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tv   Harry Truman in WWI and U.S. Military Rivalries  CSPAN  June 30, 2018 5:05pm-5:49pm EDT

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occurs in an incident of class conflict in american society occurs over how to perform shakespeare? atwatch the entire program 8:00 p.m. and midnight eastern tonight on lectures in history. american history tv, only on c-span3. the national security act of 1947 reorganized militaries forces in the united states. an early draft favored by president truman threatened the existence of the marine corps. next, former u.s. marine corps in a story in and archivist michael miller argues harry truman's views of the marine corps were first formed during his service in world war i as an army artillery captain. he also discusses the history of rivalries between the military branches. the macarthur memorial posted this event as part of a symposium on world war i experiences of world war ii
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leaders. it is about 40 minutes. the head ofer is the marine corps history division. he is working on a four mall in definitive history of the marine corps in world war i. from 2013 through 2016 he did the centennial project. he served as director of marine war archives from 2005 until 2013. and curator of personal papers at the marine corps museum. let's welcome mike miller. [applause] mike: the buck stops here.
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we wanted to do a slideshow. all is well. least, now the marines are the last to fight today. i will do the best i can with that. marines and harry truman. when i first agreed to come out and talk, i said are you sure you know what you are in for?
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they most assured me and said yes, come down and say your piece. i would like to begin with this slide. how many people are familiar with this cartoon, the barnaby series? how many are familiar with crockett johnson? the moon -- yet. this was a world war ii era cartoon. it has to do with everything that i am about to say. i would love to get a reference like this in, because it is cool. part of the barnaby series, he had an imaginary friend, so to speak, his name was mr. o'malley, who got him in trouble. part of this cartoon is the young man's chatter in the marching society. it doesn't make sense right now, but it will. the chowder society, remember that. on aoing to take you
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journey. i will take you to guantanamo mexico,na, veracruz, other places. i am going to start in 1900 and finish in 1950. i will accomplish that with a cartoon. reallymade some important decisions about how to talk about truman and the marines. i could have gone one of two ways, one is the atomic bomb. maybe even, that's the bigger one than this. theunification between armed forces after world war ii is probably the most lasting legacy of his in terms of the army and marine corps, navy, and air force. that needs context.
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too often, the historical event just have dealt without context. how does want honorable they fit into -- how does guantanamo bay fit into the context? if you look at the newspaper, you will see the picture of the marines landing at guantanamo bay in 1898. abattalion of marines takes camp and establishes the base there today. look at the marines. who was there with them to talk about it? stephen crane, one of the best accountants of military action. you are going to see a pattern develop of battalions and regimens doing things, and famous recorders trailing along
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with them. this is 1898. take a look at this. is a detachment of marines that comes off ship and goes to rescue of the consulates in beijing. two marines come and regimens of army, as well. look who gets the newspaper. those marines haven't even gone, and there they are. do you see a pattern? we also noticed, and that's one of the things that the talks have been about today, the impact of world war i on america and the armed forces. we are starting to see marines doing things in places far away from our shores, like in china,
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because america is becoming an international nation for the first time. what that does is create a problem with missions. there is talk about truman, i am going to talk about teddy roosevelt first. he did not like the marine corps. he wanted to get rid of them. he said navy folks can do this just as well as marines, and can be a lot less irritating. they said we can do landing parties of sailors to replace the marines and increase our own funding. admirals went to teddy roosevelt and agreed. he said all the navy stuff, it doesn't include in his vision. had a he left, he
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presidential declaration that they were going to bring marines off of the battleships. some admirals support the marines, some don't. it is one of the many times that one service or the other tries to eradicate the marines. we have a reason to be paranoid. it almost happened, there may not have been a current -- marine corps. they would have been guarding ts, yards, basically cops. it was defeated because the american public rose up and one of the marine's fathers was a head in the committee. he basically brought it to america's attention and said we want our marines.
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a lot of it was based on china and guantanamo bay. you can start to see people getting irritated with these marines, so they survive. there is 1914 in veracruz. the marines have almost gone out of business this time again by the navy. they said marines, we challenge up to make a landing, puts heavy naval weapons, and participate in the 1914 naval exercise. if you can't do it, your funding is gone. luckily, the greatest marine of them all takes command. there andunit down succeeds in planting the guns and bringing aviation into the exercises. it is another time the marines could have gone away.
