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Battles, Missions and Operations and Major Engagements of the Unites States Marine Corps.


Tip of the Spear!
United States Marines have been in many Battles, Missions and Operations that are not classified as War, yet they fought and gave their lives all the same.  The following list is only the Major Engagements of the United States Marine Corps.

American Revolutionary War (1775–1783):  The American Revolutionary War or American War of Independence began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America.

Quasi-War (1798 – 1800):  The Quasi-War was an undeclared war fought almost entirely at sea between the United States and France from 1798 to 1800. In the United States, the conflict was sometimes also referred to as the Franco-American War, the Undeclared War with France, the Undeclared Naval War, the Pirate Wars, or the Half-War.

Barbary Wars (1802 – 1805 & 1815):  The Barbary Wars (or Tripolitan Wars) were two wars between the United States of America and the Barbary States of North Africa in the early 19th century. At issue was the Barbary pirates' demand of tribute from American merchant vessels in the Mediterranean Sea. American naval power attacked the pirate cities and extracted concessions of fair passage from their rulers. The Barbary Wars are sometimes called "America's Forgotten War", although they share that name with several other conflicts. The wars largely passed out of popular memory within a generation.

War of 1812:  The War of 1812 was a military conflict fought between the forces of the United States of America and those of the British Empire. It was fought between 1812 and 1815, and started over a multitude of reasons, including trade restrictions, impressment of United States Navy personnel into the Royal Navy, alleged British support of American Indian tribes against American expansion, and the humiliation of American honor.

Seminole Wars (1817 –1858):  The Seminole Wars, also known as the Florida Wars, were three conflicts in Florida between various groups of Native Americans, collectively known as Seminoles, and the United States. The First Seminole War was from 1817 to 1818, the Second Seminole War from 1835 to 1842, and the Third Seminole War from 1855 to 1858. The Second Seminole War, often referred to as "The Seminole War", lasted longer than any other war involving the United States between the American Revolution and the Vietnam War.

Mexican–American War (1846 – 1848):  The Mexican–American War was an armed conflict between the United States and Mexico from 1846 to 1848 in the wake of the 1845 U.S. annexation of Texas, which Mexico considered part of its territory despite the 1836 Texas Revolution.  In addition to a naval blockade off the Mexican coast, American forces invaded and conquered New Mexico, California, and parts of northern Mexico. Another American army captured Mexico City, forcing Mexico to agree to the sale of its northern territories to the U.S.

American Civil War (1861 – 1865):  The American Civil War (1861–1865), among other names also known as the War Between the States, was a civil war in the United States of America. Eleven Southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America, also known as "the Confederacy". Led by Jefferson Davis, they fought against the United States (the Union), which was supported by all the free states (where slavery had been abolished) and by five slave states that became known as the border states.

Spanish–American War (1898):  The Spanish–American War was a conflict in 1898 between Spain and the United States. Revolts against Spanish rule had been endemic for decades in Cuba and were closely watched by Americans; there had been war scares before, as in the Virginius Affair in 1873. By 1897–98 American public opinion grew angrier at reports of Spanish atrocities, and, after the mysterious sinking of the American battleship Maine in Havana harbor, pushed the government headed by President William McKinley, a Republican, into a war McKinley had wished to avoid. Compromise proved impossible; Spain declared war on April 23, 1898; the U.S. Congress on April 25 declared the official opening as April 21.  Although the main issue was Cuban independence, the ten-week war was fought in both the Caribbean and the Pacific and was notable for a series of one-sided American naval and military victories. The outcome by late 1898 was the Treaty of Paris which was favorable to the U.S., followed by temporary American control of Cuba and indefinite colonial authority over Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines. The defeat and subsequent end of the Spanish Empire was a profound shock for Spain's national psyche. The victor gained several island possessions spanning the globe and a rancorous new debate over the wisdom of imperialism.

Philippine–American War (1899 – 1913):  The Philippine–American War, also known as the Philippine War of Independence or the Philippine Insurrection (1899–1902), was an armed military conflict between the Philippines and the United States which arose from the struggle of the First Philippine Republic to gain independence following annexation by the United States.  The war was part of a series of conflicts in the Philippine struggle for independence, preceded by the Philippine Revolution and the Spanish-American War. The conflict began officially on June 2, 1899, when the Philippines declared war against the United States and it officially ended on July 4, 1902, after President Emilio Aguinaldo's surrender. However, members of the Katipunan society continued to battle the American forces. Among them was General Macario Sacay, a veteran Katipunan member who assumed the presidency of the proclaimed Tagalog Republic, formed on 1902 after the capture of President Aguinaldo. Other groups, including the Moro people and Pulahanes, continued hostilities until their defeat at the Battle of Bud Bagsak on June 15, 1913.

