The United States Marine Corps

The Expeditionary Force at War

Paul Westermeyer

A concise history of the United States Marine Corps, charting its changing expeditionary force strategies, and the conflicts in which it has fought.
Date Published :
November 2019
Publisher :
Series :
Casemate Short History
Illustration :
b/w photos and maps
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781612006932
Pages : 160
Dimensions : 7.8 X 5.9 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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Many think of the United States Marine Corps as a second land army, and while it has been employed in that capacity, it is foremost a naval expeditionary force able to seize, secure, and defend advanced naval bases in support of major campaigns.

The Corps dates back to the Revolutionary War, but while they served in the conflicts of the 19th century, they are famed for their part in the wars of the 20th century. On the Western Front in World War I they were blooded at Belleau Wood. Between the wars the Corps developed amphibious tactics which were employed to great effect during the Pacific island campaigns during World War II including the infamous battles of Peleliu, Iwo Jima and Okinawa. The names of the Corps is forever entwined with the battles of Inchon and Chosin Reservoir in Korea, and Hue and Khe Sanh in Vietnam. The US Marines have continued their expeditionary role to this day, undertaking not only combat operations but also peacekeeping, peace enforcement, humanitarian relief, and short-notification/limited-duration contingency operations.

This concise history charts the evolution of the Corps as it has adapted to changing combat over two centuries.

About The Author

Paul W. Westermeyer is a military historian. He began his career teaching history at Ohio State University. In 2005 Westermeyer became a historian for the U.S. Marine Corps History Division, where he began publishing books. He was the 2015 recipient of the “Brigadier General Edwin Simmons-Henry I. Shaw Award” for his book Liberating Kuwait: U.S. Marines in the Gulf War, 1990-1991. He holds both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree from Ohio State University.


"Overall, this is an educational and enjoyable read, good for background or foundational information on the marine corps. Recommended for the circulating collection in a broad range of libraries that serve general readers or beginner researchers."

- Booklist

"This cogent history charts the evolution of the Corps as it has adapted to changing combat over two centuries. Every Marine should carry a copy of this amazing statement in his back pocket for reference of what it means to be an elite warrior."

- Leatherneck Magazine

"A very good first book for anyone unfamiliar with the Marine Corps, and one that even more seasoned readers may find informative."

- The NYMAS Review

‘’A comprehensive overview of the US Marine Corps, past, present and future. Using the Corps’ 250 year history as background, the author shows how it recruits, trains and fights. He has included that comparatively rare, but always useful, device, the timeline, to clarify and put his comments into proportion. His book, itself, is useful, too. A very practical approach to military history.’’

- Baird Maritime

‘’Westermeyer’s tidy narrative of USMC history is interspersed with vignettes, describing the USMC’s various roles and adding colour to the story. [It] also contains useful illustrations and photographs that assist the narrative. Though more detailed histories exist, this is certainly an excellent introduction to the USMC and a great companion to take along if you visit the superb USMC museum in Virginia. 9/10.’’

- Wargames Illustrated

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