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To the Limit of Endurance: A Battalion of…

To the Limit of Endurance: A Battalion of Marines in the Great War (C. A.…

by Peter F. Owen

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2018 (1) audible (1) Marines (2) USMC (1) WWI (2)



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What one has here is a really good microhistory of the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines (the unit in which the author started his active career in the USMC) with the goal of teasing out what insights what one of the better battalions of the AEF might tell one about American military performance in World War I. The short answer is that quality manpower can only take up so much slack in the face of bad doctrine & organization and that the evolution of doctrine & organization in the AEF barely kept up with the erosion of its human resources. Going forward, the author suggests that in the next high-intensity war U.S. ground forces may have to adopt some of the expedients the Marines of the 4th Brigade had to adopt, such as holding back cadres at the battalion level to maintain unit cohesion and liberal use of battlefield commissions to keep up at least a skeleton command system; never mind the issue of filling up the rank & file in the absence of conscription and creating an organization to implement a crash draft. ( )
  Shrike58 | Jun 26, 2018 |
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