Landing craft

Troops in an LCVP landing craft approaching "Omaha" Beach on "D-Day",

Troops in an LCVP landing craft approaching “Omaha” Beach on “D-Day”,

Under a landing craft meant a military ISCHES ship troops and supplies regardless of port infrastructure can land by the lake. It differs from an amphibious vehicle characterized in that it can not move on land.


The history and current importance of amphibious operations.
In many wars of the past, where one participant had some naval power, there have been landing operations and specially trained troops. So there was in the days of the Roman fleet marines, who were trained for the infantry combat, and can be referred to as Marines.

During the rowing ships of antiquity could run directly on the beach landing, landing operations were carried out in the days of sail with the help of their own dinghies. N barge and cutter, manned by Marines and sailors were small raids on land for as to signal stations or coastal fortifications used, including by the British Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars on the Channel coast.

Only at the beginning of concrete plans to major invasions over a sea ship specialized material has been recognized as necessary and planned. For the planned invasion of England Napoleon can build hundreds of small special rowing boats (barges). These first assault boats were equipped with heavy cannon fire to the apron and a strong crew. These barges were to land on the English coast, to settle the troops and hold down any opposition by massive bombardment. This plan was never executed.

Specialized ship or boat types for amphibious operations are only in the 20th Been developed systematically century. The Allied forces, and especially the Americans do in World War II carried out a large number of amphibious landings, especially in the Pacific war. At the time of theNormandylandings (Operation Neptune June 1944) was the concept of an invasion tested many times and perfected and there was a large number of specialized ships. For the German attempt to invadeEnglandin the context of Operation Sea Lion, however, especially temporarily converted barges were provided.

In the period of the Cold War in particular the Warsaw Pact has planned amphibious invasions in the Baltic region and to develop suitable types of vessels. These included a hovercraft, which develop independently of the substrate a very high speed and can transport large quantities of material.

In contrast, large amphibious operations of NATO to reinforce ground forces, especially in the so-called northern flank area were planned (from the North Cape to theElbeestuary), which were also often practiced in large maneuvers.

Contemporary meaning

After the end of the East-West confrontation, the role of assault craft has changed. While the ability to combat landings and great invasions has become less important to landing ships have proven to be suitable means to support operations at a large distance from the origin of the participating forces. Many navies have therefore expanded its amphibious capabilities.

In addition to its original purpose landing craft can be used for many other tasks. With their ability to transport, emergency personnel and technical equipment in inaccessible regions, they are particularly suitable for the humanitarian relief operations and technical support. They can also be used as a training ship and as a floating base for military forces at sea and ashore.

Also the German Navy introduced – for the first time after the evacuation of German army troops fromSomaliain 1994 (Operation Southern Cross) – to reflect on one or two Docklandungsschiffe, which has not been implemented for lack of funds.

Basic types of assault craft

As part of the developed mainly U.S. Navy concept of amphibious warfare resulted in a number of vehicle types which have since constitute the basic pattern of assault craft. The designation system for the U.S. Navy amphibious vehicles has spread through the NATO standard type, however, the classification of vehicles in the scheme is not always clear. Some navies have implemented their own approaches to landing next to vehicles that do not conform to the schema.

The major types are landing ships that can land with the help of transfer agents, such as landing craft, helicopters, VTOL or amphibious vehicle s. The classic landing ships are those that start a beach directly to discharge a bow ramp troops and vehicles. There are amphibious material and personnel transport. Landing craft are smaller vehicles, the start also own the beach and is suited to their size, in the coastal area to operate independently or to serve as a transfer agent large landing craft. Its own type the hovercraft form with its particular movement possibilities in coastal waters and inland. There are also a number of special vehicles for amphibious operations, such as landing support ship s or guide ships.

Amphibious Ships

Amphibious assault ships

Amphibious assault ships (Landing Helicopter Assault – LHA and Landing Helicopter Dock – LHD) vehicles, troops and material spend using various movements such as helicopters, landing craft and whiz ashore. The only landing ships of this type are the ships of the Wasp class or Tarawa-class in the U.S. Navy. They have a continuous flight deck as an aircraft carrier and a dock or Welldeck in which they carry landing craft. They are equipped with helicopters and vertical take-off fighter aircraft equipped to support the troops landing from the air. You have the ability to ship-to-objective maneuver (STOM), meaning that they can directly from the ship to bring troops to the site, even if it is in the interior.

