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Volume lI Issue 12l

Published by
Orbis Publishing Ltd
@ Aerospace Publishing Ltd 1985
Colour profiles, diagrams and cutaway
drawings @ Pilot Press Ltd

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:l
Assault Ships
of \rbrldtlla il
Born out of necessity, the ability of the Alliestowage
successful amphihious wafiare contributed in no small An American M4 medium tank
comes ashore from a tanklanding
measure to the eventual downfall of the Arts powers. ship (LST) somewhere in the
Development was astonishingly short, it being ohvious after Mediterranean. Large enough to
make ocean passages, butofshallow
thefal| of France thatultimate Alliedsuccesswouldrequire a draught and capable of beaching,
cross-Chamrel assauJt, and.the very nature of the PacificWar the LST became the standard
amphr'bious ass ault ship from
demand,ed mastery of the new form of battle. Normandy to the Pacific.

Although in the late 1930s war in Europe was viewed by the sewices as (a) ships for carrying the infantry themselves, the Landing Shrps, Infan-
only a matter of time, its likely form was difficult to predict, so available try or LSIs, which varied from ordinary troopships in carrying also
rearmament resources were expanded in generally conventional direc- their own assault landing craft;
ttons. The total sublugation by the Axis of Europe, and later the Far East, (b) shlps, mainly Landing Shlps, Dock or LSDs, for carrying smaller
changed the situation completely, Both areas would need to be recon- craft in numbers, these craft being of insufficient size to make
quered through the carriage by the Allies of vast forces over very protracted sea crossings;
considerable distances. Established ports, even if available, would be (c) landrng craft, smaller than landing ships, for putting vehicles, equip-
either heavily defended or destroyed and it was obviously desirable to ment and personnel directly on the beach, where categories (a)
put everythinq 'over the beach' in order to retain the initiative, Only the and (b) needed to anchor offshore; and
most basic consideration had been paid officially to landing craft before (d) miscellaneous vessels which covered a range as diverse as the vital
-'lre war but, irom the time of Dunkirk onwards the British developed Headquarters Ships to the humbie, but equallyvital, Landing Barge,
:deas rapidly, passing them to the USA for implementation under Lend- Kitchen.
-ease, By the trme that the USA became embroiled, rn December 194i, rt This motley armada of 'floatrng bootboxes' did not, of iiseli win the
rad already accumulated much experience upon whrch to build. war, but the war could not have been won without it,
The vast armada of amphibious warfare vessels ultimately produced
-,';as, lor the most part, bullt to standards totally unacceptable before the LSTs (sometimes known to their crews as Large SIow Targets) unload
-,-;ar, but which held supplies during the operations on Leyte Island. Two days later the largest sea
together and drsplayed a hrgh degree of innovation, battle in historywas launched and theJapanese attempt to disrupt the
-}ey lell inlo several major groups: landings ended in catastrophe in the titanic battle of Leyte Gulf .

f.--:
ti;
R>-.
€ i,"naing Ship, Headguarters (tSH) and Amptribior:s Force Flagrship (AGC)
-i.mphibious operations are ex-
:eedingly complex and, despite meti-
culous planning and allowance for
apparently adequate contingencies.
everything that can go wronqwill try to
go wrong, Headquarters ships were
devised to lie offthe beach and control
operations until a proper HQ could be
set up ashore, after which they could
probably stay on as long as there was
any requirement for naval suppofi.
Early practice was Lo employ a major
warship in the role, but suitably equip-
ped ships were rare never had suf-
flcient accommodation and were li-
able to be called out to do some
fighting. Not until 1942 were dedrcated
ships introduced: medium-sized mer-
chantmen (with plenty of space for
conversion) were selected, and these
were instantly recognizable by the
variety of communications antennas
that were added (and it was
rumoured, by the wine bottles floating
around them), These ships handled a
tremendous volume of sigrnal trafflc,
the embarked staff being able to make
rapid decisions on the spot to counter conversion, startinqt as an armed mer- Dimensions: l::.1:. "2: - m i1 12.5 n) HMSHllary, built in 1931 as a cargo-
any problem as l arose. On occasion chant cruiser before doing a spell as beam L7 E n: {c3 25 i): iraught 6.6 m liner, spent the first part of the war as
the Landing Ship, Headguarters (LSH) an LSL As an LSH she saw service at (21 7 ft) an ocean boarding vessel. She was
even acted as an aircraft-direction Algiers, in the Levant, at Anzio and, PropuJsion: i-,r, 'teseb :eL-,-erir g converted into a headquarters ship
ship, a complex-enougrh task in itself finally, at Normandy, where she was 4698 kW (6,300 bhp) tc r,',,o siaits in 1 943 , being fitted with the complex
and usually undertaken by a specialist damaged by bombing, Other large Performance; maxrmurn speed 15 l:ts communication systems required to
Landing Ship, Fighter Direction ([,SF), British conversrons were HMS Hilary, Armament: two twrn 102-mm (4-rn) AA control an amphibious landing.
with which it worked closely For ma- Largs and Lothian The American five srngle 40-mm AA and 14 sLngle
jor landrngrs, more than one LSH might equivalent was the Amphibious Force 20-mmAAguns Formerly a liner, tft e USSAncon was
be required and, in any case a re- Flagship (AGC), converted C2 and C3 Capacity: as an LSI(L) sx LCP(L)s and taken over in 1942 as a transport, but
placement was a wise precaution par- hulls, the former croing to 17 units, For 258 troops soon became an amphibiousforce
ticularly when the enemy recognized smaller operations the British modified Complement: 264 flagshipwith the US Navy. Shewas
their importance and singled them out eight assorted frigates and qllnboats, used asan HOsfiip at theSicily
for attentlon the Americans preferrtng the more landings, Salerno, Normandy and
HMS Bulolo was a tvoical British suitable long-endurance coastguard Okinawa, and was present at the
cutters which are available for regnrlar 2Japanese surrender atTokyo Bay.
naval use in time of war,

Specification
HMSBU/oio
Displacement: 9, I 10 tons standard
s
s
s

ffi ffi i,"laing Ship, Infantry (Larse) (tsl(t)yTransport (AP)


The Landing Ship, Infantry (Large) or heavier LCMs were also carried on
LSI(L) was used for the delivery of deck, handled by the ship's derricks
troops over distances too great for The ships were well armed, com-
their embarkatron and support in land- mensurate with therr hiqh value, ongi-
ing craft, Many were little more than nally with eight 2-pdr pompoms but
basic conversions ofpassenger or car- later with sx 102-mm (4-in) AA qnrns
golpassenger liners, but others were four 2-pdr gnrns and up to eight 20-mm
rebuilt for more specific purposes. Oerlikons. Despite heavy involve-
Such were the trio of Glen Line ships ment, for instance in Crete, Syria, Mal-
(Glenearn, Glengyle and Glenroy) ta and Dieppe, none of the three was
converted rn 1941 following initial ser- lost. There were three further sisters;
vrce as stores carriers and commando of these Breconshire of the Shire Line
ships, These were new and powerful became briefly famous in her runs to
ships built for the Blue FunneVGlen/ Malta at the height of the siege until
Shire services in the Far East, and the she was flnal1y sunk. G)engarry was a
conversion involved much subdivision fourth Glen ship, buildinq in Denmark
of the cargo spaces rnto accommoda-
tion for upwards of 1 300 personnel, Tie Empire Arquebus, built in the
Sleeping was in the traditional ham- USAunder the massive US maritime
mock, but mess spaces, iatrrnes, wash progr amm e and
c ommi s s ion
places and generalstowage had to be supplied under Lend-Lease. I t was
created, together with space for such similarinmanyrespects fo ffte US
heavy equipment as had also to be put N avy's' General' and' Admir al'
ashore, Extra sets of davits were instal- c,lasses, and like them was used as an
ied for the stowage of i2 LCAs, and hvo infantry transport.

2402
Landing Ship, Infantry @arge) (continued)
Assault Ships of World War II
when the Germans invaded. She was Specification
converted to the auxiliarv cruiser 'Glen'class
Meersburg and also survived the war. Displacement: 9,800 tons gnoss
Last was the Blue Funneler ?e1e- Dimensions: lenqth 155,7 m (51 t ft);
machus, converted to the escort car- beam 20,3 m (66.7 ft); draught 8,5 m
rier HMS Acttvity. (27 75 ft)
_ AP was the general category for Propulsion: two diesels delivenng
American troop transports, modifi-ed to B94B kW (12,000 bhp) to two shafts
APA for the more speciahst Attack Performance: maximum speed 18 kts;
Transport category, Most were basic range 22250 km ( 13,825 miles) at i4 kts
conversions but notable classes de- Armament:three twin 102-mm (4-in)
signed to pupose were the 11,500{on AA four sinqle or twin 2-pdr AA, and
'Generals' and 12,700-ton'Admirals' eight to 12 single 20-mm AA gn-rns
wrth steam turbine or twbo-electdc Capacity:tvuo LCMs, 12I:CAs, 232
propulsion for about 20 kts, They went landrng craft crew and 1,087 troops
on to give very useful sqrvice after Complement: 291
World War IL
J
Llangibby Castle w a s typ i c a I
B e low : Above : R equis itione d an d
i
of the many mercantile vessels fitted commissioned in I 939, HMS
I as infantry landing ships for the Glenearn and ft er sisters could each
major European landing operations carry over 1,000 troops. Their heavy
J
from 1942 to 1944.Mostonlytook armament made them amongst the
partinone such landing, andwere most battleworthy of all British LSI s .
then returned to trade.

;:- l

ffi ffi i,"naing Ship, Infantry (Medium) (LSI(M)yHigh-Speed Transport (ApD)


Cross-channel packets, though short- Even with only half power rematning,
legged, were fast and showed qreat they were still grood for 23 kts. Topside,
potential for conversion in World War the two forward funnels and all torpe-
l. So it was in World War II, with the do tubes were landed and four LCP(R)
bonus that the German invasion of the added in davits, These 11-m (36-ft)
Low Countrres provrded many fine craft could each land up to 36 troops,
Belgian and Dutch ships in addition to Each weighed about 6 tonnes in davrts,
British and French vessels, Queen and must have posed a stability prob-
Emma (Koning en E mma) and Princess lem to such narrow-gutted ships.
Beatrix (Prinses Beatrix) had been These destroyer conversions were fol-
completed by Dutch yards only lowed by nearly 10 reburldings of des-
months before hostilities and, beingr troyer escorts (DE) with very similar
motorships, had the advantagre of small size and speed, These carried four
machinery spaces and great economy, LCVPs, nested in pairs under two dis-
They were convefied for small-scale tinctive gantry davrts, Up to 150 troops,
assault as landing Ship, Infantry four carls. lour 75-mm (295-in) pack
(Medium) or LSI(M), their large howrlzers and up to 255 mr (9,000 cu ft)
accommodation areas being ideal for of stores, ammunition and fuel could be
some 600 complement: crew, landinq carried, the ships being equipped
craft crews and army personnel. The with a pair of cargo booms (derricks) Propulsion: two diesels deliveringr f/MS Princess B ealiy\ in c o mm o n
troops were put ashore by six LCAs, for theu handltng. The APD proved 9694 kW ( i 3,000 bhp) to two shafti with most other Channel packets,
stowed under davits. TVro LCMs were extremely useirl in the island war of Performance: maxrmum speed 22 kts; was relatively fast but short-rangd.
also davit-carried but the machinerv's lhe western Pacific and, having re- range 12979 km 18,065 miles) at 13 krs This was no real handicap on
39-ton capacity iimited their use, tire tained her surface armament, was Armament: two single 76-mm (3-in) operations to the coast ofEurope,
craft havrng to be pre-loaded wtth comparatively independent, AA, two single 2-pdr AA and su single andwith her sister and several
vehicles by crane. Both ships, together -
20-mmAAquns smaller ex-Belgianferries she tmk
wrth several smaller ex-Belqlan ves- Specification Capacity: two LCMs, stx LCAs, 60 part in the Dieppe raid.
sels carried the bulk oT the iorce on 'QueenEmma'class
the Dieppe raid, all returning safely. linding craft crew and372 troops
Displacement: 4, 140 tons gross Complement: 167
Not strictly similar in designed func- Dimensions: lenqth I15,8 m (380 ft); The long and varied careers of the US
tlon but often used as such were the beam 14,4 m (47,25 ft); draught
drauqht 4.6 m
r N avy's flu sh-decked four- s tac kers
American APD, or High-Speed Trans- (1s ft) saw a number converted to fast
port ships. The first group comprised
transports for use in the island-
32 very-similar flushdecked des- hopping camp a igns of the P acifi c
koyers (the venerable'four-ptpers'), War. Eightwerelost, butonly oneol
By strrpping out the forward machin- the 94 succeeding converted
ery spaces, accommodation was cre- de str oyer- escor ts went down.
ated for about 150 troops, though 200
could be carried over short hauls.

