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Preparing for Victory: Thomas Holcomb and the Making of the Modern Marine Corps, 1936-1943

12:39 PM  Jun 29th, 2012
by Thomas M. Columbus

A book by David J. Ulbrich ’93

During World War I, the size of the U.S. Marine Corps reached 75,000. Following the “war to end all wars,” Americans had little interest in preparing for war, let alone victory. By 1936, the size of the Corps had shrunk to barely over 17,000, less than a quarter of its 1918 strength. During Holcomb’s tenure as commandant of the Marine Corps, the service grew 22-fold to 385,000 in 1943. Ulbrich’s book is the first to document the role of Holcomb — a man with vision, managerial ability and the art of persuasion.

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