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3rd Marine Division & 1st Marine Divisions  History
Dishonored: Marine Corps on the Ropes
How Marine Generals Lost the Vietnam War
© 2013
334 pages; 18 chapters and 4 appendixes
In Dishonored: Marine Corps on the Ropes, as the second part of a two-volume set,
more
Marine Corps leadership mistakes in Vietnam are examined (see the first volume
in
Disgraced: Defeat of the Marine Corps in Vietnam), along with the deeply ingrained
weaknesses of Marine approaches to warfighting, such as the
USMC’s traditional
reluctance
to dig proper military fortifications in defensive situations. Dishonored: Marine
Corps on the Ropes
also describes why and how the USMC surrendered the initiative
to the NVA at DaNang, along the DMZ and throughout I Corps.
Dishonored: Marine Corps
on the Ropes
precisely examines the performance of USMC combat and supporting
arms in Vietnam
, and Marine operations from 1965 to 1972. Two chapters are also devoted
to a description of the exploits of the
USMC’s only great general in Vietnam, Medal of
Honor winner, General Ray Davis, Commander of the
3rd Marine Division 1968-69. He led
the
3rd Marine Division to temporary glory while the 1st Marine Division’s history remains
stained.
Review Table of Contents
“General Westmoreland, supreme commander of all allied forces in South Vietnam, was astute enough to notice early on
(1965-66), that the two and one-half marine divisions (the equivalent of five army infantry divisions) deployed in South
Vietnam’s First Corps, were addicted to the defensive. That fact was revealed right after the first marine battalion landed
and again after the entire 3rd Marine Division Headquarters landed (before General Ray Davis took over). Soon, as one
marine staff officer described it: "...the whole 3rd Marine division in fact, was now on the defensive. Our job was to prevent
any VC attack on the airfield by holding the main line of resistance.
No offensive operations of any kind were being
conducted
, except squad and platoon-sized patrols, and even those were not to venture farther than two thousand yards
from the MLR." The 1st Marine Division’s history for most of the Vietnam War was a defensive one.
Marine commanders were simply unable and unwilling to maneuver any of the division's dozens of battalions at one time.
They never deployed more than a small fraction of their force to offensive action. They meant to stay hunkered down
defending the coastline forever, if possible. US Marine commanders repeatedly argued that their defensive posture was
part of their "pacification" program and that their amphibious capability required them to remain along the coast where
they could "practice landings from the sea." Marine divisions that had earned prestige in World War Two were diminished
in I Corps. The 1st Marine Division’s history was no longer illustrious.”
Excerpt from Dishonored: Marine Corps on the Ropes
other books about the Vietnam War
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1st Marine Divisions History