U.S. Marine Corps - Small Wars Manual (1940 Edition)
Chapter VII. MOUNTED DETACHMENTS.
Par. Purpose 7-1 Use of animals an expedient 7-2 Need for training in animal care and employment 7-3 Some difficulties in employing animals 7-4
7-1. Purpose.-This chapter is designecl to present in convenient form the minimum information required by Marines to procure and handle pack and riding animals in the theater of operations, to organize temporary and permanent mounted detachments, and to set forth the uses, limitations, and characteristics of such detachments in small wars. Exhaustive treatment of the subject of animal management, training and conditioning of animals and men, and mounted tactics, is beyond the scope of this chapter. However, sufficient detail is included to provide the basic essentials necessary for the successful handling of animals in the field. If the principles enunciated in this chapter are applied in small wars, many of the difficulties associated with the employment of animals will be obviated.
7-2. Use of animals an expedient.-The use of animals in small wars by the Marine Corps is a move necessitated by expediency. The tables of organization of the Marine Corps do not include animals for any purpose whatever, but the probable theaters of small-wars operations present transportation and tactical problems which usually require the use of animals for their successful solution. In those theaters where animal transport forms a basic part of the native transportation system, it generally will be found necessary for Marine Corps forces to employ animals, at least for transportation of supplies, and, generally, to some extent, for mounted work.
7-3. Need for training in animal care and employment.-The value of animals for military purposes is directly proportional to the skill and training of the personnel charged with their handling. It is therefore essential in our small-wars operations that considerable attention be devoted to the manner in which animals are handled and employed and to the proper training of personnel.
7-4. Some difficulties in employing animals.-a. The employment of animals by Marine Corps units should be attended by careful planning, intensive training, and close attention to detail. The difficulties and responsibilities of an officer commanding a unit employing animals are multiplied and such commander must realize these responsibilities and make proper preparations to overcome these difficulties.
b. Some of the handicaps which must be faced by units employing animals are:
(1) Lack of personnel experienced in handling animals and animal equipment.
(2) Lack of the necessary specialists, i. e., horseshoers, veterinarians, stable sergeants, pack masters, etc.
(3) Absence of any animal-procurement or remount service.
(4) Necessity for subsisting animals off the country due to practical difficulties of providing an adequate supply of grain and forage to units.
(5) Lack of personnel experienced in the tactical handling of mounted units.
(6) Possible necessity for transporting animals to theatre of operations.
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