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Posted: 10/2/2005 8:08:24 PM EDT
Quick question.. Would anyone know with any certainty during WW2, that The Marines ever fought the Germans? I know they were busy cleaning up the Japs in the latter stages in the south Pacific (God bless) , but I've always been curious about this aspect. If not,  how would the war have unfolded if Germany went up against The Leathernecks?

Thanks guys.
Link Posted: 10/2/2005 8:10:47 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/2/2005 9:42:38 PM EDT
Small numbers of Marines were dropped into France to help with raids and resistance movements. I do not know of any direct combat but odds are there was some.

In the mediteranian Sea the Marine II Corps’s fought in Sicily during July- August 1943 against the German HG division and the Italian Livorno division.

The outcome of the war would have been no different if the Marines had been there in larger numbers as oppsoed to the army.  The Germans were still outnumbered, outgunned, and "out-produced" in equipment by factors of 10 in many areas.
Link Posted: 10/10/2005 1:07:12 PM EDT
I always wondered the same thing...it seems like the Marines were almost exclusively Pacific Theater.

The other question I had was were there black Marines in WWII, you never see pictures of any...but there were...
Link Posted: 10/10/2005 1:56:16 PM EDT
In my readings of various histories of the USMC, I recall a short passage that a landing party was put together of various ships detachments Marines and sailors and they took a couple of small Mediterranean islands.  As mentioned earlier, several Marines were assigned to the OSS and performed operations behind the German lines.  Usually as individuals or part of a small mixed group.  I think Sterling Hayden, the movie star, was one of those Marines.
The Army had a real hard on for the Marines for upstaging them in the first war and wanted to keep the USMC out of Europe.
I look at it this way, if not for the USMC experimentation with amphibious assualts in the 1930's, the army would never have been able to make their amphibious landings in north Africa, the Med, southern Europe, or Normandy.  The war would have gone on for much longer than it did.

ETA, black Marines were primarily assigned to the defense battalions later in the war or they were assigned to supply organizations later in the war.  They were present at Iwo Jima and pretty sure they were in the Okinawa campaign also.
Link Posted: 10/10/2005 2:35:37 PM EDT
I think I recall reading once that there were a handful of Marine observers present at the Normandy invasion as well.  

That makes sense.  I know that during each Marine amphibious assault Marines from outfits NOT actually particpating in that assault were present as observers, so they could witness first hand and observe lessons learned for their own subsequent assaults, and not be forced to rely on After Action Reports.

Semper Fi
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