speaking) which embodies all the combined arms and services required for
sustained combat. In 1950 the Marine division at war strength (22,343) was a
heavier, stronger division than the infantry division (18,804).
The teeth of a division, as distinct from its administrative and logistic tail,
are its three infantry regiments (each of three battalions), its artillery, and its
armor.... As distinct from the infantry division of the Army, the Marine division of
course includes units, equipment and skills of primary importance in amphibious
operations. [The shore party battalion is an example.] In 1950 the Marine infantry
regiment had a strength of 3,902; the Army regiment numbered 3,774. The
Marine infantry battalion (1,123) outnumbered the Army battalion (917) by about
20 per cent.
In artillery the two divisions were exactly comparable: each had one
battalion of 18 medium (155mm) howitzers, and three battalions, each equipped
with 18 105mm light howitzers. In infantry firepower, however, as shown by the
following table, considerable disparity existed between the Marine division and
the infantry division.
Weapon USMC Army
Carbine 9740 7474
Rifle, M-1 8748 6913
Pistol, .45 3196 2769
BAR 903 412
Shotgun 6 0
Thomson submachine 99 0
Machine gun, water-cooled .30 54 40
Machine gun, air-cooled.30 575 160
Machine gun, .50 cal. 187 354
3.5" Bazooka 376 546
Recoilless rifle, 75mm 12 39
60mm mortar 81 84
81mm mortar 54 40
4.2" mortar 24 36
Flame thrower 111 0
Epitomizing the comparison between the two divisions is the fact that, in
1950, the Marine division, 18 per cent stronger, had 27 per cent more men
armed with the basic weapon of infantry combat, the M-1 rifle.
In armor the two divisions were nearly equal, though not numerically so.
The Army division had 144 tanks of all types; the Marines had but 100. However,
the Army figure included light tanks, whereas the Marine tanks were all medium,
except for 9 flame-thrower tanks, of which the Army division had none. Being
shaped for sustained land operations, the Army unit's motor transportation (3,800
vehicles) far exceeded that of the Marine division (2,409)1
" Robert D. Heinl, Victory At High Tide (Baltimore: The Nautical and Aviation Publishing Company,
1979): 291-92. Used by permission.
Montandon, Joshua W. Battle for the Punchbowl: The U. S. 1st Marine Division 1951 Fall Offensive of the Korean War. Denton, Texas. UNT Digital Library. http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3938/. Accessed March 31, 2015.