2403
Landing Ship, Tank Mk I (LST(I)), 'Maracaibo' type
-:s early as 1940 Wrnston Churchill's the resultant tank deck was well above.
:nergetic mind was turned to matters the waterline, makinq even more
:iensive and he perceived the need acute the design of the bow ramp. In
-:r a vessel able to put atmour and the event, the already bluff bows were
'.'ehicles ashore 'over beaches' and modifled with a flat rectangmlar door
:n]'rvhere in the world'. Ultimately which hinged from its lower edge, This
shrps could be designed and burlt for allowed a hvo-stage ramp to be run
--rs revolutionary purpose but, at the down an internal slope, under the con-
-,roe only conversions were feasible to trol of several winches. The first 2 1, 6-m
:rcve the concept The problemwas a (7l-ft) long stage supported a 16,5-m
:-ce one, for a beach of a gradient kind (54-ft) extension, While these permit-
for the operation would have ted the dry landing of a 30{on tank,
=rough
::allow approaches. Thts required a they were very greedy of internal
srp largte enough both for ocean pas- space. The 'Maracaibos' can claim to
sage and to accommodate the de- be the flrst LSTs and though far from
:-;ned load, yet of shallow enough ideal, particularly in terms of speed
i:aught to put her bows ashore. Even these Landing Ship, Tank Mk I or
-::n it was likely that a considerable LST(I) vessels demonstrated the prac-
-.',--ith of water would still exist be- ticalrty of working on and off a beach rn
. .',-:en herself and the beach, so a bow a controlled manner the value of good
:l:r together with ramps of consider- subdivrsion and the need ior well-
.:.e iengrth were needed, distributed ballast space. Interestlnqt-
-:.e shLps rdentifled for converston ly, even the eventual 'last word in LSTs
'.','::e the Bachaquero, Mjsoa and never claimed to be able to work more
- :sa-iera, launched in 1937-8 and used than 17 per cent of the world's
:- l:.rjsh operations to shuttle oii from beaches, with the American LCAC air
-.':::zuela's cushion landing craft of i9BS not ex-
shallow Lake Maracaibo
with a mean tendingr this beyond a reported 70 per forward Thevery first tank landing shiPwas
=:: .nerefore, designed Propulsion: two sets of reciprocating HMS Bachaque r o, a converte d
r:r-jnt of only 3 m (9,8 ft), Their ori- cent.
'Maracaibo' type tanker. Sfte ts seen
;:-:-:- design was that of a turret- steam engines delivering 2237 kW
:=:-<:r, the weather decks at the side Specification (3,000 ihp) to two shafts in Alexandria in March I 943.
trunk. As LST(I),'Maracaibo' type Performance: maximum speed I 1 kts,
--.i.:::g a deep centreline Displacement: 4,890 tons grross ranqe 12045 km (7,845 miles) at 10 kts Capacity: hvo LCMs, 20 25-tontanks
:,= s-irps lengdh:beam ratio was only
-::-.: 6:1, they had plenty of deck Dimensions: length I16,5 m (382.5 ft); Armament:two 102-mm (4-in) smoke and 207 supernumeries
:;:le once the stde decks were beam 19,5 m (64 ft); draught 4.6 m mortars, and four srngle 2-pdr AA and Complement:98
sxsinqle 20-mm AA guns (NB: the Tasajera was slightly smalle:
:--.:i over, The drawback was that (15 ft); beachingdraught 1.3 m(4,25 ft)

Landing Ship, Tank Mk I (LST(I)), 'Boxer' type


HMSBoxer, seen soon after her
completion in early 1943, was the
firstvessel designed from the outset
as anLST. A complex design, the
three completed shipswere beaten
into service by the LST(2).

via a vehicle lift from the tank deck. A


hatch was provided abaft the super-
structure, sewiced by a 40{on crane,
to offload vehicles in the event of dam-
age to the bow door, The complexity of
the'Boxers' (Boxer, Bruizer and Thrus-
ler) meant that the first was not ready
untrl early in 1943, by whrch time the
better features had been incorporated
in the far superior LST(2s). The speed
and endurance of the'Boxers' thus saw
them suitable for conversion to LSFs,
with four tall masts covered in anten-
nae for the purpose of aircraft direc-
tion

Specification
LST( I), 'Boxer' type
Displacement: 3 615 tons standard and
5,410 tons fu]1load
Dimensions: lenqth 121.9 m (400 ft)
beam 14.9 m (49 ft); drausht L7/4 4 m
(5 5/14,5 ft)
Propulsion: two sets ofqeared steam
turbines delivering 5220 kW
(7,000 shp) to two shalts
Performance: maximum speed 17 kts;
range 14830 km (9,215 miles) at 14 kts
Armament: two 102-mm (4-in) smoke
moflars and four srngle 2-pdr AA and
eight single 20-mm AA guns
Capacity: 20 medium or L3 hearry
tanks 27 loaded lorries and 193 troops
Complement: 169

By the time of theinvasio-t of


Normandy, the three'Boxers' had
been converted to LSF (Landing Ship
Fighter-direction).
ffi ffi i,"naing Ship, Tank Mk 2 (LST{2))
Even while the three LST( l)s were still able role in all theatres, i,077 ofthese
rn the early stages of construction, be- ships being burlt between 1942 and
fore Pearl Harbor and the USA s entry 1945,
rnto the war, it was realized that a great
number of large landing craft would Specification
ultimately be required for the assauit LST(2)
that would have to precede the recon- Displacement: 1,490 tons standard and
quest of Europe, Only construction in 2, 160 tons full load
the USA under Lend-Lease terms Dimensions: ienqth i00 m (328 ft);
could produce these numbers, but the beam 15,2 m (50 ft); draught 0,9/2,9 m
resultinqr ships would need to be cap- (3, 1/9,5 ft)
able of crossing the Atlantic. The con- Propulsion: wo dieseis deltverin g
1

ception of the Landing Ship, Tank Mk 2 t34t kW (1,800 bhp) to two shafts
or LST(2), desprte frequent US claims Performance: maximum speed
to the contrary, was-British and was 10,5 kts; range 11120 km(6,910miles)
worked out in detail by a British mis- at 9 lcts
sion in Washington in the winter of Armament: one i27-mm (S-in) or 76-
1941-2, the first order being placed in mm (3-in) DP quns, which was usually
February 1942. omitted when the full secondary
The major differences from the battery of two twin and four single 40-
LST(I) were the adoption of an en- mm AA and sx to 12 single 20-mm AA Above: LST 2 1 6 after conversion to Below: Unloading equipment from
grnes-aft layout, a smaller length:beam gunswas carried fighter-director. Offices built into the LST(Z)s at the ALlied beach-head at
ratio and an acceptance of a lO-kt max- Capacity:two LCVPs, 18 healry tanks, tank deck included those for Anzio. Suchsceneswete to become
imum speed. A surrable locomotive- 27 lorries or one LCT(S), and 163 communications, fighter control and commonin everymaritime theatre of
type diesel was available in the USA. troops radar plotting, as well as workshops the war, with the ubiquitous LS T
Two of these developed sufflcient Complement:21l andslores. continually coming and going.
power while having only a limited
hetqht, enabling the tank deck to be
continued over the machinery space
and thus run the full useful length ofthe
shlp. By adopting a biufl beamy form,
the loaded drauqht was considerably
reduced; for sea passages the ship
could be ballasted down and, for
beachrng. rnmmed by the stern to give
a very small forward drauqht. This, in
turn, enabled the vessel to ground
much closer to the tideline and oniy a
short ramp was fitted inside the verti-
cally-hinged bow doors, On beaches
with the mrnimum declivity of I in 50
this still meant a lot of water for vehi-
cles to traverse, and research was
srarled into rheir waterproofing. Only
with the adoptron in 1943 of sectroned
pontoons for the rapid construction of
ship-to-shore causeways was the
problem really solved.
A spacious upper deck, encum-
bered only with the exhaust vents from
the tank deck, was served both by
hatch and elevator (or ramp in later
versions), It could be used for stowage
of lighter vehicles or, if required, an
LCT(5) or LCT(6). Hear,ry gravity davits
could accommodate up to six LCVPs
for use as lifeboats or greneral utility
craft The double-skin hull flanking the
tank deck gave accommodation to up
to 163 army personnei.
The LST(Z) became the standard
assault ship and played an indrspens-

ffi EW ilanains Ship, Tank Mk 3 (tST(3))


So well drd the LST(2) suit the needs of the tank deck space and causing the water was very loathe to drsperse. Specification
the Americans that the UK had difficul- ship to ground by the stern rather than With therr deeper drauqht the r.sT(3)
iy rn being allocated suitable numbers the bows on beaches of mrnimum de- LST(3)s tended to ground farther from Dispiacement: 2,255 tons standa:d :: :
irom the construction programme that clivity, the dry beach and a double-section 3 065 tons fu]Iload
lt had itself initiated, Eiqhty were The second proolem lav tn cor- bow ramp was rncorporated as part- Dimensions: Ienqth 105 4 m (34r - - -.
needed, and it was decided to impro struction techniques for as Britrsh and compensation, although fioating beam 16.5 m (54 it); draugiht 1.4 3 : :-
vise on the LST(2) design, with 45 to be Canadian yaros nad ds yel no exptrn- causeway sections wore agajn a suc- (4.5/1 1.5 ft)
built in the UK and the remainder rn ence in largre-scale weldinq riveting cessful answer The LST(3)s were very Propulsion: two sets ofreciproca. :;:
Canada There were two major prob- was necessary. Even thouqh a hard well built, having LCAs under therr steam engrnes de[vering 4101 k','.-
lems chine was adopted to srmplify con- gravity davits and the capacity to stow (5,500 ihp) to two shafts
Firstly, the locomotive diesels used structron, the Landing Ship, Tank Mk 3 up to seven LCM(7)s on the upper Performance: maxl mum spe-c
oy the Amtrrrcans were f-lly commrt- or LST(3) took lonqer to build and the deck These were olfloaded via a 30- 13.5 kts; range 14822 kn(9,2i0r:,-:s
ted and, as no alternative existed to the resultingr low efficiency hull was dis- ton SWL derrick set on a portside king at 11 kis
Brrtish, they had to specrfy the simple apporntingly slow. Thouqh significant- post forward of the bridge. A 15{on Armament: rwo twrn 40-mm AL ,:. r:-.
steam reciprocating engines used in Iy longer to accommodate the steam derrick was stepped on the other post. single 20-mm AA gnrns
'5
re frigate programme As amphibious machrnery and disposing ofover three Though a few of the programme were Capacity:f ve LCfu, hear'ry :: --
,':arfare ships were now commanding times the power, the LCT(3) was only eventually cancelled, the 44 British mediumtanks, 14lornes and 163
r priority as high (or even hrgher) than 3 kts faster than the diesel-driven and 28 Canadian ships completed troops
-riqates this caused lrttle headache, Amerrcan LS f(2)s. No camber was in gave 20 years and more oi post-war Complement:104
:ut the machinery and its boiiers were cluded on the weather deck; thts was a servlce.
:rlky and heavy both intrudrng into counter-productive shortcut as loose
TheNormctndg Shuttle
The greatest amphibious operation in history had participants both great and small,
from the lonely paratrooper lost in thenight to the sweating gun-crews onthe
battleships. Yet there was one group, largely unsung, without whom no invasion
would have been possrb le; upon whom success or failure depended, and who kept
the invasion going until the capture of a workable port. Without the landing craft and
their crews, there would have been no triumph.

Everyone has seen the typicai war movie with a ferred me to landrng craft . . . and that meant I
landing craft making a fleeting appearance, was suddenly part of Combined Ops. I remem-
Invariably both emphasis and camera are on ber we were trained at Poole in 1943 bat- -
the men or machines being landed, and very tlefield conditions, you know - up to 10 days of
litt1e rs said or shown about the craft rtsell having ihem flre iive ammo at you on practice
which is a prty, Not only drd rt take a landings, There were a lot accidents and quite
tremendous amount of skill, gmts and training to a few krlls, I can tell you'Course we knew what
run these craft, but World War 1l could not have was planned I remember, it was in late
been won without them. Lightly armed and August, early September tn'43 when we pick-
lightly armoured landing craft were used in ed up some LCTs (Landing Craft, Tank) in
thousands of engagements from sma]], highly Gosport and sailed them across the Channel,
secret commando reconnaissance raids to ful1 Then we just spent a day sailing up and down
blooded rnvasions, The men who lived and 20 miles oif the French coast - it was a dummy
often died on board have largely been lorgot run, you see, they wanted to know how Jerry LCT 675 noses into the beach with a cargo of
ten, for a landing craft lacks the glamour of a would react Well, he didn't do anything, no Sft ermans, men and ammunition. The LCT(4)

ma;or warship. And yet landing craft epito- guns no nothtng. I'm glad he didn't open up with could carry six medium tanks, or 300 tons of cargo.
his coastal batteries I can tell youl Although the typewas of flimsy construction, the
mized the couraqe and pure seamanship that LCT(4)was able towithstand a surprising amount
made the Royal Navy famous throughout the of damage.
centuries,
Flotillas organized
This account rs partly about one such man Landing craft personnel were organized into head) and LCMs (Mechanized, carryinq ona
who sailed on landing craft during World War flotrllas of up to 1,000 men. Personnel were truck or two jeeps),
11. He had jorned the Royal Navy as a boy assigned as necessary, to IrCTs (iranding Craft, 'But the funniest ones were the sma1l, ver-;
seaman, being seconded to landlng craft short- Tank) or LSTs (Landing Ships, Tank) and all the fast craft the Yanks produced. They were ca
1y after Churchrll stepped up the Royal Navy's minor landing craftr LCAs (Assault, carrying led "Eurekas" and you know what? Theyd
amphibious ro1e, He flnished the war as a Stok- Britrsh Commandos or US Rangers), LCPs (Per- been used for booze running during Prohib'
er, First Class sonnel, otherwrse troops), LCVs (Vehicle, also tion and could carry l5 commandos, The-'-
'l was part of Coastal Forces when they trans used to carry stretcher cases off the beach- were marvellbus for special ops, marvellous

'Fair stood the wind for France'


The greatest invasion fleet ever assembled sailed from England on the night ofSi6
I|dfite 1944i2,727 ships carrying troops, stores and 2,500 landing craft approached
ihe French coast escorted by 700 warships including five battleships, 23 cruisers
and I04 destroyers. Five Allied divisions were landed, two American, two British
and one Canadian; the British and Canadians landed on beaches code-named
'Gold', Juno'and'Sword', the US forces on'Utah'and'Omaha'. Once the leading
waves of troops had secuedthe beaches, the racebegantoshuttle fuel,
ammunition and more mento the beach-heads beforethe Germans launched
their counterattack. Here at 'Omaha' the stalwart defence of the German 352
Division threatened to defeat the US landing altogether.

*_ *_:- -"-4+Ei=
i'-
'- {-idffiL=--
. -
-=€*-j*.;* "--' .,!ri

).406
Assault Ships of World War II
Iranding craft crew trained between srx and
l0 months for D'Day, at Dartmouth, Poole and
Inverary, the last berng the point where the
boats were prcked up and sailed down to the
south coast,
'l spent most of my time on an LCT Mk 4.
Carried a crew of 14 (four officers) and the
skipper was usually a senior sub-lieutenant.
Draught forward was 3 ft and aft 5 ft - that's
loaded, The officers bunked in the wheel
house and we all bunked in the galley space
aft, And that measured 10 ft by l0 ft, and the
only way in or out was by ladder and a 2 ft
diameter hatch, We could carry up to six Sher-
mans - there was space lor their crews in the
welldeck - and we were powered by Paxman
Ricardo diesels, We also had two jennies for
electric power, Not many people realize that
we actually lived on board , , , well, we had to,
because when 'he invasion was on, we were
going nrght and day, nonstop I can tell you,'
RoyalNavyCommandos
Another important group of men, not well
known by the general public, were the Royal
Navy Commandos. While most people are
aware that the first Commandos were naval, not
many people are aware of the Royal Navy's
continuing role after frrst the army and then the
Royal Marines (who not unnaturally ciarmed craft were arrivrng in numbers, because a con- The scenes onthe beach may have been chaotic.
that they had always done the job anyway) took siderable part of the Royal Nalry Commando's butonce thefightinghad moved inland the
over the function. In fact, Royal Nar,ry Comman- skill lay in not being seen. As one can imagrne, logisticalforces could get on with moving some o!
dos had a specific job that continued through- it took a very speclal type of man to do a job like the 2 million or more tons of mat6riel stockpileC:n
out the war: make the first landing in order to the south ofEngland.
that; the only modern day unrt that can provide
help gurde the landing craft in shore, It all similar skrils rs the Royai Marines' Special Boat
sounds qurte simple, but rt has to be borne in Squadron. where his (possibly malevolent) rnfluen:e -.',--
mind that the naval Commandos could well As one can well imagine, life on board a be watered down, It works in reverse as -,-,-:
have landed the previous day, found some- landrng craft was naturally domrnated by the one of the functions of more senior offlcers '. -_
where io hole up and stayed there until it was personality of one man, the skrpper. In a larger protect the men from Lhe incomperer.ce -'- : =:
time to brrng the other troops ashore, It was not ship a bad skipper can to some extent be nul- junror offrcers, Obvrously, in a small aid =:-
one of your action-packed 'death orland glory' lifled by the other officers, By the very nature of lated landing craft, this system could r:. :::,
jobs, except for the moments when the landing the command structure, there are whole areas vail

On the right, an LCT(3) reverses out to seawith its pull-offanchor already


stowed;off the porl bow can be seentwo LCT(4)s makingtheirwayinshorewhiie
to starboard an LCT(4) is unloading. The flames in the distance come from the
blazingwreck ofa landing craft which eventualiy burned for 18 hours, spitting
bullets in all directions as its ammunition went off in the heat. Onthe left, merchant
ships lower stores into waiting LCPs which shuttle to and from the beach. During 6
]une 20,000 paratroops were dropped into Normandy and over 130,000 men were
landed from the sea. No co-ordinated German counterattack materialized and
although few ofthe planned objectives had beenreache.d, the landingswere a
brilliant success. The Atlantic Wall had been breached.

it*on

\.s
The Normandy Shuttle

iil

skipper I mentioned, he was something spe' H igh and dry upon the beach, an LST(Z), an LCT
'Some skippers were wonderful men - go
cial, I remember the cox'n we had then as well aid a cargoves,sel overlook troops making their
with them, we would. And wlth one
=ywhere . . . a Stornoway man, spent time on trawlers way into Normandy. In the foreground, the white
:: particular we did. Not because he was so ensign indicates the position of the Royal Navy'
:narming, you understand, But because he and could navigate by the stars as easily as you beachmaster and his control party'
-cew his job, But some of the others , . , do you could read a road slgn. It was on that boat that
we had one sklpper who was so bad, he
-<.-1cw, we won the Blue Ribbon, for most trips across,' And for relaxation, for some reason the LCT
:::ua11y managed to get us lost going across the Conditions on board were primitive, but ]lke crews played cribbage, This ls strange, be-
lhannel? Of course there was a good reason all good matelots the crew managed to keep cause ihe great game in the Royal Navy is
::l it: he was drunk at the time and somehow themselves clean, after a fashion at ]east, 'You 'uckers' or ludo, but the LCT boys played crib-
-,';e turned to starboard when the rest ol the did your dhobying lclothes washingl and had bage, though not for money. 'No, we played for
:cnvoy went straight on. 'Course we knewwhat your bath all at the same time, What you did ouirum ratlon, See, we divided one tot into 64
::e had done, but there was no real danger so was get a bucket of hot water, flrst wash out sips [sippers] or eight gulps [gulpers and
-,';e let him find out for himsell The other tlpe of your underpants and vests, then your overalls. th-ere were obviously eight sips to the gnrlpl.
didn't like was the really keen one, And then you took that bucket and washed That rum was worth more than lts weight in
".cpper we gung yoursell emptying it out all over you down into gold, Someone asked me the other day if we
-,-ou krow- ho, The kind that volunteered
:; boat and men for every dirty, dangerous job the bilges, Well, it wasn't the Ritz but we were t,ook drugs to keep us going. We didn't need
;cing or took unnecessary risks, But the first grateful for it, make no mistake,' them. We didn't need them because we had

Landing Ship, Tank Mk 3 (4,820 tons full load)


cutawaydrawing keY
,\lnch 34 Fueloi
<eel 35 Fuel oil/ballast
lcuble rudder 36 Ballast
Screws 37 Tankdeck
,\ ell 38 Shermantanks
Sieerage compartment 39 Companlonway
Seamen's mess 40 Exhaustvent
2c-mm machlne-gun 4T Chocks
3e ley 42 Stowed rampextensions
rC's mess 43 Ramp in stowed position
Store 44 Anchorwlnch
45 Gunplatform
Slck bay 46 Doublecamdoors
:unnel 47 Ramp (1 ln 50 slopeto
-CA on davits beach)
lavlts 48 Rampextension
3oilers 49 LCA
Sha{t 50 Fue
iada r 51 Two Ford V-BB 4B-kWi65-
ladar office hp) engines
3ridge 52 Armoureddoors
Nardroom 53 Ramp
Cf{icers' qua rters 54 LCT l\lk 6
Nheelhouse 55 Winch
:ngine room 56 Catwalk
-wo 2051 -kW (2.750-hp) 57 Vent
'eciprocatlng steam 58 Brldge
engrnes 59 Wheelhouse
Companionway/lobby 60 Lrohtarmour olateon side
C rane 61 Lrlht armour i:late on face
-ight armour plate around 62 Crewquarters
orldge 63 Three 68-lW (225
1 hp)
'latch cover Graydiesel engines
:resh water 64 Collapsibedavit
iroops'mess 65 Triple screw
-roops'quarters 66 Fuel/ballast

