Date: December 1996
Creator: Maynard, Stephen Ronald
Description: This thesis explores the activities of the U.S. Marine defense battalions from October 1939 to December 1942. More specifically, it explains why Headquarters Marine Corps (HQMC) decided to continue the defense battalions as separate entities when, by mid-1943, it needed additional men to replace its combat losses and to create new divisions. In this process HQMC disbanded other special units, such as the raider battalions, parachute battalions, barrage balloon squadrons, and the glider squadrons. It retained, however, the defense battalions because of their versatility and utility as demonstrated during the various operations they conducted in Iceland and the Central and South Pacific. In these locations defense battalions performed as: (a) island garrisons, (b) antiaircraft artillery units, and (c) landing forces. Their success in carrying out these missions led to their retention as separate entities throughout World War II.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries