Marines in the ETO?

Titus Pullo

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Does anyone have information on Marine Corps units involved in the European Theater during WWII? I know there were some involved, like the 3rd Parachute BN IIRC but I am curious about other units and the campaigns they were involved in.

It seems that when WWII is spoken about it is quickly divided into the theaters and rarely are the Marines mentioned for the ETO and likewise the Army in the PTO (save for CBI) even though units like the 77th Infantry were in the PTO (the 77th is the unit Ernie Pyle was with when he was killed.)
 
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Does anyone have information on Marine Corps units involved in the European Theater during WWII? I know there were some involved, like the 3rd Parachute BN IIRC but I am curious about other units and the campaigns they were involved in.

It seems that when WWII is spoken about it is quickly divided into the theaters and rarely are the Marines mentioned for the ETO and likewise the Army in the PTO (save for CBI) even though units like the 77th Infantry were in the PTO (the 77th is the unit Ernie Pyle was with when he was killed.)
There were ship's companies, obviously, on the bigger ships, but there really was very little Marine Corps presence in the ETO. I read an article online a while back; I'll try to find it if no one else has the information.

History's oversight on the Army in the PTO is actually far worse. Besides the smaller units like Merrill's Marauders and the Alamo Scouts, there were over 20 Army divisions in the PTO, who participated in some of the most grueling campaigns of the war (campaigns and specific operations noted below):
  • 1st Cavalry Division - a square division with two brigades of two cavalry regiments each; served in New Guinea, the Bismarck Archipelago, Leyte, Luzon, and the Southern Philippines
  • 6th Infantry Division - New Guinea, Luzon
  • 7th Infantry Division - Aleutians, Eastern Mandates (Kwajalein), Leyte, Ryukyus (Okinawa)
  • 11th Airborne Division - New Guinea, Leyte, Luzon
  • Americal Division - Guadalcanal, Northern Solomons (Bougainville), Leyte, Southern Philippines
  • 24th Infantry Division - Central Pacific (Hawaii December 1941), New Guinea, Leyte, Southern Philippines, Luzon
  • 25th Infantry Division - Central Pacific (Hawaii December 1941), Guadalcanal, Northern Solomons (New Georgia), Luzon
  • 27th Infantry Division - Central Pacific (Makin Atoll, Majuro, Eniwetok), Western Pacific (Saipan), Ryukyus (Okinawa)
  • 31st Infantry Division - New Guinea, Southern Philippines
  • 32nd Infantry Division - New Guinea, Southern Philippines, Luzon
  • 33rd Infantry Division - New Guinea, Luzon
  • 37th Infantry Division - Northern Solomons (New Georgia, Bougainville), Luzon
  • 38th Infantry Division - New Guinea, Southern Philippines, Luzon
  • 40th Infantry Division - Bismarck Archipelago, Southern Philippines, Luzon
  • 41st Infantry Division - New Guinea, Luzon, Southern Philippines
  • 43rd Infantry Division - Guadalcanal, Northern Solomons (New Georgia), New Guinea, Luzon
  • 77th Infantry Division - Western Pacific (Guam), Leyte, Ryukyus (Okinawa)
  • 81st Infantry Division - Western Pacific (Palaus), Leyte
  • 93rd Infantry Division (Colored) - Northern Solomons, Bismarck Archipelago, New Guinea
  • 96th Infantry Division - Leyte, Ryukyus (Okinawa)
  • 98th Infantry Division - saw no combat; was preparing to invade Japan when the war ended
  • Philippine Division - destroyed in the defense of the Philippine Islands in 1941-42
 
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And here is the more-or-less official history:

A DIFFERENT WAR: Marines in Europe and North Africa
by Lieutenant Colonel Harry W. Edwards, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret)

http://www.nps.gov/archive/wapa/indepth/extContent/usmc/pcn-190-003125-00/index.htm

cover.jpg
 
N

nineteen-delta

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This was the piece I was thinking of. It is definitely written from a pro-Marine bias.

http://article.nationalreview.com/print/?q=YzRjM2Q3NzYyYWQzYzliOGNhYzhhNzkwMGY5MjVkYTM=

"Between Omaha and Utah, 225 men of the U.S. 2nd Ranger Battalion were tasked with scaling the 100-foot cliffs of Pointe du Hoc. There, five 155-millimeter guns were emplaced in reinforced concrete bunkers. As such the position encompassed "the most dangerous battery in France." It had to be knocked out to protect the landings."

"When the Rangers began suffering heavy losses, brief consideration was given to sending-in the Marines from one of the offshore ships' detachments."


"In the Atlantic, Marines had trained Army forces for seaborne landings prior to the North African campaign in 1942, and then made landings during the same. Marines trained Army forces for the Sicilian-Italian landings in 1943. Marine Corps amphibious experts were on Ike's staff. And most Normandy-bound Army units were in fact instructed by Marines prior to the 1944 invasion"


ACTUALLY,
LC Rudder had 3 Companies of Rangers at the foot of the Cliffs.
The Cliffs were scaled and the Strongpoint was assaulted Successfully, with relatively LIGHT Casualties. The costliest part of the battle for the Rangers came after the cliff assault
As Ranger patrols went looking for, and found & destroyed the guns which had been moved a mile away.
Also the original plan called for 8 Ranger companies, of the 5th RB to back up the assault. Why then would 84 marines be needed?

Also, the article implies the Rangers may have been trained in amphibious landings by the marines.
In fact The Rangers trained for the cliff assault on the Isle of Wight.
Under the direction of British Commandos.
(probably on the cliffs of The old Needles Battery):)/I]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pointe_du_Hoc
 
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