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US Marine Corps Uniforms and Equipment in World War II (Paperback)

Military > Frontline Books WWII

By Jim Moran
Frontline Books
Pages: 208
Illustrations: 300 colour & black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781526749048
Published: 1st April 2019


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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.

Lavishly illustrated throughout with colour and black and white photographs, this book has the look of a catalogue. This is deliberate. The Marine Corps History and Museums Division have catalogued many thousands of artefacts and by working with them Jim Moran has provided us with an excellent foundation book on the subject. Many military model makers and historians will find this book has more than enough detail to satisfy their interest. Others who seek more will find it a great foundation to build upon. Either way this is an informative and well-presented volume. This is not just this reviewer’s opinion; the ringing endorsement from one of the Senior Curators at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in the foreword is full of praise for this book. This book is essential reading for anyone interested in the uniforms and equipment of the US Marine Corps that fought in the Pacific during World War II.

Tom Cole, Miniature Armoured Fighting Vehicles Association

U.S. Marine Corps Uniforms and Equipment in World War II is a valuable guide for identifying both standard and specialized Marine uniforms and equipment in photographs, museum collections, and for private interests. Moran’s work offers a solid snapshot of Marines in training and combat during the Second World War. The work is well deserving of the respect it has from the National Museum of the Marine Corps, and will continue to be a useful reference tool for the foreseeable future.

The Northern Mariner/Le marin du nord, 2018 – reviewed by Charles Ross Patterson II Yorktown, Virginia

As featured 'On The Shelf'

Wargames Illustrated, April 2019

This is a welcome return of a classic reference which is ideal for anyone with an interest in the history of the US Marine Corps, and an ideal reference for the figure modeller and for re-enactors.

Read the full review here

Military Model Scene, Robin Buckland

The ineluctable James Moran has created a U.S. Marine classic. If you're a military buff or just enjoy great history, this is it. The Marines and author Moran will not let you down.

Read the full review here

Patrick Brent, Founder and Director of the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation

An essential work within our personal documentary library.

Read the full Spanish review here

Jose Manuel Rico Cortes

This book is well suited to a wide variety of readership. Whether re-enactor, uniform /
equipment / insignia collector, historian, museum curator or Marine Corps buff. Each
will find useful segments and the book give an excellent coverage to the topic. For those
interested in the Marine Corps this book is simply critical and essential reading.

Dr Stuart C Blank - Military Archive Research

Click here to listen to interview.

NOTE: set cursor to 11:06

BBC Radio Sheffield with presenter Rony Robinson, 10th October 2018

As featured 'ON THE SHELF'

Wargames Illustrated, June 2018

The ineluctable James Moran has created a U.S. Marine classic. If you're a military buff or just enjoy great history, this is it. The Marines and author Moran will not let you down.
Americans now properly appreciate these heroes; who are represented in author Moran’s fine uniform history edition.

Amazingly, we now have a record of these Leatherneck uniforms for all to study and appreciate. Marines are different. Leatherencks take care of our proud uniforms, and Marines are always on the search out for a "Russian rope"or an "Irish pennant" that would make our appearance less than perfect. Perfection is the hallmark of Marines, and their uniform pride. At Marine Barracks, hidden strips of duct tape and special belts strive for an impeccable showing at each and every world class Friday evening parade.

Wearing these exceptional uniforms portraying different eras in Corps history from our first landing to the jungles of Guadalcanal and on to the miserable and lonely climes in which we Marines now fight. This work tells that story. It is classic.

Marine General Lejeune / luh jern would be proud of Jim Moran's exceptional effort. The thirteenth commandant was dressed in many of these classic uniforms ...… perhaps even ones with Chesty Puller buttons .
One grand historical effort and a great read, and the United States Marine Corps will be grateful.

Semper Fidelis & God bless all Leathernecks !

P. T. Brent, Hawaii

Patrick Brent
 Jim Moran

About Jim Moran

Born in 1954 in Sheffield, England, JIM MORAN lives in Yorkshire. Following a grammar school education, Jim has had a forty-year-long career as a civil engineering surveyor working on major highway and airbase construction projects, both in the UK and overseas. Jim has been a student of the history of the United States Marine Corps, amassing a huge collection over the past forty years. He has assisted Hollywood productions on uniform and equipment details for Flags of our FathersThe Pacific (HBO mini-series) and Windtalkers. Jim is an associate member of the Second Marine Division Association, US Marine Raider Association, Marine Corps Association, and US Marine Corps League as well as being the 'on-board' historian to the US Marine Corps League, Det 1088 (UK).

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