Boxer Rebellion (1898 – 1901):  The Boxer Rebellion, also called The Boxer Uprising, by some historians or the Righteous Harmony Society Movement in northern China, was an anti-colonialist, anti-Christian movement by the "Righteous Harmony Society" (Yìhétuán) or "Righteous Fists of Harmony" or "Society of Righteous and Harmonious Fists" (known as "Boxers" in English), in China between 1898 and 1901. The uprising took place in response to imperialist expansion involving European opium traders, political invasion, economic manipulation, and missionary evangelism. In 1898 local organizations emerged in Shandong as the result of the imperialist expansion, as well as other internal issues such as the state fiscal crisis and natural disasters. Initially they were suppressed by the Qing Dynasty of China. Later, the Qing Dynasty attempted to expel foreign influence from China. Under the slogan ("Support Qing, destroy the Western"), Boxers across North China attacked mission compounds.  In June 1900 Boxer fighters, lightly armed or unarmed, gathered in Beijing to besiege the foreign embassies. On 21 June the conservative faction of the Imperial Court induced the Empress Dowager Cixi, who ruled in the emperor’s name, to declare war on the foreign powers that had diplomatic representation in Beijing. Diplomats, foreign civilians, soldiers and some Chinese Christians retreated to the Legation Quarter where they stayed for 55 days until the Eight-Nation Alliance brought 20,000 armed troops to defeat the Boxers.

Banana Wars (1898 – 1934):  The Banana Wars were a series of occupations, police actions, and interventions involving the United States in Central America and the Caribbean. This period started with the Spanish-American War in 1898 and the subsequent Treaty of Paris, which gave the United States control of Cuba and Puerto Rico. Between the war with Spain and 1934 the United States would occupy territory in Panama, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic.  The series of conflicts ended with the withdrawal of troops from Haiti and President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Good Neighbor Policy in 1934.  Reasons for these conflicts were varied but were largely economic in nature. The term "Banana Wars" arises from the connections between these interventions and the preservation of American commercial interests in the region. Most prominently, the United Fruit Company had significant financial stakes in production of bananas, tobacco, sugar cane, and various other products throughout the Caribbean, Central America and Northern South America. The United States was also advancing its political interests, maintaining a sphere of influence and controlling the Panama Canal, critically important to global trade and naval power.

World War I (1914 – 1918):  World War I was a military conflict centered on Europe that began in the summer of 1914. The fighting ended in late 1918. This conflict involved all of the world's great powers, assembled in two opposing alliances: the Allies (centered around the Triple Entente) and the Central Powers.  More than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, were mobilized in one of the largest wars in history.  More than 15 million people were killed, due largely to great technological advances in firepower without corresponding ones in mobility. It was the second deadliest conflict in history.  The war is also known as the First World War, the Great War or the World War (prior to the outbreak of World War II).
World War II (1941 -1945):  World War II, or the Second World War (often abbreviated as WWII or WW2), was a global military conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945 which involved most of the world's nations, including all of the great powers, organized into two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. It was the most widespread war in history, with more than 100 million military personnel mobilized. In a state of "total war," the major participants placed their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities at the service of the war effort, erasing the distinction between civilian and military resources. Marked by significant action against civilians, including the Holocaust and the only use of nuclear weapons in warfare, it was the deadliest conflict in human history that resulted in fifty million to over seventy million fatalities.
Korean War (1950 – 1953):  The Korean War (1950–1953) was a military conflict between the Republic of Korea, supported by the United Nations, and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and People's Republic of China (PRC), with air support from the Soviet Union. The war began on 25 June 1950 and an armistice was signed on 27 July 1953. The war was a result of the political division of Korea by agreement of the victorious Allies at the conclusion of the Pacific War. The Korean peninsula had been ruled by Japan from 1910 until the end of World War II. In 1945, following the surrender of Japan, American administrators divided the peninsula along the 38th Parallel, with United States troops occupying the southern part and Soviet troops occupying the northern part.

