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U.S. Marines in Lebanon 1982-1984

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U.S. Marines in Lebanon 1982-1984
  • by Benis M. Frank
    • History and Museums Dvision, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, Washington, D.C., 1987
      • 210 pages
      • 123 photos
      • 15 illustrations
      • 4 maps
This book is a straightforward account of the deployment of Marines to Lebanon in the period 1982-1984. The story begins with the landing of the 32d Marine Amphibious Unit (32d MAU) in Beirut in August 1982 at the request of the Lebanese Government to assist, together with French and Italian military units, in supervising the evacuation of the Palestine Liberation Organization. It ends in February 1984 with the withdrawal of the 22d Marine Amphibious Unit following the effective end of its mission and the nearly complete breakdown of order in Lebanon. In between is an ambiguous Marine mission of presence of 18 months' duration. Together with the British, French, and Italian members of the Multi-National Force, the Marines attempted, as "peacekeepers," to assist the Lebanese Government in achieving stability and ending the factional fighting which has all but destroyed Lebanon as a viable political entity.
     For any number of reasons, none of which are the concern of this book, the mission of peacekeeping failed, and in the process, those who were there to help Lebanon achieve the peace so many Lebanese wanted—but too many others did not—were sorely tried and severely mauled. As a history strictly of the Marines' role in Lebanon, this book does not deal with the major, high-level decisions of the administration which put and kept Marines in that country. Nor does the book deal with American diplomatic efforts in the Middle East in this period except in those instances when the MAU Marines were directly involved. This is simply the story of Marine Corps presence and operations in Lebanon for the period concerned. It draws no conclusions.
     The author, Benis M. Frank, is the head of the Marine Corps Oral History Program. As such, in two trips to Beirut and three to Camp Lejeune, he interviewed the major members of the staffs and commands of the three MAUs (22d, 24th, and 32d) which were deployed to Beirut. For his second trip to Beirut in October 1983, he went by way of Grenada, where he joined the 22d MAU in transiting the Atlantic, conducting interviews about the Grenada operation en route to Lebanon. Mr. Frank graduated from the University of Connecticut in 1949 with a bachelor of arts degree in history. His schooling was interrupted by World War II, in which he served as an enlisted Marine with the 1st Marine Division in the Peleliu and Okinawa operations and the occupation of North China. He was a candidate for a master of arts degree in international relations at Clark University when he left school in 1950 to return to active service in the Korean War as a commissioned officer, again serving with the 1st Marine Division.
Mr. Frank joined the Marine Corps Historical Program in 1961. He is the co-author of Victory and Occupation, the final volume of the official five-volume series, History of U.S. Marine Corps Operations in World War II, and author of Halsey; Okinawa, Touchstone to Victory; Okinawa: The Great Island Battle; and Denig's Demons and How They Grew: A History of Marine Corps Combat Correspondents, Photographers, and Artists. He pioneered the Marine Corps Oral History Program and has headed it since 1966.

  • Foreword
  • Preface
  • The Bombing
  • Beirut I—Evacuating the PLO, 25 August-10 September 1982
  • Beirut II—The Mission of Presence,
    29 September-1 November 1982
  • Beirut III—An Expanded Experience,
    1 November 1982-15 February 1983
  • Beirut IV—Circumstances Change, 'Presence' Remains, 15 February-29 May 1983
  • Beirut V—Disaster Strikes, 30 May-19 November 1983
  • The Investigation
  • Beirut V—Goes Home
  • Beirut VI—End of the USMNF,
    20 November 1983-26 February 1984
  • Notes
  • Appendices
    • Chronology: Marines in Lebanon, 1982-1984
    • Marine Command and Staff List
    • Foreign Multi-National Force Units
    • Remarks by the Commandant of the Marine Corps,
      Senate Armed Services Committee, 31 October 1983
    • Long Commission Conclusions and Recommendations
    • American Deaths in Beirut
    • Unit Commendations
  • Index

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