The Breakout Of The 1st Marines From The Chosin Reservoir: An American Epic Of Courage – Part 17

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American artillery spotter checking range of his units shells during the Meuse-Argonne offensive, World War I. Location: France. Date taken: October 5, 1918. Photo courtesy of Life Magazine.

In addition to their highly experienced officers and NCOs both commanding their Marines and fighting with them, effective command and control was achieved by having functioning equipment, such as radios and other means of communications. This was especially critical for the forward artillery spotters and air control officers who called in the fire missions.

Prior to fighting the Americans, the Chinese Communist troops had not required this type of comprehensive command and control and they never learned how to do it during their fighting in Korea. US military experience with artillery spotters controlling fire missions went back to the First World War.

Harassing fire directed towards Japanese positions in Southern Okinawa begins during the early morning hours of May 11, 1945 as an all out offensive gets underway.

[Source: The Chinese Failure at Chosin By Patrick C. Roe, Major, USMC (Ret) Chairman, Chosin Few Historical Committee. Images courtesy of Life Magazine and the US National Archives.]

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Charles McCain

Charles McCain is a Washington DC based freelance journalist and novelist. He is the author of "An Honorable German," a World War Two naval epic. You can read more of his work on his website:

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