The Battle Of The Marine Raiders

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Introduction to the Marine Raiders In 1942, World War II had been raging for three years. The United States of America have declared war upon the Axis powers following the devastating Japanese attack upon Pearl Harbor. At this point in the war the Allies are in a grave situation. German forces have pushed the British off mainland Europe, and the Japanese have conquered much of the Pacific region, coming increasingly nearer to the American mainland. In order to combat this rising threat, the American military headship began to search for viable alternatives to replace widely used established tactics. The motive for this search for irregular methods the fact that the Allied forces were not strong enough to meet the Axis powers on a conventional battlefield. In December of 1941 Colonel William J. Donovan, a World War I Army hero and presidential confidant, made a formal proposal to President Roosevelt to create a U.S. military unit that “would infiltrate occupied territory and assist resistance groups.”(Major John T. Hoffman USMCR, 3) In January of 1942, the president’s son, Captain James Roosevelt USMC wrote a letter to Major General Thomas Holcomb, 17th Commandant of the Marine Corps, suggesting the formation of “a unit for purposes similar to those of the British Commandos and the Chinese Guerillas.”(Hoffman, 3) Encouraged by the success of the British commando units, such as the SAS, LRDG, Royal Marine Commandos, and the enthusiastic endorsement of such units by the

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