Thursday, December 6, 2012

USMC Enlistedman Claims Macgregor is Prejudiced--While Posting Korean War Myths

The USMC refused to stay in formation during the march to the Yalu river during the Korean war and began to "bug-out" (run) by building evacuation air strips, opening a gap for the enemy to infiltrate in behind American lines.

Here is what the man said:

Subject: Marine Article
Date: Tuesday, December 4, 2012, 3:07 PM

Mr. Macgregor,

I read your article in Time magazine yesterday concerning your feelings towards the United States Marine Corps. Maybe you should spend some time researching your topic prior to putting pen to paper so to speak. The Marine Corps is a time honored institution that fulfills many roles for our armed forces. One of the topics that you seem to have left out is the men that the Marine Corps produced and that are part of a strong backbone of American heritage.

More often than you would even care to admit through out American history the Marine Corps has stood up to the enemy, has defeated the enemy and has done so with the army in full retreat. Mr. Macgregor you are an army officer with a defined prejudice towards the Marines. I can only imagine somewhere along the way a Marine put you in your place or you are just embarrassed that your service doesn't transcend the values, principles and courage that my beloved Marine Corps represents.

You have your own opinion and it's noted. But it's as dumb of an opinion as they come. You could run for political office as you live in a reality that doesn't exist.


The response to my comments on the light infantry as currently equipped and organized in both the Army and the Marines provides a useful glimpse into the mentality that legislators must confront as they consider reductions in defense spending. In this case, the man is a Marine, but his delusional thinking resonates with far too many in the Army’s light infantry circles.

The notion that Marines want to justify force structure on the grounds that they "the best placed units to provide aid to disaster victims," should raise real concerns about what is being done with the Armed Forces. This may be exactly what Samuel Nicholas always hoped the Marines would become, but I doubt seriously that Generals Lem Shepherd or David Shoup would have considered such a rationale. In addition, it’s also a very expensive way for the American tax payer to deliver humanitarian aid and assistance.

Unless human flesh and bone has been converted to titanium alloy, dismounted men with rifles are the softest and the easiest targets to maim and kill on the battlefield. Tanks are not soft targets as Marine Armor officers will attest. In 2003 after Marine infantry had fought Iraqi paramilitaries in An Nasiryah for three hours taking casualties in the process, a platoon of Marine Tanks showed up and crushed the Iraqi fighters in minutes.

In subsequent actions in Fallujah where the Marines employed large numbers of dismounted infantry, the Marines took serious and unnecessary casualties. The two Army Armored Task Forces had fewer than a dozen casualties. The Marine determination to expose flesh and bone to fire was repeated over and over again with horrible consequences for Marines, dismounted or mounted in wheeled vehicles, or tracked Amphibs.

Alex Berenson of the The New York Times noted the obvious drawbacks to the light infantry-centric Marine formations on 29 August 2004 writing:

“… in Najaf, two battalions of the Army’s tanks did what a lighter marine battalion could not, inflicting huge casualties on Mr. Sadr’s insurgents while taking almost none of their own. The 70-ton tanks and 25-ton Bradleys pushed to the gates of the Imam Ali shrine at the center of the old city. Meanwhile, the marines spent most of the fight raiding buildings far from the old city. Even so, seven marines died, and at least 30 were seriously wounded, according to commanders here, while only two soldiers died and a handful were injured.” Perhaps these comments help to explain why General Colin Powell expressed the concern in 1990 during the run up to Desert Storm that “the Marines are really interested in building another monument to more dead Marines.” Mass plus athleticism does not equal warfighting capability. Delusional thinking of this kind fills body bags, but it is no way to fight a war.

Finally, a person who saw more blood and destruction in his lifetime than any man alive, Sir Winston Churchill, lamented the readiness of British generals to hurl human beings into fire. His words were about the criticality of armor and the failure to exploit it in WW I, but the words are no less true today.

"Accusing as I do without exception all the great Allied offensives in 1914, 1916 and 1917, as needless and wrongly conceived operations of infinite cost, I am bound to reply to the question -- what else could be done? And I answer it, pointing to the battle of Cambrai (where tanks were first used), 'this could have been done'. This in many variants, this in larger and better forms ought to have been done, and would have been done if only the generals had not been content to fight machine gun bullets with the breasts of gallant men, and think that that was waging war."


  1. Okay, I get Iraq and the need for armor, but what about Afghanistan?


    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Our NATO allies have been using tanks in Afghanistan for years. Most of Afghanistan is flat. In the mountainous areas lighter tanks can traverse. It's our own stupidity and foot infantry bias that prevents us from using tanks in Afghanistan so we can fight the enemy from superior mounted cross country mobility, protection and firepower. In addition -- to be able to dismount.

  2. Hey, nice site you have here! Keep up the excellent work!

    PHD Ship Building