Manning the Defenses
In the defense of Oahu, Infantry, Cavalry, and Field Artillery supported the Coast Artillery by providing mobile combat forces. The Corps of Engineers designed and built military
installations and civil works. The Signal Corps, Quartermaster Corps, and other branches contributed their technical skills. It was a defense team, a cross-section of the Army.
Fort Shafter in 1920
While functioning as a solid defense team, each of these cross-sections of the Army had their individual mission.
- Infantry - Repel amphibious landings on O'ahu by close combat with the enemy. Infantry troops could be moved to any part of the island by foot, by truck, or by
the narrow-gauge railroads that served the sugar plantations.
- Field Artillery - Support the Infantry by the massed fire of their light field guns. Field Artillery could deploy rapidly and fire directly or indirectly at enemy landing forces.
- Cavalry - Support the Infantry in repelling amphibious landings by shock action. Cavalry forces had rapid mobility and great psychological value in the attack.
- Corps of Engineers - Support the defense of O'ahu with military and civil construction. Engineers designed and built the Coast Artillery batteries, mapped the island, laid our
roads, dredged harbors, built lighthouses, and constructed installations to house the troops.
Original text for the exhibit pages was provided
by Barbara Mills.