THE MARINES AS "DEVIL DOGS"
(Teufelhunden) WW I
Marines are generally of the belief that the name "Devil Dogs" (teufelhunden in German) comes from the WW I German army which described their enemy (the U.S. Marines) as teufelhunden, a name they had for wild dogs that roamed bavaraia, etc. Most book accounts on this claim that this is documented in official German dispatches of the time. Apparently, no such documentation exists.
The following is from the book, "The United States Marines-A History," by Edwin Howard Simmons, Naval Institute Press,1974, 3dEdition. page 100....
"The Germans made their own sober assessment and begrudgingly allowed that the marines, with more experience, might be considered to be of storm-trooper quality. The marines earnestly told each other that the Heinies were calling them 'Teufelhunden,' or 'Devildogs,' but there is no evidence of this in German records."
In addition, I notice that in his book, "Soldiers Of The Sea," Col. R.D. Heinl, usually a very thorough and detailed historian/writer, mentions neither the term "Devil Dog" nor "teufel hunden" when discussing Belleau Wood, etc.
Anyone with factual knowledge of documentaion to the contrary of General Simmon's work, above, please be kind enough to advise me--my thanks.
SEE ALSO: Myth #13 - DEVIL DOGS
R.W. "Dick" Gaines, GySgt USMC (Ret.)
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