2tcB
Assault Ships of World War II

our mml' It was not just the Royal Navy who bit of fishing, then across to France. That took deck. The landing crait managed to re;e:=
appreciated the value of rum, When trarning 16 hours, steaming at 8 kts, Then we'd unload, this trend: a great many of them had a s:::! s
for D-Day started, the US Rangers soon ac- turn round and back to Portland, dog, 'We had a lovely old dog, a buJldog :a-=:
quued a taste for it, as American shlps were 'When we got there, if we were lucky we had Bill. Went everyrjvhere with us, he drd \::-:-;
(aad still are) dry. Moreover, as anyone who time for a drink ashore while we were being worried him, just so long as he had some-r;:-e:=
has tasted it can tell you, Royal Navy rum was loaded up again - our own stores and fuei and to sleep and plenty to eat. I've seer -n:---=
like nothlng else. It could, dependlng on the with whatever we were carrying across. But I crews, from the skipper doum, in tears -ff:=:-
strenqth and the circumstances, make one feel think the most time we ever had was two pints their ship's dog died. i knew how they ie-: -r;:-=:-
the bravest man in theworld (without impairing worth, the loading was that quickl And that we lost old Bill. See, we'd firushed -r,-r--:- --:-=
one's ability to function too muchl), or it could went on day after day after day . . . and we Normandy landings and were on our v,-a-i :'i: -:
relax one to the point of being able to sleep were lucky with the weather, too, Only time it the Far Easi, Well, we got as far as AJexa:::r=
through the noisiest bombardment. The Ran- turned a bit nasty was on the fifth or sixth day when the Americans dropped the bon:-c a:-:
gers krew a good thlng when they drank lt, and when a Force I0 gale blew up and that was the that finished that. But we'd taken Bill-,',r:- -
luckily had something of their own that the LCT only thing that slowed us down.' and the heat in Egrypt got to him. Well i:e r-
crews prized almost as much, getting on. But it seemed a shame to have 3:::-:
'It was their "K" rations. Lovely, they were , ..
Three shillings a day through so much only to die of hea-s:cl<e -::
tastiest rations I ever had, and they also came Incidentally, the average wage of an LCT Alex, No, there's no way we could have -e.. :-::
with those self-heating cans. So we used to crew member (rating) was 3 shillings (15p) per behind in England. Bill wouldn't have p;: :;
barter our rum ior their rations and we all en- day, Out of that they would be stopped a per- with it. So we qave him a proper buria- a: -.
ded up happy. centage to pay for their shoes ( 19 shillings/95p), with frill naval honours, AJter all, he in'a-s c:-: :-
'tiddly suit' (50 shillinqrs/tZ.50), jersey (Sl) our own, a Combined Ops dog, He was e:-:--=r
'Omaha'Beach socks (6d/2.5p per pair) and towels (l0d/4 I7p as much as anyone else,'
'But those Rangers were good troops, Some each), In other words, they were into the Navy The contribution that the men ol Cc=r-::e:
olthe bravest I ever fought with. We took them for about six weeks wages before they even Operations made to the war can never i= .:.:
into "Omaha" Beach, and I rememberwatching started. highly praised. And qulte simply, nitc:: -:-:
as they clawed thelr way up those almost ver- There is an old Royal Navy saying that when skill, courage and determination of the la:::-:-;
tical cliffs because someone hlgher up had one of their ships goes to sea, it is with the full craft crews the Normandy invasion ccri :-=;-
made a mistake and sent us to the wrong piace, ship's complement either at their stations or er have taken place, And it was a-[ d::-: :::
And Jerry was holding hls machine-gmns out, parading on deck, When the merchant navy Iove of country, prlde of serr-ce. a tc: :: :-j:
pointed down that cliff and just spraying those goes to sea, it is with two men and a dog on and 3 shillinqs per day,
Rangers ofi just like you would hose down a
dirty wal1. But the Rangers got up there all rlght.
Must of thern had our rum inside of them!'
In fact, the Germans had little else beside
machine-guns at 'Omaha' Beach because the
naval bombardment had taken out al1 the biq-
ger qlrns. There was 'negative defence' as the
saying goes, and the Germans had been 'flat-
tened down', Except for the machine-gnrns,
anti-tank gn-lns, mortars and mines, Many land-
ing craft lost their screws to mines, small antr-
personnel mines that had been fixed to the
cross beams that were part of the underwater
defences,
Once the invasion had started, crossing the
Channel fell lnto a set routine, 'We'd load up at
Portland Hard, then sllp around the buoy and
wait for the weather. Ilwe had time we'd do a

MixedUS attacktransports and cargo zesse/s


unload troops and equipment onto'Rhino' ferries.
By l J uly the Allies had landed 9 20,000 men,
600,000 tons of equipment and 177,000 vehicles
onto the Normandy beaches.
The Normandy Shuttle

t l't.-'
I L!--!

Abve: The LST(3) differed largely from the LST(2)


in the use of riveting in the hull (due to a lack of
'veldlng machines in British yards) and steam
machinery in place of the non-available American
djesels. The res ult was a heavier ship without any
jnczease rn the military load.
Assault Ships of World War II

Landing Ship, Tcrrk T.tk3


Right and below: The original LST(2) had been
promise between lhe sea-
desr'grned as a com
keeping qualities of the original British-designed
tank landing ship, and the simplicity and ease of
construction of the larger landing craft then being
built.ln the eventit succeeded admirably, but not
enough were in production for both British and US
needl, and so the LST(3) was built in Britishyatds'
It could carry up to I 5 tanks at 40 tons, as well as a
deckcargo combining asingle LCT(S) anda
combinationof lorries,LCMs, LCYPs or LCPs.
>K ffi i,"nains Ship, Dock (LSD)
S: mary examples of the Landing Ship, stores, which could be trans-shipped
Dock (IJSD) and its derivatrves have by crane,
l:een constructed by the Americans In the event, the LSDs proved ex-
l-:'rng the last 40 years that one could cessively stable and the srdes below
:e iorgnven for assuming that the con- the deep waterline were flared-tn, re-
re,ot stemmed from the US Navy. In ducing also the amount of ballast
draft was prepared in the UK necessary to trlm the ship down
=:ia the Thouqh an apparently enormous
-er-"rsaged.
carrier for the largest LCTs then
This was September 1941 volume was available for ballast space,
-rnen the sea-going LST had not yet it was scarcely adequate in practice.
been developed, The LCT was not re- Flooding dov,n usually took 172 hours
larded as sea-going yet, loaded, was and pumping dry took 272 hours, even
-3r too healry to be handled by the likes at a pumpinq rate of69650 litres (18,400
:i the LSS or LSG, hence the idea of US gal) per minute. Inltially dividing
loating them in and out of a self- gates were provided on the pontoon
propelled floatrnq dock, The draft was deck, but the expected surge (or'bath
_out to the Americans for completion water effect') did not materialize, The
and execution under the terms of LSD concept also provided the basis
Lend-Lease, Seven wete requested for today's RoRo cargo vessel.
but. in the event, the Americans com-
pleted another 20 to therr own account, Specification
The 27 ships were launched between LSD
.942 and 1946, Displacement: 4,270 tons standard and
They were designed around a pon- 7,950 tons full load
icon deck (or dockfloor) large enough Dimensions: lenqth 139,5 m (457,75 ft); (British ships) 76-mm (3-in) DP, and sx The Landing Ship, Dockwas planned
:c stow two LCTs. This was enclosed beam22.0 m(72.25 ft); draught 5.3 m twin 40-mm AA or i6 srngle 2O-mm AA as acarrier for the largest LCTs,
bv the doik walls and a full-width stern (17,5 ft) guns which in 1941 were still not sea-
Jate pivoted at the lower edge. From Propulsion: (LSD 1-B) two sets of Capacity: two LCT(3)s or LCT(4)s, or going.They had apontoon deckbig
-:e forward end of the dock well the reciprocating steam engines three LCT(5)s, or36 LCMs, landing enough for two LCTs; here trucks are
:la-ft was an orthodox ship. All were delivering 8203 kW ( I 1,000 ihp) to hvo craft crew (varying with landing craft transferred from the LSD deck to a
:leam-propelled, the flrst eight havingt shafts, or (others) two sets ofgeared carried) and 263 troops waitingLCT.
.dlow recrprocating encdnes and the steam turbines dehvering 5593 kW Complement:254
-ast seven conventional steam tur- (7,500 shp) to two shafts US,SBelle Grove was the second
i:res. The latter were preferred as all Performance: maximum speed (LSD 1 - vessel of the first class ofUS LSDs,
:::achinery and boiiers were sited be- B) 17 kts or (others) 15.5 kts; range and had Skinner Uniflow
,:-r.'the pontoon deck and heiqht was 14830 km (9,215 miles) at 15 kts reciprocating engines which were
-,:rited. Uptakes and funnels were Armament: one I 27-mm (S-in) or replaced by steam turbines in
s-jed to avord impeding the clear subsequent classes. The wartime
LSDs provided the basis for the Ro-
':ck space, A later addition was tem- Ro ships of today.
!:rary decking spanningt the dock for
.:e stowage of motor vehicles and

>K i,andins Craft, Tank Mks I to 3 (LCT (I-3))

ly watertrght and was backed by a patr shipment to drstant parts. After Dunkirk a requirementwas
of low watertigrht doors, Propulsion had Thirty LCT(i)s were burlt before the issued for a craft able to land three
to be by two of the readily available type was superseded by the lranding 40-ton tanks in ametre of water on a
Hall-Scott petrol engines used on coas- Craft, Tank Mk 2 or LCT(2). Wrth only beachwithup to 2.8 per centslope.
tal craft but, nevertheless, achieved smali rncreases in dimensions, these TheLCT(2)s seen above displaced
the required l0 kts. Most LCT(])s could accommodate two rows of smal- 460 tons Loaded and could carry up
were built (durrng l94O-l) tn four sec- ler tanks and rncrease endurance from to seven 20-ton tanks.
tions, which could be broken down for 1665 to 5000 km (1,035 to 3, I LO miles).
-arding Craft, Tank Mks I to 3 (continued) Assault Ships of World War II
-:-::: engrnes were fitted, petrol or LCT(3)s were essentially LCT(2)s
:--s:l as avarlable, For the first time with a 9.7 5-m ( 32-ft) section added
-,--=:esrgn lent itself to construction by amidships, enabling them to
:=:,3ral steel fabrrcators, relieving the accommodate up to five 40-ton or I 1
--.-r cn shipyards To increase capac- 30-ton tanks. Later units were fitted
, -':-:t fluther, a fifth midbody section with petrol engines giving a
-':- :hen inserted to create the Land- maximumspeedof I0 kts.
::g Craft, Tank Mk 3 or LCT(3) with a
,:..1h of 58.52 m (192 ft). These could Dimensions: ienqrth 46.3 m (152 ft);
-^:::y flve hear,ry or i I medrum tanks beamB,B m(29 ft); drauqht0.9/1.75 m
::: ':ery little extra draught and, de- (3/5,75 ft)
.p-:e reversron to twin-screw prop- Propulsion: two petrol enqtines
j-3n were only margdnally slower, delivering 746 kW (1,000 hp) to two
shafts
Specification Performance: maximum speed l0 kts;
LCT(r) range 1666 km (1,035 miles) at 10 kis
Displacement: 226 tons light and 372 Armament:two single 2-pdr pompoms
- .:s loaded Capacity: three heavy or sx medium
tanks
Complement: 12

Below: Only 30 LCT( I )s were


constructed before the three- shaft
LCT(Z)s were introduced. Beside
and underneath the tank deck, the
't), double skin of thevesselwas heavily
compailmented into ballast and trim
tankspJus bun kers and stowage.

Landing Craft, Tank Mk 4 (LCT(4))


but did enable them to proceed to the
Indian Ocean on therr own bottoms.
Some were converted to Landing
Craft, Flak Mk 4 or LCF(4) by the addr
tion of four Z-pdr pompoms and eight
20-mm Oerlikons or Landing Craft,
Gun Mk 4 or LCG(4) wrth hvo i l9-mm
(4,7-in) wns from old destroyers and
up to a dozen 20-mm weapons,

Specification
rcT(4)
Displacement: 200 tons light and 586
tons loaded (or 6I I tons when
stiffened)
Dimensions:length 57 I m (187,25 ft);
beam I LB m (38,7 ft); draught 1.1/1 4 m
(3 5/4 7 ft)
Propulsion: wo diesels delivering
686 kW (920 bhp) to two shafts
Performance: maximum speed 9 ktsl
range 2035 km ( 1,265 miles) at B k1s Above : LCT(4)s were developed Below: Compared to the LCT(3)s tJte
Armament: up to hvo single 2O-mm AA because the earlier LCTswere of too LCT(4)swere beamier and a little
guns deep a draught for the French shorter. Their shallow draught
Capacity:sx hear,ry or nine medium beaches on which the Allies intended enabled them to beach on a I in I 5a
tanks to land. slope, puttingvehicles ashore in Iess
Complement: 12 than a metre of water.
>K ffi i,anains Craft, Tank Mks 5 to 8 (tCT 5-8))
As World War II proceeded, it be- Landing Craft, Tank Mk 5 or LCT(S), from scratch, desiqrnated the Landing Specification
came apparent that the draught prob- which could either be transpoded in Craft, Tank Mk 7 or LCT(?) for a time LCT(7)orLSM
lem would inhibit the use of LSTs in sections to a desired theatre and but then as a blend of LCT and LST, Displacement: 5 L3 tons liqht and 900
some instances and the Bntish prop- assembled afloat, or actually trans- known as an LSM (Landing Ship, tons full load
osed a short beamy, drive-through ported complete on an LST's upper Medium). Though larger than an Dimensions: Ienqth 62.0 m (203,5 ft);
craft (another new concept) that could deck and iaunched by simply sliding LCT(3), rt had flner hnes and a shrp- beam 10,4 m (34 ft); drauqht L0/2.1m
erther ferry the LSTs' vehicles ashore all 134 tons ofit over the side, She was a type bow with vertically-hinged doors (3,4/6 I ft)
(a siow process for a landinqt) or act as slow short-haul craft and nearly 500 to be capable of ocean passages at Propulsion: Lwo diesels deli verng
a temporary bridge to link the large were built in the USA wtth a conven- 12 kts. As a result, its capaclty was a 20BB kW (2,800 bhp) to two shafts
,ressel to the beach The result was the tional layout before the Landing Craft, reduced three hear,ry or five medium Performance: maximum speed 13 kts
Tank Mk 6 or LCT(6) was introduced tanks and its draught increased The range 6486 km (4,030 miles) at 1i kts
on much the same dimensions but LSM had a characteristically hiqh tow Armament: two sinqle 4O-mm AA and
flnaily with the bridge on the starboard er of a bridge, set amidships on the stx srngie 20-mm AA gnrns
side to permit the earlter-proposed starboard side, and enclosed accom- Capacity:three hear,ry or five medium
drrve-through operation. Triple-screw modation for over 50 troops, tanks, and 54 troops
propulsron suited the diesels available The LSM was not suitable for use by Complement: 52
and improved the craft's handling the Britrsh who, nevertheless, used the
somewhat. basic idea for their final Landinq Craft, A short, beamy, drive-through craft,
Some LCT(S) and (6) vessels sup- Tank Mk 8 or LCT Mk B. At 68 6 m theLCT(6) serieswas designed to
piied to the British were subsequently (225 fl) this was limrted to eight ferry vehicles ashore from an LST if
lengthened by about 12 m (39.4 ft), At medium tanks. The production of her draughtwas too greatfor the
about this same time in 1943 the Amer- LCT(B)s with therr four-diesel, two- beach or to make an improvised
rcans desrgned their first-larqe crafl shaft drrve and improved facilities bridge for the same purpose.
could be undertaken only because of
the reiax,nq of supplv problems near!
the war's end