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an uprising in mexico brought the marines to veracruz in april of 1914. the marines are still there. go to veracruz, and guess what? report,hey're doing a jack london, a lot of other reporters. you see the trend continue to grow. marines make headlines again, marines land. one thing that happens is the navy no longer says we can do landing parties, because they go ashore and the navy is wiped. they go into the streets and are shocked down from all -- shot down from all directions. they said they no longer will do that. the marines still have the mission of going ashore from the ships. the point is that the army brigade comes in to replace the
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navy and marines that are a sure -- that are ashore. the marines are supposed to go back aboard the ships. the admiral says i want to stay and be a part of this occupation. i want to be alongside the army. the admiral says are you sure? be careful what you ask for. they let the marines stay a short. -- stay ashore. was -- he could work with both army and marines, he was not opposed to them. they remained in veracruz. you start to see what will happen in 1917 and 18, when the marines go over and become part of the army second division. they are already seeing this thing out there.
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france, 1917, unfortunately, tungsten dies, and it is taken over. one of the things he does not want is any marines in france. adamantly, no marines in france. why? what do you have against the marine corps? he said the army's mission is not the marine corps mission. you will get all of the credit, anyway. just go do your thing, we will do our thing. the marine corps doesn't take that lying down, they go to the secretary of the navy. they take a plater -- presidential declaration to get to france. the regiment gets on board the transport and the army says we can't transport you, we are full. the navy says we will take you on our ships.
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with thees get there first division. they are first to fight. the marine corps is looking at an entire division to go in. you had these marines, you start putting them along the supply and guarding things. the things that marines do. these are two different regulations and so forth. -- the wilson, he says six marines would now go and become part of it. it takes the president twice to send marines to france. the marines got their nose under the tent and want to keep being sent over there.
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what does he keep doing with them? he says i will use them in their best duty, which is to guard things, but no combat. goes to baker, who says yes you will. and he says he will. but that's it, no more marines, just one brigade. your comes the fourth brigade of -- here comes the fourth brigade of the second army division. that is deeper. he -- initially, then it goes to omar funding. first to fight, the first division goes in first, second goes in second. those pesky marines get good placeecause they go to a
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on june 1. they were supposed to go and continue, but they decided to stop. this is a place that is hollow ground to all marines. it is were they go every year, memorial day to celebrate this american victory with the french. seeshould go, because you -- it takes place at the american cemetery. you see from all directions the french people walking with their flags, several thousand, walking with celebrate us fighting them and making the sacrifice. those are moving things. this becomes perhaps more than it was in marine lore. it was a brigade against a german army. many brigades, including a lot
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of french troops. they are part of the effort that does it. remember the trend? floyd givens, somebody mentioned one of his works. marines,here with the he wants to go where the action is. he goes across the wheat fields with the marines, about 5:00 in the afternoon. maybe that is not such a great choice on his part, but he is out there when german machine guns start taking down the marines. one of the things i talked to marines about when i talk about this is how many people think charging machine guns is a good tactic? crickets. they went out there. the battalion commander was shot. goes hit in the arm,
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facedown in the weeds. another bullet hits the ground in front of them, and goes through his head, takes out an eye, exit through his helmet. he is reported dead, they can't get him out until dark. the germans don't care if you are wounded or not, they keep shooting the field. the rule is no unit will be mentioned by the name. the words will not be second division, definitely not marines. it is not supposed to happen. had been killed, so he said i will not change a word of it. he said he is going to go through as it is. it does. this battle goes on for about
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one month. theof the allies take marines and make them superheroes. why is this happening? need more e allies ale. what has happened with them since march with the germans? germans have pummeled them. miles of within 40 harris. even the -- of paris. even though charging across the field with casualties, it was the worst day in marine corps ever for that day. the allies need this. here is our counter attack, like it or not, they want to be mentioned, but we take it. they didn't take it. that's the way newspaper guys are. it went across the world.
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leau wood, they change that part of the world. this is a victory in itself that the marines take. this, he is he sees not happy. three days later, no more mentions of marines in the paper, nothing. the resentment is there now, particularly in the american second division. if you look, this is the cool thing. if you want to come and see belleau wood and the americans that talk about it. underneath the commander division, the army brigade is not heavily engaged.
