Academic journal article Military Review

Marines under Armor: The Marine Corps and the Armored Fighting Vehicle, 1916-2000

Academic journal article Military Review

Marines under Armor: The Marine Corps and the Armored Fighting Vehicle, 1916-2000

Article excerpt

MARINES UNDER ARMOR: The Marine Corps and the Armored Fighting Vehicle, 1916-2000, Kenneth W. Estes, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD, 2000,267 pages, $32.95.

At a time when the U.S. Army is developing intermediate brigades equipped with light armored vehicles, a history of the U.S. Marine Corps' experience with armored fighting vehicles is useful and relevant. Marines Under Armor fills the bill, although readers hoping for stories of blood on the track treads will be disappointed.

Kenneth W. Estes, who graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and has a doctorate from the University of Maryland, was a career Marine Corps tanker. In the book's preface, Estes admits that the book is not a history of combat operations; instead, it is "a study of how the U.S. Marine Corps came to acquire the armored fighting vehicle-why, how, what, from where and when, and what it tried to do with it."

Estes paints a picture of a Marine Corps only grudgingly interested in the combination of firepower, protection, and mobility that has become the essence of Army heavy forces. In the book, retired Commandant Charles C. Krulak says he "would eliminate the tank fleet found in the Marine Corps today if I could." Organizations that do not like innovations, even ones that would better allow them to accomplish their missions, tend not to incorporate them fully. …

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