U.S. Marine Corps World War II Order of Battle: Ground and Air Units in the Pacific War, 1939-1945

U.S. Marine Corps World War II Order of Battle: Ground and Air Units in the Pacific War, 1939-1945

U.S. Marine Corps World War II Order of Battle: Ground and Air Units in the Pacific War, 1939-1945

U.S. Marine Corps World War II Order of Battle: Ground and Air Units in the Pacific War, 1939-1945


Including extensive information only found in scattered sources or official documents and archives, this book provides detailed coverage of all organizational aspects of the Marine Corps units in World War II's Pacific Theater. It gives in-depth background information on the units' functions, evolution, designation practices, tactical organization of combat units, and extensive statistical and technical data including 21 maps. It covers atypical subjects such as Marines in China, and female and African American marines. Extensive additional data on weapons, U. S. Navy and Army backgrounds, Japanese Army and Navy backgrounds, code names, and comparative ranks of U. S. forces appear in the appendices. The book is a valuable one-stop resource for researchers, historians, military history enthusiasts, and war gamers.

As a complete reference source on the Marine Corps, the book provides an evolutionary study of the Marine Corps' wartime expansion and organization. It closely examines the prewar and wartime growth of the Marine Corps as well as its postwar reduction while providing complete background information on all ground and air units in the Pacific and their evolution. Information on each Marine Corps unit includes: dates in combat, location and code name of landing beaches, time of landing, island operation code names, date the island was declared secure, task organization for combat order of battle of the opposing Japanese units and their casualties, attached U. S. Army and U. S. Navy units, and much more. The book is the definitive source of organizational information.


Most military history is written from the outside, usually after a varied span of time has elapsed. Accuracy often suffers due to the passage of time, incompleteness of sources, inadequate assessment, biased interpretation, preconceived (or preferred) notions, varied agendas, or misinterpretation due to a lack of a clear understanding of the subject's nuances. An interior view of military history can encounter the same pitfalls, but with a degree of personal shading.

This work no doubt suffers from some of these maladies; every work of history does to some extent. Hopefully, any maladies in the book will not prove too debilitating, for its goal is to help others remedy minor ailments. This book is intended as an aid to anyone examining the U.S. Marine Corps in the greatest and most destructive war in history. It may be of use to those studying the war in the Pacific in general, Marine Corps, Navy, Army, Army Air Forces, and Allied military operations, or, more specifically, amphibious and air support operations in a joint environment.

The U.S. armed forces have long encouraged the study of wars, campaigns, battles, and engagements to further the education and proficiency of its leaders. But to merely read about these actions is insufficient to achieving a complete understanding of the whys and wherefores, schemes of maneuver, masterful decisions and inexplicable mistakes, and the capabilities and limitations of the belligerents. War-gaming battles and engagements provides a means by which to achieve a more complete understanding of what happened, what was intended, and what could have happened. A full-blown board or computer war game is not necessary. A conscientious mental “war game” using a suitable map can greatly aid in achieving insight, but to do this, one must have detailed information on the actual capabilities of units, their internal organization, key weapons and equipment, functional missions, and their task organization for combat.

The battles of the Pacific War are well documented in official histories, secondperson studies, and personal memoirs. However, little is available on the makeup . . .

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