What Is the History of the U.S. Marine Corps?


Quick Answer

The Marine Corps has a history dating back to 1775, when it was established by the Continental Congress. The Marines were originally intended for use as a maritime fighting force, allowing sailors to handle the ship, but have evolved over the years into a multi-use fighting force.

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What Is the History of the U.S. Marine Corps?
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Full Answer

The Marine Corps have participated in many engagements that defined their history. Some of the most notable ones are the Battle of Derne, the Mexican-American War and the World Wars. In 1798, the Marine Corps sailed to the coast of Barbary and aided Prince Hamet of the Ottoman Empire against the Barbary. First Lt. Presley O'Bannon commanded the force, marching from Alexandria, Egypt, to Derne, Cyrenaica. Out of gratitude, Prince Hamet gave O'Bannon a Mameluke sword, a replica of which Marines carry today in dress uniform.

During the Mexican-American War, the Marine Corps rendezvoused with Gen.Winfield Scott at Pueblo, making their way to Mexico City to end the war.

One of the Marine Corps' nicknames, "Devil Dogs," comes from their actions during World War I. The 4th Marine Brigade fought in several battlefields in France in 1918. The Corps' close-quarters ferocity affected the German opposition so much that they received the name "tuefelhunden," or "devil dogs."

The most iconic image of the Marines is the famous "flag raising" poster. This occurred at Mt. Suribachi on Iwo Jima, one of the final and bloodiest battles of World War II's Pacific front.

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