Amphibious helicopter carrier

Also not equipped with a dock amphibious helicopter carrier (Landing Platform Helicopter – LPH) were from the U.S. Navy at times referred to as amphibious assault ships (Amphibious Assault Ship), even though they had much lower ability than the LHA and LHD. These ships were about 20 helicopters of various types and to over 1000 landing troops. Most LPH also generate some landing craft that can be lowered into the water. All LPH the U.S. Navy are decommissioned. The British Navy has with a LPH HMS Ocean and has provided the use of its aircraft carrier Invincible class in a LPH role.


Docklandungsschiffe also carry landing craft and soldiers, but most have only a small flight deck in the stern area. It types landing platform dock (LPD) and Landing Ship Dock (LSD) can be distinguished. The main difference is in the capacity for helicopters. LPD have a hangar for helicopters permanently kept as LSD have only a helicopter landing deck and can not always take on board.

A special type of dock landing represents the Soviet Ivan Rogov class that can theoretically run up on a beach, for troops to land via a bow ramp. That is with other Docklandungsschiffen impossible.

Amphibious transport ships

For the transport of large contingents of troops and the accompanying material in World War II amphibious transport ships were developed, similar to the civilian cargo ship en.

The vessels of the type Amphibious / Attack Transport (APA, LPA from 1969) were focused on the troopship. They could at least take a battalion of infantry with full gear and had a large number of smaller landing craft of various types in order to bring the troops with their equipment ashore. Typical was a configuration with two to four LCM, twelve LCVP and three or four other boats. The LPA supported the troops with accommodation, food, care and medical services. After landing the LPA remained on site to supply the troops ashore and take wounded. Vessels of the type LPA are no longer held by the U.S. Navy and other navies.

The type Amphibious / Attack Cargo (AKA, from 1969 LKA) is primarily used to transport material and has limited billets. How to transport the LPA LKA a large number of landing craft. The U.S. Navy has five LKA in reserve status.

S vehicle landing ship (Landing Ship, VehicleLSV), later vehicle transport ship (Vehicle Cargo Ship, also LSV) are specialized for the transport of land vehicles.

For missions of special forces on enemy shores initially some older destroyers, and later new destroyer escort to fast amphibious transporters of type High-speed transport (APD) were converted. They could take up to a company and landing with landing craft carried along. Although the conversion the original artillery armament was reduced, the ship remained some guns to support the troops on land with fire.

Tank landing ships

The tank landing ship (Landing Ship, Tank – LST) is the largest conventional landing ship type that is adapted to land troops on the coast. The draft of the first LST derived from the Royal Navy, which he handed to the U.S. Navy in 1941 for the purpose of mass production. To walk off the beach due to, LSTS have a very wide and flat hull in the bow area. They are designed so that they can carry the heaviest vehicles including heavy battle tanks. The loading and accommodation capacity reaches around for a company, for a short time but can also be taken a lot more soldiers.

Discharge is via a bow ramp. Many LSTS also led smaller landing craft as LCVPs with them to as many troops parallel to land, while the bow ramp especially the heavy vehicles are unloaded. With an unfavorable gradient LST can not go to the beach so close, that the bow ramp extends up onto dry land. To avoid that soldiers and material need to wade through deep lake water, before the bow ramp pontoons can be interpreted that the LST carry some myself.

Due to their design, and especially the older LSTS Bugrampenkonstruktion reached only a low speed of about 11 knots. Modern LSTS with an advanced Bugdesign reach higher speeds to about 20 knots.

Medium landing ships

Medium landing ship of the type (LSM) was developed in theUSAas a vehicle of the order between the larger and the smaller LST LCT. The U.S. Navy built during World War II LSM 498 LSM-1-class. Your load is about one-reinforced train up to half a company. Other nations have also built LSM, the cutoff to the LST not clearly define and depends on the classification practice of individual countries.Germanyhad planned a type class LSM 502, whose export version is known inNigeriaas LST. The frog-class landing ships of the Navy people were officially classified as a medium landing ships.

Landing craft

Of the relatively small landing craft in many countries a number of different local conditions corresponding types have emerged, of which here can only be considered the most common. Even in the land forces are landing boats to overcome water obstacles.

