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Title: Fighting power : interpretive issues : the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade, 1950
Author: Hammes, Thomas Xavier
ISNI:       0000 0004 2726 7725
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2008
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Fighting Power: Interpretive Issues The 1st Provisional Marine Brigade, 1950 Hammes, Thomas Xavier Lincoln College Submitted for Doctor of Philosophy in History Trinity Term 2008 When the Korean War broke out on 25 June 1950, the Marine Corps was ordered to deploy an air-ground brigade from California in less than ten days. Due to five years of massive budget and manpower cuts, the Marine Corps did not have even a brigade immediately available. The only way to meet the sailing timeline was to organize, man and equip the force while actually embarking it. As it embarked, the brigade had to incorporate marines flown in from posts all over the western United States; draw equipment from war reserves held hundreds of miles away; reorganize many of the existing units under new tables of organization; and add an experimental helicopter detachment from the east coast of the United States. Despite these enormous handicaps and numerically superior enemy forces, the brigade won every engagement. This performance was in stark contrast to the performance of all other US forces at this stage of the war. The brigade’s brief existence (7 July to 6 Sept 1950), combined with its exceptional combat record under adverse conditions, provides the opportunity to study the impact of institutional culture, education, doctrine, organization, training and leadership on performance in combat. Research showed that a key element of the brigade’s success was the Marine Corps’ institutional culture. In particular, the culture of remembering ensured marines understood the unchanging aspects of war and provided its men with the education, training, doctrine and organization to cope with its enduring friction, fog and chance. At the same time, the culture of learning ensured the marines understood what was changing in the character and tools of war so the brigade was well adapted to the realities of modern war from its first day in combat.
Supervisor: Strachan, Hew Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History of North America ; History of War ; U.S. Marine Corps ; Marines ; Korea ; Pusan Perimeter ; Fighting Power