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the marines are in the wood while this visit is going on, fighting the germans for their lives. no marines are invited to the meeting. only army officers. -- the marines don't find out until the next day that they were stood. the interesting thing about that is the commander is an army officer who used to be chief of staff for general persian. don't make the former chief of staff angry. it goes through the chain of command, then it goes to persian. he does meet the marine. it is a risk between the marines -- rift between the marines and army. it starts to pervade the aef.
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soldiers who have never met a marine, they get all the credit, look at all the fighting we are doing. you can imagine that. it continues through the rest of the war. that's why this context gets you to this point. truman? days was harry -- how many days was harry truman in combat? for many days were most americans in combat? the first offensive is an may. it goes through november. how many days of combat is that? not very many. how many people deployed to afghanistan and iraq are longer than that? combatnt is this, the they see is the worst. that is when he is pounding his forces to attack. what he sees is going to affect
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him for the rest of his life. i tell this story because it is an impact of the americans. i interviewed a lot of marines when i started working in the marine corps. one died after i interviewed him. he was a marine for 1.5 years, two years. new york yankees stuff in his room, and marine corps stuff. that was what was most important to them. that is an example of how many days you saw, -- how many things they took back with them. truman comes with this journal army attitude that the marines , and are taking more than their share of the newspaper clippings and so on.
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persians is know to make the division complete. he said you will command the second division, but we will not have a division of marines. here's some of his dates. it gives you an idea. you have to valuate his service and what that meant to him in later years, particularly with the atomic bomb. of theget to see some occupations after the war, which is very important. and in services and artillery commander, after he commander. truman chasing germans. this was a cartoon done by one of his battery mates. it gives you a way of how they felt. just aggressive. marines, what was their attitude? and we are going to
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continue to fight. they go through until the last night of the war. they felt -- they were pushed across the world news. what they felt was a needless attack. this goes back to the casualties we talked about. whenid you push us across you know the truth is coming? we talked to a lot of men bridging the river, getting in the german artillery fire, until 11:00 when peace is declared, but why? investigation, the general who commanded the second division was upset. mocked his commander and gave a bad report at the end of the war. the point is, they thought this would needless -- was needless.
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fast-forward. kansas.oes it back to he does his thing. 18th before. skip a lot of interservice rivalry stuff and the right to world war ii. -- fellow on the left holland smith. anybody know who the guy on the right is? the swimming 27th. they got that nickname from the marines. so, it was the command of the 27th army. and they just could not seem to keep going.
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, where was smith during the first world war? chief of staff of the brigades in the second division. time on thecame island of saipan, he continued advancing command. and this is a huge debacle, really for both sides. it could have been handled a lot differently. take an army of a division -- he leaves, goes up the highest levels of the defense department and basically the relief stood. took a backseat for the rest of the war.
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basically lost his command, too. heart ofe come to the the talk and that is the unification, right? how many people familiar with this? probably not many. there's the chief of staff and of thel representatives services, not the marine corps. december 1943. marshall has a plan. loves the marine corps. his son in listed in the marine corps. he basically was the marine
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corps commandant. that is one of his jobs, to take care of the marine corps. the he took over we arency, you know, going to get rid of those guys. comment about the 1932 plan. summer 1944.ut the marines right in the middle of this. so, prices increase. the marine commandant has a statement for the senate naval affairs committee. corpss taking the marine away. we will no longer have the marine corps. this is after iwo jima. all the pacific islands.
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the service chiefs and reorganize the marshall plan. what are we going to do? we're going to continue to work with this. eisenhower said we should bring the army guys on shore. so, back to the cartoon. remember that. this is barnaby. this is over malley. so inwas a small, secret quantico, virginia and basically it started with two guys. two of the most brilliant minds of the marine corps. provide athere to
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statement, this plan, this communication plan. they were known as the chowder society. people.always bothered things finally came to a head with a statement to the committee, and i will review his words. these are some of the famous words of the marine corps. the marine corps remembers it was this congress which, in 1798 thehe marine corps feels question of his continued existence is a matter for
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determination by the congress a house ae to be from legislative process. ouch. the marine corps then believes it has earned this right to have its future assignments -- intiment is not valid determining natural -- national security. not rest on our laurels. the marines as a fighting force -- if we must go, we must go but they have a right to dignity and honor.