Multi-purpose landing craft

Multi-purpose landing craft (MZL) are considered the largest to be carried in a dock landing landing craft type under the original name Landing Craft, Tank (LCT) has been developed. Later in the term Landing Craft, Utility (LCU) was changed. MZL are up to50 m. Engine rooms, steering gear, storage bin for water and fuel, living and sleeping rooms are located under the cargo deck. It follows for the trunk in the form of a “horizontal wedge”. MZL both the bow and stern have a flap, which makes it possible to assemble several MZL to a bridge. This design also facilitates the settling of mines. The load capacity of a mine MZL is naturally very high. Superstructure deck are located on the side, or alternatively via the platform. In these constructions are control, radar, communications and navigation systems and weapons platforms. MZL are restricted seaworthy and have crews 12 to 20 man (MZL of the German Navy: 17). The displacement of MZL is about 500 t, the capacity is 140 t and allows the transport of several tanks and trucks and related soldiers.

Medium landing craft

The most common type is the medium landing craft Landing Craft Mechanised (LCM), which was present in the armed forces in the army and the navy. LCM can be carried by large landing ships as deck cargo or in the well deck. The boats have t depending on the design support up to 70 and can be a larger vehicle such as a battle tank and a number of soldiers transported in an open cargo area. For loading and unloading, they have a bow ramp. There are no accommodations for the crew and embarked troops.

Small landing craft


The most produced type of small landing craft, the Landing Craft Vehicle / Personnel (LCVP), also known as Higgins boat. The transport capacity to about 30 tons, and the loading surface (suchB.9 m×3 m) is enough for about a train soldiers or an average vehicle. Motor and control stand located at the rear of the LCVP, forward bow ramp allows for rapid discharge of personnel and material. The crew usually consists of a helmsman, an engine guard and one or two other sailors.

LCVP landing can be carried on larger ships in davit s and left quickly to water. During World War II LST resulted from two to six LCVP while amphibious transporters were equipped with up to fifteen LCVP.

The British equivalent of the LCVP was the Landing Craft Assault (LCA), which had similar performance Papa meters. The German Navy received from LCA 1958 10 British stocks had at no time LCVP.


Assault boats are featured by engineer units of the Land Forces. They are equipped with an outboard motor and s are used to overcome quickly inland waters. Assault boats can be transported on trucks and taken to their destination. You can soldiers in squad – or group strength wear, but no cars.


Hovercraft e are able to cross barriers in coastal waters, which for conventional landing craft are not passable, such as tidal flats, reefs or artificial underwater obstacles. Furthermore, they are only by such mines endangered equipped with special sensors for air cushion vehicles. Unless the ground is suitable, can hovercraft travel over land and transport their cargo so inland.

These capabilities and their high speed makes them particularly suitable for the tactics of ship-to-objective maneuver. Most air-cushion vehicles are therefore provided for the use of amphibious assault ships. Larger air-cushion vehicles can also be used for autonomous landing operations. This is especially true for such great guys like the Soviet-Russian Pomornik class.

Special Vehicles in support of amphibious operations

Landing support ships

Landing support ships are used to assist in fire support amphibious landings. The U.S. Navy developed during World War Two classes of landing support ships. Those vehicles should support battleships like Battleship e, cruisers and destroyers by the bombardment of landing beaches.
Landing craft can be converted temporarily for fire support by artillery or tanks are situated on its open cargo deck. In the Navy for Siebel ferries and Marinefährprahm s were used. In the British and American Navy for the type LCT landing craft were converted and called Landing Craft Tank, Artillery ((LCT (A)).

Amphibious ships leadership

Large amphibious operations are among the most complex military operations, because land, air and naval operations must be coordinated. This relatively large mixed rods are needed, which require a separate management platform. The U.S. Navy in the Second World war ships built on the basis of commercial ship hulls, which were initially classified as an Amphibious Force Command Ship (AGC). In 1969, the classification of the still active vessels in LCC has changed. 1970, two new LCC the Blue Ridge class were commissioned and assigned to one of the Atlantic and Pacific Fleet. The hulls are the same as the amphibious helicopter carrierIwo Jima class (LPH-2). These ships are now being used for general management responsibilities.

Crane dropships

The British Royal Navy during World War II was preparing several tankers to large crane landing ships (Landing Ship Gantry), whose main task was to transport a large number of landing craft and using large cranes to suspend in the landing zone.

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress