Battle for the Punchbowl: The U. S. 1st Marine Division 1951 Fall Offensive of the Korean War

adjustments of scheduled fires to make them conform to troop advance requires a
flexible employment of supporting arms and a common sense approach to principles...
. Basically, the effectiveness of fire support coordination is dependant upon adequate,
reliable communications and the flexibility of supporting arms employment."5
Marines were not unique in the coordination of artillery fire with troop movement.
The Army had been doing that for decades. Marines were unique in the American
military establishment in that, as a standard operating procedure, they superimposed
NGF (naval gunfire) and CAS over the Army's "basic structure," greatly increasing the
power of Marine supporting arms over the standard Army infantry division -- all other
things being equal, and assuming that the Marines were allowed to use their supporting
arms as trained to, and that they remained close enough to a coast that NGF could still
support them. Army units could and did use NGF and CAS, but the liaison parties
necessary to use NGF had to be specially assigned to an Army ID, and they did not
often train with them. Furthermore, as has been noted above, Army divisions only had
TACPs down to the regimental level, and the whole JOC system it operated under at
the time of Korea was not as flexible, fast, or effective as the CAS control system of the
Marines. The Marine and Army divisions had the same number of artillery organic to
them: one battalion of eighteen 155mm howitzers along with three artillery battalions
armed with eighteen lighter 105mm guns.6
Marines liked to use a generous amount of supporting fire wherever possible.
s Ibid.
6 Ibid., IV-C-2; Robert Heinl, Victory at High Tide, 291. "The Marine Corps, habituated to hard fighting in
opposed assaults, confident and knowledgeable in the Navy's gunfire support and in the precision
support of Marine and Navy aviators, believed in these weapons and liked to use them generously. Army
staffs, having less experience in this type of work, hesitated to rely on the Navy's guns in the absence of
their trusted artillery, and knew little of air support as the Marines practice it." -- Robert Heinl, Victory at
High Tide, 56-57. The greater effectiveness of the Marine CAS system finally won out so that by the time
of Vietnam, even the AF had adopted or copied it - Robert Heinl, Victory at High Tide, 56-57.


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. Accessed September 27, 2016.