Do Marines Surrender? Another Controversial Subject!
by Dick G
Dick G (Login Dick Gaines)
Do Marines Surrender?
Do Marines Surrender? A controversial subject.
Now and then this question comes up, but usually Marines seem to have little in the way of facts for their assumptions, etc. Nor is there a complete summing up of the subject in any one place under one title; but the info is out there, though somewhat piecemeal. George Smith's book, "Carlson's Raid," devotes an entire chapter, for instance, to the surrender note controversy re Carlson's attempted surrender during the Makin Raid of 17-18 August 1942.
Yes, Marines have surrendered. It's just one more fact of the profession of arms.
Most notably, there have been occurances of such for the Marine Corps in the opening days of World War Two at Guam, the Phillipines, Wake Island, and China. And then there was the supposed, little-known, for many years, surrender attempt during the Makin Island Raid.
Later, in Korea, 1950 there was a surrender that occurred at Hell Fire Valley during the Chosin Reservoir operation.
There were also Marine surrenders that occurred even further back through Marine Corps history during the 1700s and civil wartimes. (See Nofi's Book of Lists.)
Most Marines prefer not to discuss Marine surrenders nor to admit that there have ever been such.
Here is one remark from Evans F. Carlson himself, as found in Gen. Peatross' book, "Bless 'Em All,"
"...While discussing the various aspects of the raid,the only critique of the operation there would ever be Carlson suddenly had paused and, almost self critically and apropos of nothing, interjected: No commander ever expects to fail in an operation, but he should have a plan ready, ...."
Is it dishonorable for a Marine to surrender under such conditions?
In addition, there are various aspects of accepted Marine Corps history that people are either entirely ignorant of, and/or prefer to disregard/deny. For instance, the phony red stripe story regarding Chapultapec; Tun Tavern vs. Conestoga Wagon as the birthplace of the Corps, etc. Gen Simmons goes so far as to write that July 11, 1798 is the true birthday of the Corps.
Marine Corps historians, including BGen Edwin Simmons, have brought examples of these things out in their published writings, yet erroneous teachings continue. Why? As I've now come to mention often, I, not too long ago received an e-mail from a Marine colonel (retired) suggesting he didn't give a rat's ass about facts, tradition was all that counted w/him. People just don't want to hear it.
OK, we all choose our medicine--myself, I have a lousy memory, and I find it easier to believe and pass on the truth.
GySgt USMC (Ret.)
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R.W. "Dick" Gaines
GySgt USMC (Ret.)
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