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the senate committee stood up. wouldficer said that they singing they started the marine corps hymn. truman is furious. the president. he made a mistake with this theer, which he called public affairs, propaganda. that's the original.
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the key west conference. there's a picture of truman on the right. pull the trigger. pull the trigger. and probably the more -- the most critical document in marine corps history. that's an apology from the president of the united states. -- and therene sits general kates. which, by the way, general kates .as the second division ok.
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thank you, macarthur. wayusing the marines that , thereourse, years later was competition between the army , buthe navy, marines, etc. that was all of the services. thank you very much. [applause] >> i see that is the 100th anniversary of bella wood. is there any special -- i see that next month is the 100th
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anniversary of bella wood. is there any special recognition of that event? >> the marine corps is doing their thing. a lot of the family, these students are going over as a group. the marine care is -- the marine corps is planning a symposium. so, the marine corps is also putting out histories of the .attles this is an interesting thing and this is one of the points i would like to make. we are afraid that this will go by fast and we will lose. the mend be remembering -- what about them, what did
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?his due to our nation we love to talk about the casualties, but what about the casualties? pershing new. pershing's fall we were not ready. once pershing was there, the offensive was going to begin the next year with the war. once pershing saw the plan was moving, his determination was i -- spin thespend line now and do that this year rather than next year. if you look at what they were asked to do, and if you have been there, you understand -- they were germans, veterans. he decided that's what they were going to do.
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listen to grant when he says over land we are not coming back. at the war does come to an end. so, hopefully we will interpret that -- ok, that is what happened. sorry. >> thank you, sir, very much for impassioned defense of the marine corps. the measure of a man is the caliber of his enemies. have on that, the marines in these raking from teddy roosevelt to many others. theknow what they say about u.s. marine corps. it's the man's department of the u.s. navy. it may be politically incorrect to say that, but i think you will understand. truman's you say that
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won,rience in world war i and his recognition of the casualties that likely would have occurred, how that factored into his decision to use the atomic bomb yet go -- from? >> i'm glad to picked up on that. him cominghat impact into being the war president. my sense of it is truman saw ar was. he experienced it. truman, and iing have studied it from afar, sometimes he would not respond in his letters and such.
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he is like the uncle that comes over on sunday and you make fun of him when he leaves. genius.as really and his determination to drop that bomb was well thought out. determination was you would listen to all the experts and make his mind up and his point it's going to save lives in the end. yes? >> the four stars and the five truman, i'ved dropped the bomb? >> i don't know who all those people were. the one person i think of was hesitant was macarthur, but all would have thought
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twice to drop that bomb. it,ou have questions about there's thenow battle inside van. and iwo jima. the japanese would not surrender. it cost more american lives. there.r battles out thinking oft just americans. that would have been armageddon face a battle and every time in every town, in every village. it used to be something that he saw. like pershing would say, ok, i'm forg to give these lives up
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support now. i know they are half trained. it was really agonizing. some of the army officers, at least one army officer refused to take his troops any further. he said, this is suicide. so, i can't answer the question. i don't know who they were as far as the forces. >> how can i find out? by going back to the records. the truman library. >> the truman library. >> yes. by the way, the truman library is a great resource. there is much more about his decisions at that time. yes. [indiscernible] do you know why? >> i don't know. i don't know. yes. questions?
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ok. thank you. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] >> american history tv is in prime time next week. historians discuss philadelphia in1968, looking how protests the vietnam war impact of the city. tuesday, a symposium on world war i and future u.s. leaders, including a talk on price eisenhower's work -- eisenhower's work with troops and tanks. wednesday, a discussion of the declaration of independence. on thursday, former white house photographers discuss the reagan, clinton, bush, and obama administrations. and later, a program on the life
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of robert f. kennedy, acknowledging the 50th anniversary of his assassination. live on c-span3. the chalmettet battlefield, the site of the battle of new orleans. up next, we look at the very last ground battle of the war of 1812. >> the battle of new orleans was the battle but between the american forces and great britain as part of 1812. it was the last ground battle between the u.s. and great britain, the last place where the two armies came together on land. we are at the show met metteefield -- chal battlefield. back in 1815, this would have been the heart of the city, new orleans, there. it is located in st. bernard parish, a little ways outside the city proper.

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