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WWII D-Day question


Irish-Pat

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I just finished reading a book about Tarawa, the marines used amtracks to get ashore. I just was wondering why we never seem to hear of them being used in the European invasions, Normandy, Sicily, North africa, what am I missing, I know someone on the Sass wire will know the answer, Irish Pat, sass 19486

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D day they used Higgins boats. Probably did not feel the needs for amtracks as they were not crossing coral reefs. Some troops went ashore off LCIs Really big boats with a gangplank type ramp on either side of the bow.

Wicki does a pretty good job http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landing_craft

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Amtracs were assigned to the Marine amphib units. There were many island amphib landings in the Pacific Theater as to only a handful of landings in Europe. While the European Theater of Operations (ETO) generally got top priority in manpower and materials, but once in awhile the Marines got the good stuff.

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They tried to rig up floatation devices around Sherman tanks for D-Day. They worked in practice, but on D-Day the water was so choppy that most of them sank in the channel. I have not heard of Amtracs being used on D-Day

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In europe the Army only Landed in 3 different places in North Africa Nov 42. Sicily and Italy Solerno 43 and Ansio Jan 44, Normandy and Southern France June and Aug 44. A few divisions in each landing not to mention the Pacific Landings at the Aleutians (Attu, adak, kiska) Leyte Gulf,Luzon numerous other Philipine Islands, Numerous landings New Guinea and surrounding Islands, Holandia and Okinowa,but the Marines are the ones with real experience.

 

This is a pretty interesting read. http://www.cgsc.edu/carl/download/csipubs/boose.pdf

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Amtraks were designed to get over reef and other obstructions that were very common around Pacific islands. With the Normandy invasion the landings took place on gently shoaling beaches with only :angry: man made obstrutions. Although in fact the germans had placed thousands of those to impede the landings. They didn't stop the liberation thank the lord but they certainly made the human cost of successful landing soar.

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Yeah, the first waves got chopped up pretty bad. things were bad until the DD's came inshore up till they were scraping bottom and used their 5" guns to take out the gun positions. Once ashore, the Army didn't have enough heavy fire power at first :FlagAm::blush:

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The key amphibious vehicle used in Europe was the DUKW. The DUKW is a six-wheel unarmored transport that was heavily used through out the European campaign. It was very useful with the river crossings after the retreating Germans blew up bridges. If you closely watch newsreel footage from WWII the DUWK is common.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DUKW

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As mentioned, the differences in the amphibious operations made the purpose-built Amtrack a necessity in the Pacific theater.

The LVT had a lot of problems with reliability. They were initially only used to ferry supplies ashore but were later converted to assault craft.

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Lotta good replies here. LVTs and LCVP deployment had a lot of factors on were they would be deployed, production and capacity were some of the deciding factors, also terrain and crossing.

At Tarawa LVTs deployed, out of 125, only 35 remained operational at the end of the day. The LCVPs that were used could not cross the reefs, and dropped troops face forward to the enemy fire, sometimes in water above their heads. Those in power decided correctly that future Beachheads use only LVTs to give maximun protection to troops. Though LCVP were used also, but not initial Beachhead. LCVP were made from plywood, the LVTs had at least some armor.

At D-Day, the US were taken some of the worst beaches and terrains, Utah and Omaha, underwater obstacle were numerous, and would have torn the tracks and left them helpless to enemy fire. Omaha had sheer cliffs areas, were a LVT would have been useless. Utah, was a surprise and not as heavily dfended as first thought, and LVTs would have worked, and helped in initial landing, and if the could have made it pass the obstacles.

Initially each LCVP was assigned 2 runs to the beach, 1st wave, the return to deploy the 2nd wave. If still operational, it would carry supplies to the beach from then on.

Also, LCVPs could be stacked on top of each other and lowered using cranes. If the landing had been using only LVTs, it would have meant taking ships from the Pacific theatre to transport these.

LVTs could carry 17 to 24 troops these had drafts from 3.9 to 4.6 feet. From the LVT-1 to the late 1945 LVT-A5 total production was 18,171.

LCVP capacity was 36, with a draft of 2 to 3 feet. Toatl production was in excess of 20,000.

The total numbr of various Landing Craft used was over 4100 on D-Day.

The official Codename of the Normandy Landing is "Operation Neptune", or D-Day.

"Operation Overlord" is the official codename for the Battle of Normandy.

MT

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The Marines, being all about amphibious warfare, developed the gator and worked directly with the contractors prior to and during the war. They also partnered with a patriotic and innovative Lousiana gentleman by the name of Andrew Higgins to develop a practical landing craft. There was likely no civilian who more greatly contributed to allied victory than Andrew Higgins...his boat was that important to both theaters.

The idea for the drop ramp on the Higgins boat? In the 1930s a young Marine Lieutenant observed an amphibious excercise involving a foriegn force and made a report, then followed up with the Navy (who ignored it) when he returned to the States. The Lieutenant was Brute Krulak and the foreign force was....the Japanese. We borrowed their idea and used it against them a few years later.

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