…..The interested reader here will, as I have, find an abundance of interesting information regarding Carlson, the Raiders and other related material by researching those writings I have already mentioned as well as others that I will list at the bottom of this webpage. I was seven years old when Carlson’s Raiders went ashore on Makin; I still remember not too long thereafter seeing the movie “Gung Ho!, ” the movie about the Makin raid.
My favorite uncle, shortly after Pear Harbor, had turned seventeen and went to the Marines. After boot camp at PISC, he went to Quantico for training as a water purification specialist, then to 2dMarine Division where he made the Guadalcanal, Tarawa, and Saipan/Tinian campaigns.
I have always been interested in the subject of WW II Marines, and especially Carlson and his raiders; but it has taken me many years to arrive at the point of seeking out those resources with the answers to my specific questions regarding these things.
It is hoped that by my writing of these things here, I may provide other interested readers with the information needed to delve into the Carlson saga. And, perhaps, those reading this (Carlson’s Raiders, etc.) with knowledge of this subject will be inclined to advise me concerning this.
The following are a few more of the topics of interest to be found in the resources as noted.
The basis of Carlson’s thinking was what he called Gung Ho, basically, “work together.” But his concept of this was not merely a battle cry, a slogan or a motto, etc.; it is an ideal that goes to the very root and core of leadership and the social structure of the military unit.
He held open ” Gung Ho Talks” with his troops with all hands having a say in the matters at hand. Leaders were those who were recognized by their ability to lead, rather than being appointed to rank. Of course, this all came from his experience with the Chinese 8th Route Army, where he had first recognized that the true basis of leadership was ethics itself (something he had pondered upon all his life to that point). Thus he attempted to teach and guide his raiders in what he referred to as Ethical Indoctrination.
Some thought that he carried this too far, but not his own men. He did not carry his ideals of leadership and organization beyond the confines of Marine Corps regulations, but others feared that he would. Carlson insisted on officers and enlisted alike eating the same food, being provided the same quarters, etc. They sang hymns and patriotic songs together, often with Carlson playing his harmonica. He not only allowed, he insisted each of his own men make decisions on their own…….
Source: Carlson Of The Raider Marines