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The United States Marine Corps was one of the phenomena of the Second World War. Greatly expanded from its pre-war order of battle of scattered defence battalions, overseas garrisons and ship detachments, it became a multi-division force bearing the brunt of the hardest fighting across the whole vast expanse of the Pacific theatre of operations.
In August 1942 Marines were among the first to strike back at the Japanese in the jungles of Guadalcanal; Marine Raider battalions were formed to carry the fight to the enemy; and from the Central Solomon's landings of mid-1943 it was the Marines who spearheaded the 'island – hopping' amphibious campaign which brought them to Okinawa, on Japan's doorstep, by VJ-Day.
This epic story has been well documented in most respects – except one: the uniforms, insignia and personal equipment of the Marines who fought their way across the Pacific. Authoritative, illustrated reference works of this important aspect of World War II's physical history have been notoriously lacking. In this book, long-time collector and researcher Jim Moran fills the gap, with a systematic, detailed guide illustrated with more than 300 photographs, including some 200 close-ups of surviving items in private collections on both sides of the Atlantic.
The author covers service and field uniforms at the outbreak of war;
the development of the Marine's ‘dungaree's’; the introduction and development of the camouflage uniforms which became the Marine's trademark in the popular imagination; the ‘782 gear’ webbing equipment; the various packs and other load-carrying items; the uniforms, insignia and equipment special to the elite Marine Raiders and Paramarines; the uniforms and accoutrements of the US Marine Corps Women's Reserve; and a range of issue and personal small kit items which collectors may encounter. His research is supported by some 100 wartime photographs showing the identified item in use. Assisted and encouraged by the US Marine Corps Historical Center at Quantico, Virginia, Jim Moran has produced an essential reference for the collector, modeller, illustrator and uniform historian.