From: Georgetown, Texas, USA
For the CHS, I have been working on cleaning up the leader database for US land forces. There are 45 Marine ground units in the stock WitP database, but only three of them have historic commanders assigned. The rest have fictional leaders apparently selected by a random name-generation program. To my pleasant surprise, I was able to find 40 of the actual leaders from official sources available online, including all of the raider, parachute and defense battalions, two of the armored amphibious battalions and the corps artillery. Here are my remaining challenges. Any help you can provide is appreciated:
Q1: The Samoan Marine Reserve Battalion
Q2: 1st Marine Engineer Aviation Battalion
Q3: 2nd Marine Engineer Aviation Battalion
Q4: 3rd Marine Armored Amphibious Battalion – I found one reference to this unit as a provisional battalion in training at the time of the Iwo Jima campaign, but no leader.
Q1-Q3: Sorry, can't help on leaders. Spent some time looking but found nothing.
Q4: On the 3rd Amphib Bn, U.S. Marine Corps World War II Order of Battle (Rottman) says:
IIIAC formed the 3d Armored Amphibian Tractor Battalion (Provisional) from elements of the 1st in mid-1944 for use at Pelieu and, later, Okinawa. It was initially equipped with one company of LVT(A)1 amphibian tanks and two of up-gunned LVT(A)4s. The 3d Battalion, along with assets of the 8th Amphibian Tractor Battalion, was re-designated the 20th Amphibian Truck Battalion in Aug, 45..
I'd leave it in.
Should these units be removed from the game?
Q5: 4th Marine Parachute Battalion – was disbanded before it was fully-formed.
Q6: 1st Marine Medium Tank Battalion – was this the training command at Camp Pendleton? The only Marine Tank Battalions I have identified are those inherent to each of the six divisions (1st tank battalion = 1st Division, etc.).
Q7: 13th Marine Defense Battalion – according to Marine records, this unit spent the entire war defending Guantanamo, Cuba.
Q5: I'd recommend leaving in the 4th Marine Para. This unit was deactivated prior to completion of jump training but it was in existence for 6 months and was at-least nearly formed. When deactivated it's troops joined the 1st-3rd Battalion Troops in the 26th, 27th, and 28th Regiments.
Q6: The 1st Corps Tank Battalion (Medium) is in addition to the 6 Divisional Tank Battalions. It was formed with Medium tanks at a time when the divisional battalions were equipped entirely with lights and was intended to provide support to them when needed. It existed for about 1 year, half of it at Noumea. When the divisional battalions began to transition to medium tanks, the Medium battalion was deactivated and it's assets passed to the divisional battalions:
Co A -> 3rd Bn
Co B -> 3rd Bn
Co C -> 2nd Bn
Co D -> 4th Bn (note, Co D arrived Noumea without tanks and was equiped with flame thrower tanks in the 4th Bn.
Q7: 100% correct. This unit was in Scenario 15 and was never properly vetted in CHS. In fact, I don't think any of the later-arriving Defense Battalions were.
Q8: Leadership Dilemma: What to do about Barrett?
MG Turnage is the initial 3rd Marine Division commander in WitP. However, he deployed to Guadalcanal as the Assistant Division Commander. The division commander was MG C.D. Barrett. Before the division’s first campaign (Bougainville) Barrett was promoted to become the first commander of the I/III Amphibious Corps. But he died within a month of a cerebral hemorrhage, and Vandegrift replaced him. Should Barrett be included as the 3rd Division commander, the I/III Corps Commander, or excluded from the database because he died of an accident before he commanded either unit in combat?
I could go either way but we are running short of leader slots so leaving him out seems attractive.
Q9: Unit Dilemma: How to handle the 5th and 6th Marine Divisions?
In order to fill out the late-war 5th and 6th Divisions the Marine Corps abolished all of the parachute battalions and raider battalions, which exist separately in WitP. The parachutists and raiders contributed one regiment apiece (about one-third of the total infantry) to each division. Since there is no mechanism to abolish or withdraw land units in WitP, does it make sense to cap the TO&E for the 5th and 6th divisions at 2/3rds of the infantry of the other Marine divisions to avoid double-counting? Is there a better way to approach this?
Q9: In my personal (ridiculously-detailed) scenario I broke up the 6th Division and effectively eliminated the 4th Regiment. I added in the 22nd and 29th regiments, 6th Tank Bn, 6th Engineer Battalion and 6th Pioneer Battalion as individual units. This effectively accounts for the Raiders. In the 5th Division there is no single regiment that can be directly equated to the Paratroops so I merely reduced the starting SQUAD numbers by 1/3.
I Amphibious Corps was renamed III Amphibious Corps in 1944. They are the same unit. In WitP they are treated as two separate headquarters. One should be removed.
The 708th and 780th US Army Amphibious Battalions are included as Marine units. They are listed as 8/45 reinforcements in the stock scenario, and 5/45 in CHS, but their actual arrival dates in the database are 431215 and 440701, respectively.
Absolutely correct on the I/III Amphib Corps. I'd remove the III Amphib (and be glad to have an empty HQ slot).
On the 708th/780th. The 8/45 reference is just the nearest comment to the slots in the Location database used for these units and has no real value. Their specified arrival dates (12/43 and 7/44) are correct. The marines did "employ" US Army Amphib Tractor battalions and that may be the reason for the Marine designation. They could be re-set to US Army if desired.