Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Happy 231st Birthday

I thought I would share some of the United States Marine Corps history with anyone who may be interested, and at the same time wish all past and present U S Marines a Happy 231st Birthday. I set a link up for much more. Just click on the Title Happy 231st Birthday top of post.
On November 10, 1775, the Continental Congress passed a resolution stating that "two battalions of Marines be raised" for service as landing forces with the fleet. This established the Continental Marines and marked the birth of the United States Marine Corps. Serving on land and at sea, .including their first amphibious raid on foreign soil in the Bahamas in March 1776, under the command of the Corps’ first commandant, Capt. Samuel Nicholas. The 1783 Treaty of Paris ended the Revolutionary War and as the last of the Navy’s ships were sold, the Continental Navy and Marines disbanded.
Following the formal re-establishment of the Marine Corps on July 11, 1798, Marines fought in conflicts with France, landed in Santo Domingo and conducted operations against the Barbary pirates along the "Shores of Tripoli."
Marines participated in numerous operations during the War of 1812, including the defense of Washington at Bladensburg, Md. They also fought alongside Andrew Jackson in the defeat of the British at New Orleans. Following the War of 1812, Marines protected American interests around the world in areas like the Caribbean, the Falkland Islands, Sumatra and off the coast of West Africa, and close to home in operations against the Seminole Indians in Florida.
During the Mexican War, Marines seized enemy seaports on both the Gulf and Pacific coasts. While landing parties of Marines and Sailors were seizing enemy ports, a battalion of Marines joined General Winfield Scott’s army at Pueblo and marched and fought all the way to the "Halls of Montezuma," Mexico City.
World War I, Marines distinguished themselves on the battlefields of France, as the 4th Marine Brigade earned the title of "Devil Dogs" for actions at Belleau Wood, Soissons, St. Michiel, Blanc Mont and the final Muesse-Argonne offensive.
The two decades before World War II, the Marine Corps began to develop its doctrine and organization for amphibious warfare. The success of this effort was proven at Guadalcanal, Bougainville, Tarawa, New Britain, Kwajalein, Eniwetok, Saipan, Guam, Tinian, Peleliu, Iwo Jima and Okinawa. By the war’s end in 1945, the Corps had grown to include six divisions, five air wings and supporting troops, about 485,000 Marines. Nearly 87,000 Marines were killed or wounded during WWII and 82 earned the Medal of Honor.
Landing at Inchon, Korea, in September 1950, Marines proved that the doctrine of amphibious assault was still viable and necessary. After the recapture of Seoul, the Marines advanced to the Chosin Reservoir only to see the Chinese Communists enter the war. In March, 1955, after five years of hard fighting, the last Marine ground forces were withdrawn. More than 25,000 Marines were killed or wounded during the Korean War.
The realities of the Korean War brought major changes in the basing and deployment of Marine Corps forces. The Corps strength ballooned to 192,000 men in June 1951, to 232,000 a year later and nearly 250,000 by June 1953. More than half the troops actually served in the operating forces, and the 1st Marine Division and 1st MAW, operationally employed in Korea, were kept up to strength.
The landing of the 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade at Da Nang in 1965 marked the beginning of a large-scale Marine involvement in Vietnam. By the summer of 1968, after the enemy’s Tet Offensive, Marine Corps strength in Vietnam rose to about 85,000. The Marine withdrawal began in 1969 as the South Vietnamese began to assume a larger role in the fighting. The last ground forces left Vietnam by June 1971. The Vietnam War, the longest in the history of the Marine Corps, exacted a high cost, with more than 13,000 Marines killed and 88,000 wounded.
The Vietnam War proved to be the ultimate test of the Corps’ basing and deployment decisions of the 1950s and early 1960s. From the March 1965 landing of Marine ground troops as Da Nang until the departure of the last large Marine units in June 1971, the war impacted drastically on all Marine forces within and outside the III Marine Amphibious Force. Peak Marine strength in Vietnam was reached in 1968 when more than 85,000 Marines were in Vietnam out of a Marine Corps numbering just over 300,000.
The Iraq War is still on going. Who knows how much longer it will be before it will come to an end. I feel the U S Marines are still needed in this world today we could never have come this far without them. Maybe some day they won't be needed. I hope to see that happen in my lifetime.
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