>K ffi i,""aing Craft, Infantry Large and Small (LCI(L) and (S))
::rst descrrbed as a Giant Raiding comparatively flnely built, with a ship- for special roles, notably over 160 ings where they were frnally used. No
Craft the Landing Craft, Infantry type bow, armed as inshore fire suppofi craft, less than four brows were arranqed
(Large) or LCI(L) was a relatively fast The propulsion system was typically Thougrh known as Landing Craft, Infan- forward, togrether with a (typicaily Brit-
:laft designed around the carriage of a product of war ingenuity, with eight try (Gun) or LCI(G), i,e. gmnboat many ish) stowage for 12 brcycles. Prop-
210 troops on sea crosslnqs of up to General Motor diesel truck engdnes of these had 127-mm (S-in) rocket- ulsion was by a pair of the weli-tried
-8-hour duratrolr, The type was hrst drivrng the twin shafts through rubber launchers or mortars. Hall-Scott petrol enqines, and the craft
:looted in 1942 for general raiding frictron rollers. Numbers up to LCI(L) Complementrng the LCI(L) in lts were capable of 15 kts when these
:lound the coast of occupied Europe ll39 were allocated, though few over raidinq role was the Landing Craft, In- were turbocharqed,
rid, as the troops needed to get 900 were completed as designed. fantry (Small) or LCI(S) though neither
.shore rapidly, a gangway (or 'brow') Over 300 further hulls were completed type is beheved ever to have been Specification
;as rncluded on either bow, Once lo- used as intended As only half the num- LC(r)
'.';ered, these were required to put the ber of troops was carried, the origdnal- Displacement: 246 tons light and 384
::ops down in water shallow enough ly-planned wood constrrctron was tons full load
.: -.nrade ashore. in turn, this demanded adopted, the desrqn being the respon- Dimensions: length 48.9 m (160.3 ft);
s:ch a shallow beaching draught for- sibility of Fairmile, which mass- beam7,2 m(23.5 ft); drauqht0.9/1,6 m
'.';-d as to necessltate steel, rather produced them atler tne manner in (2,9/s,25 ft)
.:-an wood construction. For thrs which they built so many coastal forces Propulsion: two d iesels delverino
::ason the LCI(L) was American-built craft, The double-diagonally laid ply- 1730 kW (2,320 bhp) to two shafts
: British requirements. From LCI(L) wood of much of the craft's external Performance: maximum speed i4 kts;
351 onwards, a centreline bow ramp surfaces was overhung with 6,4-mm rangeI4B22 km (9,210 miles) at 12 kts
:!:ratrng through bow doors was (0.25-in) HT steel plate for added pro- Armament:flve single 20-mm AAguns
-r:pied (though not universally), more tection, but troops below still incurred Capacity: 2lO troops
!::rective for the troops but more
'.--.:erable mechanically. As it did not
many casualties on approach to land- Complement:29

::::,. vehrcular cargo ihe LCI(L) was

4
-+-

ilnve : A US LCI Mk 3. Fast by Below: The Landing Craft, Infantry


randing craft standards, these (Large) or LCI(L) could
;'esse/s stemm ed from a 1942 accommodate up to 210 troops, and
requirement for a raiding craft able from LCI(L) 351 onwards they
to land 200 infantrymen. Built in the featured a centreline bow ramp
iiSA to British requfuements, the operating through bow doors.
s.!1 allow beaching draught forward

.: ecessjf a ted sf ee l, not wood,


construction.
The lnvasion of Sicilg
Operation'Husky', theAllied invasionof Sicily inJuly 1943, was thelargest
amphibious operation to date, involving i,60,000 men and over 2,500 ships. The
potentially powerful Axis defences were not expecting an attack in such bad
weather, which meant that the landings could be carried out successfully despite
200 landing craft being put out of action by the heavy seas.

, rroughout the morning of 9 July 1943 the inva- All the C 47s had turned back towards North
.,:n fleets steamed past Malta, those carrying Africa by 22 00, and those that had not been
.:.e US 7th Army under command of Lieutenant shot down or ditched because of mechanical
l:neral George Patton on the west of the is- farlure were back at their bases well before
.=:d, those carrying the Brttish Bth Army under midnrght; and about an hour before mrdnight
,leneral Sir Bernard Montgomery on the east. the wlnd died away even more quickly than rt
S:ne 2,500 shrps and landrng craft escorted or had arisen and calmness reigned. The shrps
,'.:re carrying I60000 men, I4,000 vehicles, carrying the 8th Army were now approaching
:_-l tanks and 1,800 guns in what was to that their landrng beaches more or less on trme,
j-:e the largest amphibious operation in his- while those bearing the 7th Army, with farther
::r due within hours to enter waters heavrly to go and the remnants of the gale blowing on
, -rLed and possibly guarded by U-boats, the south western shores still to handle, were
:-::atened by the existence of large enemy about an hour late,
: a.:lefleets well wrthrn strrking distance as well The ltalian units along the stretch between
-. both German and Italian air squadrons oper- Cape Passero and Syracuse had decided that
..-:'ig from shore bases, no one in their senses would attempt a sea-
weather
.':rd storm open beaches, and rn order to borne
,pon reaching the shores of Stcrly the armres landing in such and relaxed had
their attention once the Allied aircraft had
-rlipy the entire island they must defeat an flown ofl so the first waves of the Briiish assault
::,:ny force of nearly 300,000 of whom 40,000 landed without opposition and swept over the
coastal defences almost before their presence
=:e German veterans of the 1sth Panzer Gre-
-i-er Division and the 'Hermann Goering' was noticed, Belatedly, a few inland artillery
. =::er Division, units opened flre on the invasion beaches, to
.'- -nng that day, as the huge concourse ol be blanketed immediately with shells from one
, .-:: noved slowly past the badly battered or more of the six battleshtps (ly'e1son, Rodney, Commandos on their wester:- ,,.:., ':,:
. -..i :l Malta, the wind rose steadtly in a Warsptte, Valiant, Howe and King George 1) ashore around lhe corner c: -.:.= -, -
:-:=- Mediterranean summer storm and by which had accompanred.the lorce for just thls between the point and Pozzal,:
: ::.-:-j had reached gale force; aboard the purpose. Farther to the west, the US ..:- l--:...' -'. .
. ' j:d transports sea-sickness claimed vic- The fall of Cassibile
been qurte so fortunate. The c::s :- := =....-- ,
.: :. every rank, the heaving decks were had not been asleep alono :-" .: r - .

- :- '
-.'.'-:h Shortly after dawn on 10 July advanced units
vomit, and an overpowerrng stench
' of the British Sth Drvrsion were approaching The airborne landings preceding l-he,-:a:-: :s;: -.'
-- :-3 holds as the sailors lought therr way
were severely disrupted by the gasry r,':i:-i i'. -'-: -:,'
: ::: ihe sweating khaki, groaning sol- Cassibrle and by 08,00 the town was in their reached F orce 7. M any p ar atroop s d r c',t: :: : :
:

=,. : relp when they could and to work the hands, the whole of the Brtttsh XIII Corps was landing in the sea: others were so sca r re:e =: =:-r ':
- .,- ::e time, Back at his headquarters in coming ashore to the south of the division whrle be ineffective. However, the sea landings
l=:eral Dwiqht D. Eisenhower watch- the Slsi (Hiqhland) Division and the lst Cana- succeeded and once theGerman cour,:e:.::.:i
:-:os. listened to the weather reports dian Division of XXX Corps, with Royal Martne had been defeated the conquest begar :: ea:::.-.:
:.= :dvice from the naval stafl and at the
:,::.ient took his own counsel. Then he
r r:sprte the weather, the operation
. _ ::-
- ''':.ed arrlields in Tunisia, the engines
:-:',=r,lan Douglas C-47s and 35 Bntish
-,',-:-:'rr/orth
-. I Aibemarles were warm-
r -: .:-:l crews climbing board, while
= . , :- : -aie was linked a Waco or Horsa Tirapani
: r:.:i -.',--:r the 1,500 officers and men
. ..:. -: . -:--rlanding Brigade, Just before
r : ' rrr. i:egan to take off, flyrng at first
- . - -:.-:.1 arr. But by the ttme they SICIL
-- - --rr:-:-j Malta for their assembly
I : :- re sky had darkened, they O Enna
. -: .r:-: lentre and the winds were ATAN]A
: : :::: '- ccurse and buffeting the
, , :- :-= Bnush a.rborne lorces
.' ::,: ::r 222 C-47s fliled with Licata
: :- : .:.1:r:3ps had taken off from
: ,.:--i :::: .o find themselves in 06
: :: - i =:-: i-::lCer as that which was okm 40 80
- :,- -.-- ::-9acie. Nearly 40 of the
- - .- . ,:.: r -:::e ,.iisely turned back,
- - ::,.-.: ;-:ders landed in Sici-
, . :.- '.-r, ,:-.: lhe sea with the
': r i,: -:-:.ertcan Paratroops
. :. ,:-:-. a::: cnly some.200
- : -= ':.=-: :cleCttveS, and fOr
- .-.,--:'.::: N{ajor General xill coRPs
:. ,- :- :-= -::-- resslon that he
. - .-C ltalv. Br.8th ARMY
The Invasion of Sicily

