The Rise and Fall of an American Army: U.S. Ground Forces in Vietnam, 1965-1973

By Shelby L. Stanton | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 3.
MARINES AT WAR

1. "Send in The Marines!"

The United States Marine Corps, the nation's amphibious strike force, is the corps d'elite of the American military. As a premier fighting organization, the Marines also have the role of protecting American interests on a global basis.

This dual responsibility has produced a rich and varied legacy extending from the first Marine landing in the Bahamas in 1776 to the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. In between, the Marines had captured a pirate fortress at Tripoli, taken the Mexican national palace, participated in the Civil War, defended Shanghai and Peking, cleared entrenched German troops from French forests, fought through a maze of Caribbean conflicts, stormed Japanese island bastions, landed on Korean shores, and defended Lebanon. This heritage had produced a common governmental response to military emergencies throughout the country's history: "Send in the Marines!"

As the situation in Vietnam began to unravel, the Marines were in a very high response posture. This was largely due to the triple crises of Cuba, Thailand in 1962, and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy the following year. During 1964, Marine capability was further tested and sharpened by a series of rigorous exercises extending from Norwegian Tremso, three hundred miles inside the Arctic Circle, to mock battles with French Marine commandos in the Mediterranean. That year training was conducted in Corsica, Sardinia, Spain, Norway,

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The Rise and Fall of an American Army: U.S. Ground Forces in Vietnam, 1965-1973
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vi
  • Foreword x
  • Introduction xv
  • Part 1 1965 1
  • Chapter 1. Advisors and Special Forces 3
  • Chapter 2. an Army Girds for Battle 18
  • Chapter 3. Marines at War 29
  • Chapter 4. an Army Goes to War 45
  • Part 2 1966 63
  • Chapter 5. the Build-Up 65
  • Chapter 6. the Area War 81
  • Chapter 7. the Central Front 97
  • Chapter 8. the Northern Front 117
  • Part3 1967 131
  • Chapter 9. the Year of the Big Battles 142
  • Chapter 11. Battle for the Highlands 157
  • Chapter 12. Holding the Line 179
  • Chapter 13. Battle for the Coast 191
  • Part 4 1968 203
  • Chapter 14. Year of Crises 205
  • Chapter 15. the Battles of Tet-68 219
  • Chapter 16. Siege and Breakthrough 247
  • Chapter 17. Counteroffensive 260
  • Part 5 1969 281
  • Chapter 18. One War 283
  • Chapter 19. One War in the Northern Provinces 295
  • Chapter 20. One War in the Southern Provinces 308
  • Part 6 333
  • Chapter 21 335
  • Chapter 22. an Army Departs the War 350
  • Guide to Unit Organization and Terms 369
  • Sources and Bibliography 371
  • Index 395
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