/Americal, 24, 25, 27, 31, 32, 33, 37, 38, 40, 41, 43, 77, 81, 93, 96

    Americal was originally going to be a combined American/Australian unit but ended up all-American. It was organized in the South Pacific, mainly from National Guard units.

    24th and 25th were formed in Hawaii from the prewar Hawaii Division.

    1st Cavalry, our only division to fight in the old "square" organization, two brigades each with two regiments (5, 7, 8, 12th Cavalry) each with two squadrons, equivalent to infantry battalions.

    11th Airborne, serving mainly as infantry, only a few small airborne operations.
     

Share This Page