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What If The US Marines Had Fought In The European Theatre?

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  • What If The US Marines Had Fought In The European Theatre?

    What do you guys think? Would it have been over quicker if the Marines had fought instead of the Army?
    Minister Of Propaganda For Sinister Inc.

    "Look! The enemy is inviting us to defeat them! We must oblige them!"

  • #2
    Only 6 Marine divisions were built, don't think it would have made a huge difference, maybe on D-Day? doubt they could have done better than the Big Red One though.


    • #3

      I don't think the Marine Corps would have been able to build to six divisions and keep at that level. The every day casualties of being in the front line would have probably allowed only three divisions in Europe. I think they would have been magnificent in the attack, but wonder what a German offense have done to them? If they would have served under less capable Army Generals as Mark Clark, they would have been lucky to keep two divisions in the field!

      In the Pacific, the Marines had bad casualties, but once they were pulled off the island, they were re-built in safe, secure areas. Not something that happened to European divisions. Were there ever more than three Marine divisions in action at one time? I think the Invasion of Japan would have been the first campaign to call for all six divisions at once.

      Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

      Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

      by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"


      • #4
        A more interesting question might be: What if a USMC Air Group had been deployed to Europe? Would a Corsair equiped air group have made a difference in 1943? The Corsair's performance was on a par with the P-51 and it was available sooner.
        Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.


        • #5
          "The reason that I know Vought F4U Corsair would be really odd in Europe that USMC/USN F4U Corsair were about to launch in D-Day for destroying V-1 Sites with rockets (HVAR Rockets) and Tiny Tim rockets , BUT General George Marshall squashed the plan siting his quote "No Jarheads in Europe" plan. This is written about in Barret Tillmans book on the F4U. That is why the Navy tested the F4U against the FW190 prior to D-DAY. General George Marshall really screwed up some interesting dogfight stories I'd say."



          • #6
            The USAAF clearly did not want Flying Leathernecks cutting in on their turf.
            Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.


            • #7
              The Doctor and others:

              Read this:

              Tell you about VMF-512 enter ETO as "Project Danny"


              • #8
                Cool site!
                Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.


                • #9
                  The USMC was perfectly equipped for the PTO, deploying them in Europe would have been a waste of men and resources. Had they been re-equipped for the ETO they would have been too small a force to make a substantial difference to the outcome.
                  Signing out.


                  • #10
                    Guys, this is a what if scenario. I'll give it a bit then move it into the alternate forum.

                    Thread moved.
                    Last edited by dannybou; 23 Jun 05, 22:31.

                    Soviet and Canadian medal collector!


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Stage
                      What do you guys think? Would it have been over quicker if the Marines had fought instead of the Army?
                      Perhaps not the answer you were expecting; Had the Marines fought in Europe, we might have lost the war in the Pacific Theatre! Or least set the timetable for victory way back.

                      Imagine what would have happened had there been no Marines to hold the line a Guadalcanal; the communications line to Australia then becomes untenable; etc.

                      Army casualties in the island hopping campaign might have been terrible, or there might not have been a Central Pacific thrust via the Navy to complement Big Mac and the army moving up through New Guinea, in turn allowing Japan to concentrate on stopping a single American thrust. Scary thought.



                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Stage
                        What do you guys think? Would it have been over quicker if the Marines had fought instead of the Army?
                        Hmm, the war would have been over by Christmas '44?

                        The Normandy landings were planned by a Marine, just so you know, and Marines did serve in the ETO as beach handlers, logistical operations execs, and field commanders. US Marines also served in North Africa and in the Mediterranean.

                        And don't forget Dieppe...
                        Last edited by Marines; 24 Jun 05, 03:48.


                        • #13
                          Marine Corps History - ETO

                          Overshadowed in history by Marines who fought World War II's Pacific island battles, fewer than 6,000 Marines participated in the Atlantic, North African and European campaigns.

                          Before World War II, Marines served in various European and North African embassies as attaches. However, that role changed with the outbreak of hostilities between the United States and the Axis powers in 1941.

