Number 112 in Osprey Publishing’s Warrior series, “US Marine Rifleman 1939-45 - Pacific Theater”, is focused on the US Marine Rifleman 1939-45 in the Pacific theatre. The book takes on from the decision to increase the size of the Corps due to German activities in Europe and the threat from Japan through to hostilities encountered in the pacific by the 4th Marine Division.
The author, Gordon L Rottman, portrays a detailed grass-roots look at life of what is the backbone of the Marine Corps, the US Marine Rifleman.
The US Marine Corps is an area of which I have limited knowledge, so I was very interested to see what I could learn from this book.
I was pleased to see that the book started with a background look at the reasons for the expansion of the Corps, and also the reasons and motivations of the young men who were more than willing to enrol as US Marines. These young men, whose age ranged between 17-22 years, were no strangers to hardships as they had been raised during the Great Depression which followed WWI; these were the men who took the Marine Corps into the next generation.
The book follows on from induction to training which, at the time, had been drastically adapted to cater for the numbers of recruits which needed to be taken from civilian to trained marines in a short period of time. Gone were the traditional methods of mentoring and coaching and in was the new method of hammering and harassment.
The part of the book which appealed to me the most as a figure modeller was the section which covered clothing, equipment and weapons worn and used by the rifleman during this campaign. I felt from reading this section I had a comprehensive knowledge which would enable me to finish a figure to an accurate level for this subject area. This part of the book is backed by some very useful photos and artists illustrations which are a must for figure reference.
The next section of the book covers the deployment of the 4th Marine Division to the Pacific in January 1944, at that time the longest amphibious assault ever undertaken, covering a distance of 4,300 miles, the subsequent assault on Roi-Namur and battles and training are covered thereafter. This gives an insight of the life of the rifleman in a battle situation. I feel some battle maps would have helped portray this part of the book better.
Did I learn anything from this book? Yes, I feel I have a sound knowledge needed to create figures to an accurate degree for this area of modelling. An enjoyable and very informative read with a good chronological order that is easy to follow, a valuable addition to my figure reference library.
184mm x 248mm
Illustrations; 52b/w; 8 colour