US Marines on Cape Gloucester (1944)

While searching for traces of the elusive 20mm dual-purpose gun, I found a report about the use of jeeps in a US Army field exercise. Dated 22 October 1941, this document sheds some light on the decision, taken in January of 1942, to treble the number of such trucks allowed to each infantry regiment of the US Marine Corps.

The author of this report, Evans Orchard Ames, made two points of interest to the writers of establishments. First, he noted that the most promising landing craft of the day, the soon-to-be-famous Higgins boat, could carry two jeeps. Second, he imagined that, while Army trucks would take part long motor marches, Marine motor vehicles would, in the course of shuttling supplies from beach to battlefield, make a much larger number of much shorter trips. To put things another way, Lieutenant Colonel Ames preferred the redundancy that resulted from the possession of many tiny trucks to the efficiencies enjoyed by convoys composed of a smaller number of larger vehicles.

Source: First Army Maneuvers, North Carolina, October-November 1941, Observers Reports (22 October 1941-12 December 1941) Folder 116, Box 5, Historical Amphibious File, Marine Corps University Archives, Quantico, Virginia.

Photo Credit: US National Archives

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