                          The first Marine unit of combat troops to serve on land in the Atlantic theater was the 1st Marine Provisional Brigade. More than 4,000 Marines commanded by Brigadier General John Marston arrived in Reykjavik, Iceland, in July 1941. The Marines augmented the British forces already in place to prevent Iceland from falling to the Germans. Iceland was strategically located for air and naval control of the North Atlantic lifeline between the British Isles and North America.

                          Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Marines assigned under Marston received orders to leave Iceland. They began departing on Jan. 31, 1942, and were completely gone by March 9, 1942.

                          Masters of amphibious warfare tactics, Marines served as planners for the North African, Mediterranean and Normandy invasions. The brief and violent raid by a 6,000-man Canadian and British commando force on the French port city of Dieppe on Aug. 19, 1942, was planned in part by Marine Brigadier General Harold D. Campbell, the Marine Corps advisor to the British Staff of Combined Operations. He was awarded a Legion of Merit for his expertise in developing techniques for large-scale amphibious operations against heavily defended beaches.

                          Marines trained four Army infantry divisions in assault from the sea tactics prior to the North African landings. Leading the way during Operation Torch, the November 1942 North African invasion, Marines went ashore at Arzeu, Algeria, and moved overland to the port of Oran, where they occupied the strategic Spanish fortress at the northern tip of the harbor.

                          Another Marine detachment aboard the cruiser USS Philadelphia landed Nov. 10, 1942, at the port of Safi, French Morocco, and secured the airport against sabotage until Army forces arrived the following day.

                          Nine months earlier, on Jan. 7, Brigadier General Lewis G. Merritt, a Marine Corps pilot serving as an observer with the Royal Air Force in Egypt, was aboard a Wellington bomber shot down by ground fire behind German lines in the Halfya Pass. He and the crew were rescued by a special United Kingdom
                          armored car unit that broke through enemy lines.

                          Assigned to the secretive world of spies and saboteurs were 51 Marines who served with the U.S. Office of Strategic Services to engage in behind-the-lines operations in North Africa and Europe from 1941 to 1945. These OSS Marines served with partisan and resistance groups in France, Germany, Yugoslavia, Italy, Austria, Albania, Greece, Morocco and Egypt; on the islands of Corsica and Sardinia; in Rumania; and in North and West Africa. Ten of these OSS Marines also served with forces in Ceylon, Burma, Malaya and China.

                          Marine Colonel Peter J. Ortiz was twice awarded the Navy Cross for heroism while serving with the French Resistance.

                          Shipboard detachments of Marines served throughout the landings in North Africa, the Mediterranean and the Normandy invasion as gun crews aboard battleships and cruisers. A 200-man detachment was normally carried aboard a battleship, and 80 Marines served aboard cruisers to man the secondary batteries of 5-inch guns providing fire for the landing forces.

                          During the June 6, 1944, Normandy invasion, Marines, renowned as expert riflemen, played a vital role reminiscent of the days of the sailing Navy when sharpshooters were sent to the fighting tops. Stationed high in the superstructures of the invasion fleet, Marine riflemen exploded floating mines in the path of the ships moving across the English Channel to the beaches of Normandy.

                          On Aug. 29, 1944, during the invasion of southern France, Marines from the battleship USS Augusta and the cruiser USS Philadelphia went ashore in Marseilles harbor to accept the surrender of more than 700 Germans who had fortified island garrisons.

                          Although few, these proud Marines played a vital role in the Atlantic, African and European campaigns of World War II.
                          Last edited by Marines; 24 Jun 05, 04:00.


                          • #14
                            I think it was Hitler himself who coined the term "devil Dogs" When he was referring to the jarheads
                            Virtute Et Armis


                            • #15
                              A Marine division would have needed additional transportation assets attached to it. The May 1944 Marine Division had 1055 vehicles (not including trailers but including 3 station wagons!) of all types organic to it while an Army infantry division (15 July 1943 T/O & E) had 2012. The war in Europe, even though it had static periods, was much more mobile then the Pacific war, and without more transportation assets the Marines would have been hardpressed to keep up.
                              "The legitimate object of war is a more perfect peace." General William T. Sherman , 20 July 1865