:= ships and landing craft came under fire


::::: almost the moment ol their arnval. Again,
:r.: lom the heavy naval guns soon obliterated
:::s: oi the opposition (much to Patton's asto-
:-srment and dehght, as he had placed lrttle
:=-rance upon naval assurances) but the pier at
3e:a which would have been very usefui for a
1:.ck buiid-up was blown to pieces by demoli-
-::-l chargres as two Ranger battalions were
n::ually saiiing for it, and by 04.30 Itahan and
3erman aircraft were over the crowded
;:eaches to sink two transports in an awkward
p:si:1on.
Forward formations ashore
But by mid-morning all the forward strike
:::nations of the 8th and 7th Armies were
=shcre and probing inland, and the latter were
s:idenly to receive an unexpected bonus. If
::eir airborne colleagues were not in exactly
:e nght positions, they had coagulated during
jarloess into 20 or 30 independent groups and
','.'ere creating chaos in the country just behind
r= larrdrng beaches, cutting communications,
=::-br.rshing lone cars, lorries or even small con-
'.-,^.,s. attackinq crossroad guardposts and on
::e occasion holding up an entire Italian
:::bile regiment which had been sent to flnd
,:. ,.rhat was happeninet at Gela,
.1. the other end of the invasion beaches,
:-r'i;ever, the tiny part of the British airborne made their way south towards Cassibile, Three Aview from the ramp:unloading stores on Bren
:::e, just lO0 men which had been landed in miles along the road they met a mobile column gun carriers on to aSicilian beach. By the end of the
:: correct place, assumed the task of the en- from the Sth Drvrsion, They 1ed this column firstday theBritishSthArmy held a Linefrom
Pozzallo to the vitalport of Syracuse, and the US 7th
:e i,500 strong brigade and had rushed and back to the brldge, which fell rmmediately into
Army was deployed along 64 km (40 miles) of
r<.n:he Ponte Grande over the River Cava- British hands again, and by 17 00 the column coast from Scoglitti to Licata.
rr:r:a just south of Syracuse, and by mid- was drivrng into Syracuse itself,
- :rnoon was in desperate straits. Attempts to By the end of the first day, the British there-
fore held the coastal strip from Pozzallo around wards Messina, while the TthArmy drove north
-: 'uiate the erght officers and 65 men on the to Syracuse, a vital port that was in their hands alongsrde it, aiming for the northern coast near
::-dge itself had begun shortly after dawn and
:=i hardly slackened since then, Itallan sol- and sufficiently undamaged for rmmediate use, San Stephano and at the same time guarding
l:ls marines and sailors had been sent out whiie the US 7th Army held nearly 64 km (40 the inner flank of the Bntish advance.
:::: Syracuse in ever-strongter waves, and by miles) of beach between Scoglrtti and Licata, Within 10 days Canadian units had reached
-- all but 15 olthe defendershad beenkilled
-: -,';:r,rnded, Inland, scattered bands of British and Amer- Enna in the centre of the rsland, and two days
:: and ammunition was running low. ican airborne troops were loose over the south- later Patton's troops had not only reached the
-:- -: 30 a massed assault overran the survivors, ern hall of the island, successfully spreading north coast but had turned west and occupied
: -. ::ght managed to escape and, as the British alarm and confusron, Palermo, taking prisoner thousands of ltalian
-=--i lemoved all the demolition charges while It was not to be expected that matters would soldiers who were more than happy io stop
:- ::ssession of the bridge, the Itahan marines continue quite so smoothly for the Allies, espe- fightrng, and being welcomed everywhere by
-=i:c-w to try to emplace some more. T\vo of cially with two hrghly eflicient German divr delighted Sicihans to whom qutte a number of
:-: :scaping eight therefore took posiiion half sions deployed against them, but the next few the Americans soldiers were related, Very
.'. i; up an overlooking hill and from here days saw the satisfactory development ol the soon it became evident that the bulk of the
.:--pei at every movement on the bridge, while overail plan. The 8th Army consolidated and inhabitants of the Italian mainland felt the same
-: :enainingr six, stumbling with exhaustron, began its advance up the eastern coast to- way

liaiJ-tracks of the US 2nd Armoured Division drive The 'Brooklyn' class light cruiser USS Boise sleams Amotley column of ltalian prisoners of war is
:p tlne beach atLicata from the capacious deck of across the bow of LST-325, treating the defenders shepherded along the beach in front of the
at :ST. The Znd Division tookLicata on the first ofsicily's southern coast to the full benetit of her amphibious armada lying off shore. The Allied
t a;'. and obsewed the German I1th forward six-inch guns. Naval gunfire helped landings inSicily convincedmany ltalians that the
F anz ergirenadier D ivision north of C anicatti ensure that thenaval landings metwithonly light war was lost and that continued support for Il Duce
p:eparing to counterattack Gela. opposition. would be both futile and dangerous.
UI(USA

Landing Craft, Mechanized Mks I to 7 (LCM (t-7))


, l-:,: Landing Craft (MLC) had been stimulated an order for two dozen ish, increasrng its capacity from a sing-
'= :^:iecr of expenments rn vaTrous more. Eventually about 500 LCM(1)s le l6-ton tank to one of 30 tons An
-- -:s by the British as far back as were constructed, largely by ratlway immediate success, the LCM(3) ran to
,l:: but the true progenitor of the workshops over 8,600 craft, built from 1942 to 1945.
::::-€s was MLCI), completed in While these acrivtues were in prog- Two distinct types, the 'Bureau'and the
, ::l She was a l2.B-m (42-ft) craft cap- ress, the US Marine Corps had its own 'Higgins', were built by the Americans
. :-: oibeaching with a 12-ton tank, An specification prepared for a similar to the same spectfication, Specification
,--.:resting feature contributing to her type of craft. This was based on the hull The LCM(4) and [CM(6) were rcM(3)
'.'; iraught was water-jet propulsion oi an up-river, shallow-drauqht tuq and essentially the same craft, an LCM(3) Displacement: 23 tons light ard -2 :,-:
=- ::ugh the low efficiency of units at became known as the LCM(2). The with an extra LB3-m (6-ft) section tul]load
:- .ime resulted in a speed of barely craft were very close to the British craft added amidships for extra capacity, Dimensions:length 15,2 m (50 i)
: ..s Developed from this modest pro- in both layout and performance, even and some 2,700 were burlt. The LCM(S) beam4,3 m(14, 1ft); draught ].C - ::.
- _.pe, Thornycroft completed in early to the unloved petrol engrne prop- was stillborn, but the British-built (3.25/4.25 fr)
,:=- the frrst Landing Craft, Mecha- ulsron. About 150 were built before an LCM(7), which first appeared late in Propulsion: two diesels dehverr-;: -:=
::zed Mk I or LCM(I), slightiy longer improved 15.24-n (50-tl) version was 1944, was really a further-enlargred 336 kW (2201450 bhp) to two s:n-^.
-:=-i able to carry a single l4{on tank. produced at the suQrqestion of the Brit- LCM(3) aimed prrmarily at operations Performance: averagte speeci ai: : ::
J:::-w propulsion was used and this 8.5 kts; range 1577 km q9BOmrlss =
:,:reased speed by 50 per cent. Well Thornycroft completed the first LCM The US LCM(2)s were based on the 6 kts
::soribed by its desrgner as a 'po in 1940, describingit as a'powered de sign of shallow-draught up- river Armament: one twLn 12.7-mm . :-:.
-.:red pontoon with bulwarks , this lit- pontoonwith bulwarks'. Able to tugs. This LCM(2) is being used by machine-gmn
-: rraft could be hoisted under hear,ry carry a l4-ton Wht tank, it could be men ofthe 30th Infantry Division Capacity: one medrum tank or 6l
r=',rts even when loaded. Tnals were hoisted under davits even when during the Rhine crossings in March troops
::: even complete when Dunkirk loaded. 1945. Complement:4

>K ffi il""ai"g Craft, Flak (tCF) and Landing Craft, Support (tCS)
,:: all landinq craft were used for the Two prototype LCFs were pro-
- =:ragte of men or machinery: a good- duced from LCT(Z) hulls in late 1941
'-,=-
-rnber were converted to auxiliary, The first was a 'Rolls-Royce with two
: -:orthodox warships, Some the twrn lO2-mm (4-in) HA mountings and
-,a::ding Craft, Flak or LCF type, were three 20-mm gnrns, Besrdes the work
: : - rrced to grve AA protection where involved which was considerable,
.,::-ent regular navy back up was these mountings were already in qreat
be lackinq, while the Landing demand for a wide range of escort
-.:=--.'io
3:aft. Support or LCS was able to go ships, the LCT structure was lnherent-
: ;:,. -:shore to render direct support ly flimsy and, last but not least, the
' :=rsonnel actually on the beach, low-sited director in combrnation with
: =: :J:rly ln the awkward gap be- ship motion made for poor accuracy.
'-:: :e marn'softening-up barrage More realistically, the LCT(2) took
-i .-:-;:. :::l:ually
rolhng forward and the assault
touchinq down and get-
eight single 2-pdr pompoms and four
20-mm guns, Such mountings were
..; - rebeach. more easily come by and could not
only hose out a reassuringly larqe
volume of flre against aircraft, but
could also work devastatingly agrainst
any enemy personnel foolish enouQth
to break cover ashore, Thus the final Above: The LCSs were designed for Below: LCF Mk3swere LCT(3)s
LCF forms were based on the LCF(2), tlre c/osesupportoltroops on the converted to anti-aircraft Wn
with the LCF(3) and LCF(4) being built beach. This is an LCS(L)2 fittedwith platforms carrying up to eight singie
on LCT(3) and LCT(4) hulls resPec- the tuftet of the obsoleteValentine pom-poms andfour 20-mm cannoit
tively, with the bow ramp permanently tank, two 20-mm cannon and a4-in (firctbatch), orfour pom-poms aic
secured and a false deck added over smoke mortar. eight 20-mm guns (second batcht.
the cargto well.
ii

ii

_ _-_i{;* ii
Landing Craft, Flak and Landinq Craft, Supporl (continued)

A further refinement was the LCS The LCS(M)Zswere built to ptovide Specification ALandingCraft, Flak displays an
,..nrch carrred. elther slngly oI In com- close support for the LCAs during rcF(3) r'mpressire se/e ction of automatic
brnatron, a medium calibre weapon the approach to the beach. They Displacement: 420 tons light and 515 weapons:visible are 2-pdr pom-pom
ior tackling enemy armoured vehicies, carried a pair of 4-in ( 100-mm) tons full load single mounts, and much smaller 20-
cr mortars to engage enemy infantry machine-guns and a smoke mortar. Dimensions:lenqth 58. I m (190.75 ft); mm (0.79-in) cannon.
'.vho, all too frequently, were dugt-in beam 9,4 m (3 I ft); draught L l/2. I m
behind the rise that backed the beach, quirkily, were equipped with British (1 75/7 ft)
-,:Lrtually safe from close range low- armoured tank turrets containinq a 6- Propulsion: two diesels delivering Armament: eight single 2-pdr
.rajectory flre, LCS(S)s were actually pdr qun or, in the American case, with 746 kW (1,000 bhp) to two shafts pompoms andfour single 20-mm AA
converted from the fairly last but heavy and liqht machine-guns and Performance: maximum speed 9. 5 kts; guns
.'.'ooden-hulied LCI(S) which, rather racks ior lrght rockets. range 2688 km (1,670 miles) at 8,5 kts Complement:68

>K
-
i,andingr Craft, Assault (LCA)
-ke floatinq bootboxes pretending to (36.25-ft) LCV and LCVP (Landing
i--: motorboats, mere square shells for Craft, Vehicle and Landinq Craft,
l:lry1ng troops' is a description of a Vehicle/Personnel),
Landing Craft, Assault (LCA) by one
',','lc spent the war in landing craft. The Specification
3A was one of the smallest of lhe LCA
practical, mass-produced craft ansingr Displacement: 10 tons light and 13 tons
-::m a speciflcatron written by the Bdt- tullload
,sr Landing Craft Commrttee in 1938, Dimensions: lenqth 12.6 m (41 5 ft);
:=lling for a craft which, with a loaded beam 3.0 m ( 10 ft); draught 0.5/0.7 m
',-,'erght of under 1O tons, should be cap- (r.75/2,25 ft)
:rle of bernq slung under a liners Propulsion: two petrol engines
ja-.-its. It should be able to carry an delivering 97 kW ( 130 bhp) to two
:rny platoon fully equipped and land shafts
.:-: men in less than 0.5 m (19 7 in) of Performance: maximum speed 7 kts;
',','aler. Two prototypes were built one range 95- 150 km (59-93 miles)
,^- aluminium alloy and one of wood depending on sea conditions
r, -:r: protective plating. These (ortgi- Armament: two or three machine-gnrns
,:.i1,. called Assauit Landing Craft) Capacity: 35 troops with 363 kq (800 ]b) A Royal Marine LCA disgorges its troops during the crossing of the river Maas.
experience for the final design, of equipment Specifications for these 10-ton mass-produced craft dated from the
=::-.-e
-,';':se wooden construction allowed Crew:4 deliberations of the I 938 Landing Craft Committee.
:,:n to be built by a wide vartety of
:::rCeInS.
.froops along both srdes sat covered
::n the worst of the elements, but a
:::'rrehne row had to tolerate both
-,';::ness and the inevitable sea sick-
::ss. In any sea, the LCA could make
-r:3 \Ard] and passage trmes could be
::::acted when a friendiy towwas not
:-,-a-lable The low, protected steerlng
!:sriion was sited for-ward and on the
..-board srde, immedrately abaft two-
=,:nent armoured doors whtch kept
: water from the leaky bow ramp,
-.- -he
,',-je protecting the troops within from
::j cn fire during the approach to the
a:a3t
i: rnteresting varrant was the
ICA(HR), the suffrx standing for
---:i;rerow four rows of sx mortars
-.',-:-:l lard therr bombs in lanes across
.:: beach to explode any burted
:-:=s The craft were little modifled
-,: .:: runction and hfe could be quite
:i:--ro for therr crews. Equivalent
-::::r.:an designs were the 11 05-m
LCAs assemble for an inspection bY
HM TheKing.ln any sea the LCA
could make little progress, and atow
',+,as always preferred.ln ideal
conditions they could make 7 kts'
&mfls &ssmenBf Wesse&s
.1:,'e il:eprospecf of an rnrasjon ofBrifa in loarned large in
:.: m an rnjnds rn flie summer ef ] I 40, they never re aI Iy came
;:rtps witk the prablems of/argre-sca le arnphibiaus
: e::aijcrns. ?'&e/apanese, by eontrast, Izadfrom thevery