Vietnam War (1955 – 1975):  The Vietnam War was a Cold War military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from November 1, 1955 to April 30, 1975 when Saigon fell. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of South Vietnam, supported by the United States and other capitalist nations.  The Viet Cong, a lightly-armed South Vietnamese communist-controlled common front, largely fought a guerrilla war against anti-communist forces in the region. The North Vietnamese Army engaged in a more conventional war, at times committing large units into battle. U.S. and South Vietnamese forces relied on air superiority and overwhelming firepower to conduct search and destroy operations, involving ground forces, artillery and airstrikes.  The United States government viewed involvement in the war as a way to prevent a communist takeover of South Vietnam and part of their wider strategy of containment. The North Vietnamese government viewed the war as a colonial war, fought initially against France, backed by the United States, and later against South Vietnam, which it regarded as a US puppet state. United States military advisors began to arrive in 1950. U.S. involvement escalated in the early 1960s, with U.S. troop levels tripling in 1961 and tripling again in 1962.  U.S. combat units were deployed beginning in 1965. Operations spanned borders, with Laos and Cambodia heavily bombed. Involvement peaked in 1968 at the time of the Tet Offensive. After this, U.S. ground forces were withdrawn as part of a policy called Vietnamization. Despite the Paris Peace Accords, signed by all parties in January 1973, fighting continued.  The Case-Church Amendment passed by the U.S. Congress prohibited use of American military after August 15, 1973 unless the president secured congressional approval in advance.  The capture of Saigon by the North Vietnamese army in April 1975 marked the end of the Vietnam War. North and South Vietnam were reunified the following year.


Gulf War (1990 -1991):  The Persian Gulf War (August 2, 1990 – February 28, 1991), commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from thirty-four nations led by the United States against Iraq.  This war has also been referred to (by the former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein) as the mother of all Battles, and is commonly known as Operation Desert Storm for the operational name of the military response or the First Gulf War or the Iraq War. The invasion of Kuwait by Iraqi troops that began 2 August 1990 was met with international condemnation, and brought immediate economic sanctions against Iraq by members of the UN Security Council. U.S. President George H. W. Bush deployed American forces to Saudi Arabia almost 6 months afterwards, and urged other countries to send their own forces to the scene. An array of nations joined the Coalition of the Gulf War. The great majority of the military forces in the coalition were from the United States, with Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom and Egypt as leading contributors, in that order. Around US$40 billion of the US$60 billion cost was paid by Saudi Arabia.

Kosovo War (1998 – 1999):  The term Kosovo War or Kosovo Conflict is used to describe two sequential, and at times parallel, armed conflicts in Kosovo. From early 1998 to 1999, the war was between army of FR Yugoslavia, and the Kosovo Albanian rebel guerillas. From March 24, 1999 to June 10, 1999, NATO attacked Yugoslavia, and Albanian militants continued battles with Yugoslav forces, amidst a massive displacement of population in Kosovo estimated to be close to 1 million people.  The war in Kosovo was described by some as being the first humanitarian war.  It was the center of news headlines for months, and gained a massive amount of coverage and attention from the international community and media. Kosovo and the bombing of Yugoslavia was also a very controversial war and still remains a controversial issue, and since the end of the war, the country continues to be the most disputed territory in Europe.

Operation Enduring Freedom (2001 – Present):  "Operation Enduring Freedom" (OEF) is the official name used by the U.S. Government for the War in Afghanistan, together with three smaller military actions, under the umbrella of the Global War on Terror (GWOT).  The operation was originally called "Operation Infinite Justice" (often misquoted as "Operation Ultimate Justice"), but as similar phrases have been used by adherents of several religions as an exclusive description of God, it is believed to have been changed to avoid offense to Muslims. U.S. President George W. Bush's remark that "this crusade, this war on terrorism, is going to take a while", which prompted widespread criticism from the Islamic world, may also have contributed to the renaming of the operation.

Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003 – Present):  The Iraq War (also known as the Occupation of Iraq, the Second Gulf War, and Operation Iraqi Freedom) is a military campaign that began on March 20, 2003 with the invasion of Iraq by a multinational force led by troops from the United States and the United Kingdom.  The last combat brigade of troops left Iraq on August 19, 2010. On August 31, U.S. president Barack Obama declared an end to combat operations.  Approximately 50,000 U.S. troops still remain in the country in an "advise and assist" capacity.

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