USMC vs IJA one on one

Discussions on WW2 in the Pacific and the Sino-Japanese War.
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leytekursk
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Post by leytekursk » 18 Jan 2005 03:52

The Bayonet as the principal weapon of japanese soldier?....

I Think not... Massive and suicide attacks at bayonet only in Hollywood movies...
After 1943, japanese forces adopt defensive tactics....like Peleliu Tarawa, Manila, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, etc.

Regards.
Last edited by leytekursk on 18 Jan 2005 21:49, edited 1 time in total.

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oneshooter
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Post by oneshooter » 18 Jan 2005 05:03

Tenaru River and Bloody Ridge on Guadelcanal. The Brits had several in the India Campaign. And I believe on Okanawa. The Japanese tactics changed as the war continued. All of their early battles were based on flanking and frontal attacks in massed formations. The same as in the Russo- Japan war.

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gewehrdork
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Post by gewehrdork » 24 Jan 2005 01:05

[quote="
Still no answer to the Rifle Question? :)

Oneshooter
Livin in Texas[/quote]

There is a somewhat answer to that question.
A book by J.B. George titled "shots fired in anger" details his time in the pacific. as well he was an ardent shooter beofre the war and was himself interested in the very question of japanese training in the use of their rifles. He found that japanese training was very spartan at bst regarding actual shooting of their service rifles.
He found a "training pamphlet" that showed a sitting shooting position wiht the rifle.His questioning of japanese POW's really showed the rather lack of formal shooting technique when he had them show him how they were trained to aim their rifles. JBG goes further in expalining how he feels the barleycorn type sight the japanese used was the most efficient type for relatively low trained troops, as they apparently were more concerned wiht their soldiers hitting a standing man at 100 as opposed to US doctrine looking for a small group at 500.
JB George goes at length to describe japanese weapons he encountered and evaluated - down to handgrenades. I don't know if this book has been in reprint of late - an original copy will easily fetch $50 + if the seller knows what he has.

George Lepre
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Post by George Lepre » 30 Jan 2005 15:21

Hi Everyone -

Several posters have mentioned training in the USMC. Two uncles of mine fought with the 1st Marine Division on Guadalcanal: PFC Robert Caufield with H 2/5 and PFC Bernard "Buddy" Seiden with H&S 1/11 (KIA 16 October 1942). I obtained Bernard Seiden's personnel file from the National Personnel Records Center some time ago and it contained some interesting facts regarding training.

It seems that after Pearl Harbor, the services rushed men through training as quickly as possible. After enlisting in the USMC, Bernard reported to New York City on 2 January 1942 and was sent by rail to Parris Island, South Carolina, for training. Here are some excerpts from his service record book, or "SRB":

Boot camp: He was assigned to the 10th Recruit Battalion on 3 January 1942 and graduated on 24 January 1942. That means that boot camp was three weeks long in early 1942.

School Training: On 24 January, Bernard was assigned to Co. F, The Training Center at Quantico, Virginia for training as a signalman. This course ended on 8 February 1942, so it lasted for two weeks. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 11th Marines on the same day and sent to Camp Lejeune, which was then the home base of the 1st Division.

It may be that the training cycles were longer during the later years of the war.

Best regards,

George Lepre

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 31 Jan 2005 12:46

I think George is right about the amount of training being limited,especially in the crisis year of 1942.To see the USMC in 1941/42 as consisting of all old hand marksmanship experts,Old China hands etc, stretches the point too far as well.The USMC Reserve filled up the ranks in 1942(many of them youngsters, beforehand subject to only part-time drill and training in college or school).The draft introduced in 1941 also decided for many that if they were going to be in it,it should be with an elite force(one source I have states that 60,000 men applied to join the Marines in 1941 but only 12,000 were accepted).

This from a WW2 Marine veteran as well(private correspondence):
In the Corps we had liars, thieves, criminals, assholes, jerks, misfits, con-artists, cowards and other less than admirable characters. In N.Z. we had a Marine corn hole a sheep, with two others holding the sheep down. I could go on with this but I wont.

In short, Marines are not that different than the general population, but on occasion they work together well, especially in combat.
While not supermen,I think the terribly human failings of the Marines as men(and possessed by all of us) makes their deeds and achievements in battle even more admirable in hindsight.

JamesL
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Post by JamesL » 31 Jan 2005 16:34

Let's not forget that the US Army also served on Guadalcanal.

During the Battle for Henderson Field the 164th Inf. (North Dakota National Guard) was on Chesty Puller's left flank. These Soldiers were equipped with Garand rifles. LtCol Hoffman USMC, in his recent biography of Puller, noted that Puller was mighty happy to have that Army firepower on his flank.



For additional Army Guadalcanal info see link.

http://www.army.mil/cmh-pg/brochures/72-8/72-8.htm

George Lepre
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Post by George Lepre » 01 Feb 2005 00:20

Hello again -

Peter - Your statement that the Marine Corps of early 1942 consisted primarily of new marines is right on the mark. It is confirmed by George McMillan's famous history of the 1st Division, The Old Breed. Regarding the division's enlisted men, McMillan quoted an older officer who wrote, "The average age of the enlisted personnel is very low, probably not 20 years - about 90 percent of them enlisted since Pearl Harbor" (see McMillan, page 15).

James - It is true that the army is somewhat overlooked when it comes to the Pacific Theater. Most people simply think that the army fought in Europe and the USMC in the Pacific. The Americal Division is interesting because it was the only army division formed outside of the continental United States. (On a humorous note, some authors erroneously call it the "American" Division in their books because they assume the word "Americal" to be a misprint in their source materials!)

James - Looks like we're neighbors! Where in NJ are you? I'm in Madison.

Best regards,

George

JamesL
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Post by JamesL » 01 Feb 2005 01:09

Down I-287. Bridgewater.

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 03 Feb 2005 23:56

The Marines at Guadalcanal complimented the 164th Regt by calling them 'Little Marines'.

McMillian's The Old Breed is one excellent book:my copy has been well read.

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