.itnning real.ixed the importanee a{ amphibiaus warfare in


"
. u lii,*6
..;"iUtUi e, acquisifton of terrttory among the myriad islands of
: Facifie.
' ."e Germansand Japanese developed a varietyof vessels capable cl being
- .,an phibrous warfare, and lhese make inleresting contrasts w th equ va-
:rlish and Am--rican craft. Only cne malor landrng was made by the
--:ns over anV disrance, the assauh on Ncr\rvay n 4,pf | 940. As the ccuntry
1
-:lrai, with verV weak defences, t was possii:le ro land picked troop
^'-:1s !ror wars- ps. i 'r .l tat'LoJSlv drcJ tv cJro 'e . fl e dch n,a1or po'.
- . t -€o, :rrc9e pol l5 co,lo Tnrel,ate \ nano ts or.^ocov'ailspo'ls uclr'rvl^9
':':en^ients, transport and equipmeni. ln short, it w'as noi an anrphib ous
-,ii aqainst preparbd defenc-.s, is world have been the case in the planrred
;;1 sf the UK. 'Planned' rs not the best of words as lhe operation had nol Designed fo op erate in supplying:solafedisJan d garrisons in i,te ;:: :-- ..
- - r3ntemplated pre war and lhe resultant sea transporl was tota ly inaciequ- P acific, the T I class suffered as djd f,he rest o.f the navy. O n ly fo u : s : : . :
- ' I ^g tild se.zUfc o' beach l-eho3 Ll\ assair I lrao0s. t^o fol cw -p \&r\e =':
,=1ced upon about 2,000 inlanrl waterway barges. Whrle adrn rable ior the r and her derivatives the world's first exanrples of seagc-, nc
. ;"ed pJrpose, ihese barges were in no way"fit for an opposed shott-sea carry landing craft in nurnbers. T'"nrenty 'Daihatsus' cor'ld b!
'- ; 1;,ey l-ao low ieeOc,;-d enU,mo..5 ndlChes w lh \/ eJ< irotde:. Ctrv- be launched over a stern ramp ano ioaded through caiqa
'o cd\erno-s unob:1'.rcted i"o.os v, t1" ^o do-b e oo lo'- or { Pl J a->;3es Though of highly olgrnal concept, they wculd naie bee:
: llrolvs cculd be filted for otf-oading troops, a bor,r,doorwas a drlferent cpposed landing; their success irr Chtna and durinq ine ea'.:.,
,.:r, openrng onto a 'tank deck' that was weii below waterlrne Orce ho ed, ll w3s o,e io loLJ ocdr s-per ol Ly
. would have foundered rapidly. Any assault depending upon such craft Early attempts at an LST resulted in the 22,strong '(:.. , '
hai'e required total air superiority to ensure the Royal Navy's absence,
-.rd to 63-m {206.7-fl) engrnes aft coasters but equipped y,, l- ; ,, . -
r :lcse io the shores of Engiand this was a vrrtual lmpossibiiity. up to four medium tanks and a troop detachment. Des ii.a : - -
l-ce Cperation'Sea Lron'was abandoned the Germans had no further- ship lines, however, thev drew tar too much w:te; ar: -r.
.,lus comrnitmenl to mountino a rnajor assault lanCino, and ihe oniy irr:e rakish-lookinq'T101' (diesei) and'T103' (steam) classes :- :
: ng crafl developed was base"d ciosely orr the Allied LtV tn place oi the (263.8 ft), thesewereshorterthan the rA ljed equ,/a enls :'.- :
..'fCA the Germans preferred to put their spearhead troops ashore from ortionately more space to machinei"y and superstructu re. S. '
:aen-bL-f lt Sturmbaote oi 6 or 14.5 m {19.7 or 47.6J1) Lencth. Cf these, the army, others byihe navy, butthe l944-5 building piograr-r-: ., ::
. v,as cdpaflre o'cr.rying 4O equ poeo n c^ a1 25 ''.s war 1o be cf assistance in any sicntftcant arnphtbiouJccci3i t- ::
ilotn arr and sea superioritv
both superioflty had been losl irretilevabi,i
l^,ad"been , le . :
irr-btrievabt,i l.'e :-.
- ne F-trighter the vessels very useful rn the endless transport of si,p; ;. . -
-,€re w€[€ t\.{,/o types of vehicle carners, user:1 wrdely as general-purpose around the island maze of the new Japanese emp re.1c .,.
.; craft. The sea-gornc type was ihe tv4FP, or Manne Fahrprahm. lrwas o't tnese m:ssions tna i \e major y we'e sJ'i, oy . S : . -,
-.,r to the Allies as the F ighter anc was corn.nonly rnet in the Mediterra A lasl transport with no real Allted peer was the 'T"l ' t'rp= ,
, to which lt was transported n sect ons for assembiy Some 50 m {164 ft) pla"ned 46 vre'e cor pr€r€o Il-ese 1,800-ro-ne,> v.. . : . :
,t drew oniy'1 .5 rn (4.9 ft) of vrater. lt had a m nrscu'le superstructure aft, length and were unusual in having wide side decks am;.- :
:rd of which was a long well ilanked by comparatively ir gh cocrnrngs and aiterdeck that ran in a curved slcpe to the waier, there .=
--s.ble via a bow ramp. The F-lighter could carry a gun as powerful as an transom. 'Daihatsus', amphibious tanks and m idget su aif .- -::
-rn (3 46-in) Flak. together with numerous l ght autcrnatic weapons. Doubl- cargo, were simplr,' rolled rnto the sea for launcnrnE, e\ie. .. .- .

: .s cargo-carrier and escort, it was reoularly encountered n the Aegean and wdv. Aga n. ,t wds a cre: Qn or st^ p s- rtble 'o' r-- :

- -driatic, berng greatly respected by Allled coaslal craft as its f irepower was which the Japanese were reduced once they nad o-.- r:= '-.:
:iemented by virtual immunity 10 iorpedo attack becaLrse of its shallow
rht
'rrgh strictly speaking a rver-rne craft, the Siebel ferry was also met ln
:recl open waters. lt was a s mple vessel, lwo powered pontoons bridged,
.raran-style, by a iectangular vehrcle deck some 27 by 14.5 m (88.6 by
'ir n extent. Very effeciive but slow, rt could carry up to 100 tons at I lts
'ions armament of two quadruple 20-mm
conditions. lts typrcal
-.i:avourable
=.
mount nqs was usually derably augmenteci by the heavier
:r:i-js of vehrcles in iransit and, like the F-lighters, it could give an MGB a hard

.: rrarilirne power with a wide sphere of interest, Japan had devoted


. :-.rabie pre-war tlrouqht to the problems of transporting an army by sea.
::'lr success was the ubiquitous 'Daihatsu', a powerf uliy fendered, f lat-
, -- ec ba rqe with a bow rarnp and a sheerline obviously derived f rom fishing
. carne in various iengths between 10 and 1l m \32,8 and 55.Bit),
:^I to the Allies' LCAs and LCh4s. fhe workhorse was the 14-m (45.9 ft)
. : :-r3 enouph to lift a light armoured vehicle, 10 tons of cargc or"70
:.: "-,en. Powered by a varetl' of d ese s and petrol engrnes, the barges
. - -:-- icr 7 or B kts and were burh iteralLv n the r tholrsands, their patient
-: :::cming essential to the Japanese island garrisons. fherr'milk-runs'
-,: . rq q6ncssled by dav and rurin ng by dark, an endless flow that\.i/as
-. :,,.risted by the Americans but never fully suppressed.
.' . :s 1 935 rhe Japanese had produced in the oddllcoki ng Shinshu Maru
i'.tru was desrgrned
-:
-.. . :crtle/apanese
i.-r :ias the dislinctian
.: ,: 3een theworld's
-::cse-buiit landing
. .'. e:::,,, Daihatsus couJd :': -

]
jr-!i:*g1!g
:...

RSSteffi *lrJS*f StFs$,gi€{"


>K i,anding Craft, Gun (LCG) and Landing Craft, Tank (Rocket) (LCT(R))
Support flrepower durrng landinqs Converted from LCT(3 )s or LCT(4) s,
-ras anticipated as being in short supp- the LandingCraft, Gun (Large) or
ly so, profiting from the successful LCF LCG(L) was desigmed to provide'
conversrons, 23 LCT(3)s were fltted close-in fire support to an
with two single 119-mm (4.7-in) Wns amphibious landing, andwas armed
and recategorized l,anding Craft, Gun with two single 4.7 - in ( I I 9 -mm) guns.
(Larqe) or LCG(L), They had ex-
destroyer mountings, the latter ships the enemy defences. One set of re-
having been rearmed for antt- loads was carried and, this fired, the
submarine work, The qnrns were sited craft disposed ofher launchers and did
at the same level on a newupper deck duty as a ferry,
with deep bulwarks, and the after
weapon had only limited arcs on the Specification
beam. Range-findinq was rudrmentary rcc(r)Mk3
but the craft needed to operate at Displacement: 495 tons full load
some distance from the beach, flrstly to Dimensions: lenqth 58.5 m (192 ft);
qaur some falling trajectory for their beam9.4 m (31 ft); drauqht 1,1/1.8 m
gurs and secondly to stay out of range (3,5/6 ft)
of enemy weapons (particularly mor- Propulsion: two diesels deltvering
tars) as their ammunitron stowaqte was 746 kW (1,000 bhp) to tvuo shafts
considered lrrlnerable, Performance: maximum speed l0 kts;
They served well in Europe, so l0 range 2688 km (1,670 miles) at 8,5 kts
LCT(4)s were also converted, These Armament: hvo single 119-mm (4.7-in)
cra-ft were flimsier but had extra beam, andone or two twrn 20-mm AAgn-ms
mal:rnq for a steadrer platform. They Complement:47
had a srmple director, with their larger
gnurs mounted superimposed and with
rull blast shielding. Light armouring Right: The LCG(M) was specially
-aras also added. Unfortunately only designed to engage enemy
one was completed in time for the Far pillboxes, so it carried two turrets
Easten war. with either 1 7 - pdr anti- tank or ( as
The Landing Craft, Gun (Medium) or here) 25-pdr guns.
LCG(M) was designed to go right in
and was protected for the purpose, Below : The most spectacular of all
,vhile carrying two army 25- or l7-pdr the landing craft conversions, the
gn:rs in sinqle armoured turrets. They LCT(R)was able to launch S-in (127-
,';ere considered proof against mm) rockets over atwo-mile range.
nedium-calibre return fire (in fact,
iey were not) and were meant to en-
?age targets on the run in, and then to
lood down to reduce freeboard as far
- possible and, by sitting on the bot-
:cm. shoot accurately while gaining
protection from their submergt-
=xtra
erce. Theu hulls were one-offs, with a
si-.ip bow and a low initial freeboard,
-ler metacentric heights gave them
-:-:endary roll angles and they man-
:euwed poorly.
-
A most spectacular modiflcation to
CTs was to the Landing Craft, Tank
fRocket) or LCT(R), Both LCT(2)s and
-
CT(3)s were used, the whole forward
::C looking like a vast milk crate for
--:e launch of 792 or 1,064 127-mm (5-in)
::ckets. Fixed in elevatron and bear-
-::3 the weapons were launched from
p:e:isely 2-mi1e (3,2-km) range in 24
sal', ces. Ideally the bombs came down
:: lC-yard intervals, laying a carpet of
:ic'.rt 17 tons of explosive over an area
:: 385 by 145 m (750 by 160 yards) of

Above: The LCT(R) Mk 3 could carry Below:TheLCG(L) Mk4 usually had


over a thousand rockets, which were its turrets manned by Royal Marines,
released in 24 salvoes. Anyone in the and proved most successful. Itwas
target area (measuring some 685 m more elaborate than its Mk 3
by 145 m/750by l60yards)wouldbe predecessor, with more 20-mm
unlikely to feel happy as 1 7 tons of mountings, amodified bow form and
explosive burst around him! the after4.7-in(l l9-mm) gunmade
superfiring.

;ililillii{iilit, ii'Jittr
Armed Forces of the World

Pakistan
The Army
S nce 1945 Pakistan has fought three major wars
;;'th her eastern neighbour lndia: in 1948, 1965 and
-971. ln the last she lost East Pakistan to form
3angladesh whilst her army suffered defeats on
:oth the eastern and western fronts. The nalry fared
radly, losing some 22 vessels cif all types. though
:re air force performed reasonably well and came
:.rt of the war relatively unscathed after scoring a
^;mber of notable victories over its lndian counter-
cart. Since 1971 the armed forces have concen-
:'ated on building up their strength and improving
:re command and control procedures which caused
nany of the problems during the last war.
The 320,000-strong army has largely preserved
rre British legacy of a regimental organization sys=
:em as the basis of the higher corps, division and
rrlgade formations. Recruitment to all the services
s voluntary, and the army HQ is now co-located with
:rose of the navy and air force in the Ministry of
lefence in lslamabad.
The major formations of the army comprise:
seven corps HO (each commanding two or more
divisions),
:nree territorial com mands,
:wo armoured divisions (each with two brigade has been restricted largely to the repair and Although Pakistan's atmy remains heavily
HOs, five armoured regiments, two mechanized maintenance of the above, plus the manufacture of influenced by British practice, equipment k cttlld
inf antry battalions. two self-propelled artillery various small arms, infantry weapons, spare parts from awide variety of sources, in this case
regiments and supporting units), and ammunition, However, over the next few years Germany. The tripod-mounted machine-gun k an
- MG3, the current German army version of the
6 infantry divisions (each with three infantry more sophisticated weaponry is to be manufac- wartimeMG42;the rifleis aHeckler & KochG3.
brigades, one armoured regiment, one towed tured, almost certainly as joint projects with West
artillery regiment, one engineer regiment, one ern manufacturers.
signals battalion and a supply unit), The equipment used by the army includes:
=cur independent armoured brigades (each with two r-def e n ce wea pon s : 1 2.7 -mm (0. 5-i n) M 55, 23-
ai
armoured regiments, one mechanized infantry armour:M4 Sherman (training), l\447M, M4BA5, mmZU-23,37-mm M 1939, 37-mm Type 55.40-
battalion, one self-propelled artillery regiment and T-54, T-55 and Type 59 MBTs; M24, PT-76 and mm US M1 Bofors,40-mm British Mk 1 Bofors.
supporting units), Type 63 light tanks ; l\4 1 1 3A1 and Type 531 APCs ; 57-mm 5-60, 57-mm Type 59. 90-mm (3.54-in)
' "'e'nfantry
independent infantry brigades (each with three U R-41 6 and Ferret internal securityvehicles; M'l 1 7 and 94-mm (3.7-in) guns; Crotale SAM and
battalions, one towed artillery regiment artillery:(towed) 75-mm (2.95-in) M 1 '1 6 and 1 05- RBS-70 SAM;
and supporting units), mm (4.'13-in) M56 pack howitzers; BS-mm (3.35- anti-armour weapons; 6-pdr and 1 7-pdr AT guns;
.:ven artillery brigades, in)Type 56, 25-pdr, 100-mm (3.94-in)Type 59, RPG-7, B9-mm (3.5-in) M20 and B3-mm (3.27-in)
:,., o air-defence brigades,
'1
30-mm (5.1-in) M46, 130-mm Type 59-1 , 1 40- Blindicide rocket-launchers; 75-mm Type 52 and
reconnaissance mm (5.5-in) and 155-mm (6.1-in) M59 field guns; 106-mm (4.17-in) M40 recoilless rifles; 90-mm
= '. independent armoured cavalry '105-mm M101, 122-mm (4.8-in)Type 54, 152-
'egiments, and M36 and M901 TOW SP systems; and Cobra and
- -e special forces group. mm (6-in) M1 937, 1 55-mm M'1 14and 1 55-mm TOWATGWs;and
M 1 98 howitzers; small-arms:}mm Walther P3B pistol; 7.62-mm
+lthough classed as regiments, such units are in (self-propelled) 05-mm M7, i 55-mm M10942
'1 (0.3-in) G3 and 7.62-mm Type 56 assault rifles;
'=:: of battalion size, the armoured ones having an and 203-mm (B-in) M1 10A2 howitzers; 7.62-mm M'1 Garand rifle; 7.62-mm RPD,7.62-
- I section with two tanks and three 12-tank squad- (mortars) 76-mm (3-in) British, B1-mm (3.1 9-in) mm MG3 and 7.62-mm Browning Automatic Rifle
-:-s to give a regimental strength of 38 tanks. M1 and 107-mm (4.2-in) M2lM30American, and (BAR) light machine-guns; 7.62-mm Browning
-rere is also the army aviation wing of one liaison '120-mm Type 53 Chinese; M1919 medium machine-gun; and 12.7-mm (0.F
=-: 'our helicopter squadrons plus a number of (rocket launchers) unidentif ied 1 22-mm systems ; in) Browning M2 heavy machine-guns.
-:::endent observation flights. The fixed-wing
il" -^.: 'ly some 45 Cessna O-1 E Bird Dog and 50
r,r=:-sraq light aircraft and a small number of multi-
:- I -: ght transport/communications aircraft. The
-,E :':rters flown include
16 Soviet Mil Mi-B'Hips',
li =-:^cn-built A6rospatiale SA 330 Pumas and 23
-r! :-:::e llls, 13 American Bell 47Gs and almost all

"-* ll Bell Modernized AH-1 S Cobra gunships on

- ::r:ns of equipment the army is a logistical


' l-:-a.e, major weapons and vehicles having
:r=- :orght from (amongst others) the USA, the
- =-?rce, Sweden, China and the USSR. As a
:r -::: -:sult the indigenous Pakistani arms industry

ilfrars.;ay o.fPal<rstan's armoured forces is the T-55


ar,c::s Chinese version, the T-59, seen here
a:r;=:'cfrg aie ad of an Americ an pro duce d M - 1 I 3.
-X,=er:es are afoot to modernize the T-541 5 ; one
wr:i:r.liatder consideration is to replace the dated
:*- i!- K-mm wn with a British LZ series I 05-mm
nreq]Cl.
frtl.s*=::r:
""__ E
E 3h
"-.

The Air Force capable with the correct components and suitably Political friction in Washington has slowed down
To offset the military imbalance vis-a-vis lndia, its qualified technicians. Tactical reconnaissance mis- supply of General Dynamics F- 16s toPalaslan, so
main adversary, Pakistan needs to develop its own sions are flown by a specialist squadron equipped the burden of air defence still falls on the seven
nuclear capability. Thus there is the distinct probabil- with Mirage lllRP reconnaissance fighters. squadrons of Shenyang J -6s (Chinese-built
ity that Pakistan will soon have a nuclear weapons Support of the army in the field and the delivery of versions ot the Soviet MiG- I 9) armed with AIM-9
S idewinder air-to- air m issiles.
capability to match that of lndia, which exploded a the special service forces into enemy rear areas is
1S-kiloton atomic bomb in 1974 at a test site only primarily the task of a single squadron of military influence mines. The possibility of fitting subsur-
145 km (90 miles) from the countries'common bor- Lockheed C-130B/Es and an ex-civilian L-100 Her- face-launched antiship missiles to the'Agostas' is
der. The service tasked to deliver any nuclear cules transport. Another transport squadron flies a being investigated. There are also three ltalian SX-
weapons would be the Pakistani air force, which miscellany of aircraft types for VIP missions. There 404 midget submarines for covert operations.
flies both Western and Chinese combat aircraft. are also two helicopter squadrons which fly small To replace its war losses and obsolete ex-British
This 17,600-man force is divided into distinct air- numbers of Kaman HH-438 Husky, A6rospatiale ships cunently in service, the navy has acquired six
defence and ground-attack units. The most modern Alouette lll and SA 321 Super Frelon types on SAR American 'Gearing' class destroyers. Although the
element is formed by the two recently-delivered and utillty flights, together with several Bell 47Gs. hulls are 40 years old they have been modernized to
squadrons of air-defence General Dynamics F-164 Aircrew training is performed by several flight the FRAM I standard with an octuple ASROC ASW
Fighting Falcon jets, which fly alongside seven re- schools and OCUs, which fly both Western and missile launcher (with 17 missiles), new electronics
latively old squadrons of Sidewinder-equipped Chinese piston-engine and .iet trainer types. and two triple Mk 32 ASW torpedo tube systems.
Chinese Shenyang J-6 (MiG-19) 'Farmer' day The ex-B ritish' Dido' class cruiser J aha ngrr has now
f ighters. The Navy been relegated to the static training and floating AA
The elderly Martin B-57 Canberra night bomber Apart from one of the Mirage 5PA squadrons that battery role, sea training duties being taken over by
squadron which saw extensive service in the 1965 can be equipped for the maritime strike role with the ex-British 'County' class missile destroyer
and 1971 wars has now been retired, the offensive AM.39 Exocet missiles, the navy has to rely on its Babur, which is to have her Sea Slug SAM system
counter-air and army support role being undertaken small air arm for air support. A single maritime patrol removed and the helicopter facilities enlarged to
by four recently-delivered squadrons of Chinese squadron flies three ex-French navy Dassault- take a Sea King. There is also an ex-British 'Battle'
Nanchang O-5 'Fantan-A' attack aircraft. Additional Breguet Atlantics for ASW and surface-search mis- class destroyer, Ihe Badr, still in service although
Q-Ss are believed to be on order to equip a further sions, and another squadron flies six Westland Sea she will probably be deleted within the next few
four squadrons and an OCU. They are backed by a King Mk 45s configured for the anti-shipping role years because of obsolescence.
single squadron of Dassault-Breguet Mirage lllEP with the AM.39 Exocet. The local SAR undertaking The light forces are almost totally Chinese in ori-
fighter-bomberiintruder aircraft and three squad- is performed by a squadron of four Alouette llls. gin: four 'Hoku' class missile craft fitted with the
rons of Dassault-Breguet Mirage 5PA ground-attack The main offensive force of the 1'1 ,000-man navy Chinese version of the 'Styx'. four torpedo-armed
fighters. The Mirage llls can also double in the air- is, however, its force of French-built submarines. 'Huchwan' class fast attack craft, four'Hainan' class
superiority role over the battlefield, using Matra This totals two 'Agosta' and four 'Daphn6' class ASW patrol boats and 12 'shanghai ll' class gun-
R530 and R550 missiles if required. All the aircraft boats armed with a variety of French ASW and armed fast attack craft. There is also a single survi-
bar the F-6s and Mirage 5s can be made nuclear- anti-ship torpedo types and Thomson-CSF ground vor of the 'Town' class large patrol craft still in ser-
vice.
The mine warfare forces are now almost non-
existent, with only three 1950s designed and built
American-aid coastal minesweepers still in service
with no replacements in sight. To support the fleet
at sea there is the Dacca, an ex-American 'Mission'
class tanker that has been fitted for underuvay reple-
nishment, whilst an oceanographic/survey capabil-
Ity has been established recently by the commis-
sioning in i9B3 of a Japanese-built survey ship.
There are also a number of auxiliaries which include
two small dry docks and four tugs.

Sandwiched between the Soviet Union and an


opportunkt India, Pakktan stives to maintain her
independence. Military service is voluntary; like
the British army, Pakistan believes a smaller
professionalforce to be far superior fo a mass of
conscripts. Here,men of ffieSpecial Forces Group
participate in a Pakistan Day parade.

nf,tfiil