The Battle Of The Marine Raiders Essays

The Battle Of The Marine Raiders Essays

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Introduction to the Marine Raiders
In 1942, World War II had been raging for three years. The United States of America have declared war upon the Axis powers following the devastating Japanese attack upon Pearl Harbor. At this point in the war the Allies are in a grave situation. German forces have pushed the British off mainland Europe, and the Japanese have conquered much of the Pacific region, coming increasingly nearer to the American mainland. In order to combat this rising threat, the American military headship began to search for viable alternatives to replace widely used established tactics. The motive for this search for irregular methods the fact that the Allied forces were not strong enough to meet the Axis powers on a conventional battlefield. In December of 1941 Colonel William J. Donovan, a World War I Army hero and presidential confidant, made a formal proposal to President Roosevelt to create a U.S. military unit that “would infiltrate occupied territory and assist resistance groups.”(Hoffman, 1995, p.3) In January of 1942, the president’s son, Captain James Roosevelt USMC wrote a letter to Major General Thomas Holcomb, 17th Commandant of the Marine Corps, suggesting the formation of “a unit for purposes similar to those of the British Commandos and the Chinese Guerillas.”(p. 3) Encouraged by the success of the British commando units, such as the SAS, LRDG, Royal Marine Commandos, and the enthusiastic endorsement of such units by the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, President Roosevelt urged the Marine Corps leadership to form specialized amphibious raider units. Although Holcomb believed that by its nature the Marines could carry out amphibious raids and did not need such special units, Holcomb re-d...


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...oys anti-tank rifle.
the Boys antitank rifle, a 35-pound behemoth firing a .55-caliber round. Edson adopted these Canadian weapons to provide his men with a light but serviceable capability against enemy armor. The rifle eventually saw use with other raider battalions. The heavy round was accurate at more than 1,000 yards, and the 2d Raiders used a Boys on Makin to destroy two Japanese seaplanes ( Hoffman, 1995, p.3)
Another example of a supremely significant innovation that the Raiders initiated, is the use of camouflage-pattern uniforms and the use of burlap strips to break up the distinct outline of the standard issue infantry helmet. This concept of camouflage established by the Raiders would influence America’s armed forces to this day, the Marine Corps adopting the EDRL pattern uniform as their first standard issue, camouflage pattern, battle dress in 1969.

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