Academic journal article Military Review

FORGOTTEN WARRIORS: The 1st Marine Provisional Brigade, the Corps Ethos, and the Korean War

Academic journal article Military Review

FORGOTTEN WARRIORS: The 1st Marine Provisional Brigade, the Corps Ethos, and the Korean War

Article excerpt

FORGOTTEN WARRIORS: The 1st Marine Provisional Brigade, the Corps Ethos, and the Korean War, T.X. Hammes, University Press of Kansas, Lawrence, 2010, 286 pages, $36.95.

This brief, well-written monograph separates legend from fact while explaining the 1st Marine Provisional Brigade's success in the Korean War. Hammes explores the provisional brigade in the context of larger events. He views unit conduct in battle as the result of doctrine, focused training, and professional military education. The bulk of his monograph concentrates on the Marine Corps' fight for existence and its efforts to demonstrate its relevance between 1945 and 1950.

The Marine Provisional Brigade existed from July to September 1950. The book provides a case study of how the Marine Corps weathered the early part of the Cold War. The book is divided into several parts: an outline of the Marine Corps' role in the struggle over armed forces unification, its culture, and postwar professional education efforts aimed at creating a combined arms team. The second part details its doctrine, organization, training, and leadership; and the third section covers the brigade's mobilization, embarkation, and its role in the Pusan Perimeter battles. Hammes concludes with an analysis of the brigade's success.

The brigade is enshrined in legend as a unit that was formed over the winter of 1949 to 1950 and led by battle-hardened veterans of the Pacific War. In fact, none of the histories of Marine Corps participation in the war deal with the problems of rapid demobilization, armed forces unification, nuclear weapons, rapidly decreasing budgets, and postwar personnel policies. Most credit the brigade's success to the intensive combat experience of its leaders, its intensive training, unit cohesion, and the overall physical fitness of individual Marines. …

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