Landing Craft

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syscom3

Pacific Historian
14,810
10,891
Jun 4, 2005
Orange County, CA
Post your information for all the boats and vehicals used in WW2 for amphib warfare. For those of you that still think the Germans could have have invaded England, these are the craft they didnt have to be able to pull the invasion off.

I will start with his one. Perhaps one of the most important 'craft" developed in WW2. It revolutionized logistics as it could take the material directly from a larger ship inland. This advoided the time consuming and inefficent offloading on a beach and then reloading on terrestial trucks.

The DUKW (popularly pronounced DUCK) is a six-wheel-drive amphibious truck that was originally designed inside General Motors Corporation during World War II for transporting goods and troops over land and water and for use approaching and crossing beaches in amphibious attacks.

Its designation as a DUKW is not a military pun, the name comes from the terminology used for military vehicles in World War II; the D indicates a vehicle designed in 1942, the U meant "utility (amphibious)", the K indicated all-wheel drive and the W indicated two powered rear axles. The DUKW was built around a conventional six-wheel-drive military truck called the CCKW, with the addition of a watertight hull and a propeller. The vehicle was built by the GMC division of General Motors (called Yellow Truck and Coach at the beginning of the war). It was powered by a GMC Straight-6 engine of 270 in³ (4.4 L). The DUKW weighed 7.5 tons and operated at 6.4 mph (10 km/h) on water and 50 mph (80 km/h) on land. It was 31 feet (9.3 m) long, 8.25 feet (2.4 m) wide, and 8.8 feet (2.6 m) high with the folding-canvas top up. More than 21,000 were manufactured. Contrary to its outward appearance it was not an armored vehicle, being plated with sheet steel between 1/16" and 1/8" thick to keep the weight down. A high-capacity bilge pump system kept the DUKW afloat if the thin hull was breached by holes up to a couple inches in diameter.

The DUKW was the first vehicle to allow the driver to vary the tire pressure from inside the cab, an accomplishment of Speir's devise. The tires could be fully inflated for hard surfaces such as roads and less inflated for softer surfaces—especially beach sand. This added to the DUKW's great versatility as an amphibious vehicle. This feature is now standard on many military vehicles.

The DUKW was used in landings in the Pacific, in North Africa, and on the D-Day beaches of Normandy. With the enemy holding all available ports, DUKWs carried 18 million tons of supplies ashore in the 90 days following the landing

The DUKW's ability to board and debark without assistance via way of an LST's ramp enabled the ship to anchor offshore, thereby reducing reef and beach congestion and lessened the danger of enemy fire on ship and personnel. Furthermore, the hybrid's ability to cross coral reefs and sandy beaches and then proceed inland to wherever supplies were needed saved what would otherwise have been countless man-hours of handling supplies. The DUKW's versatility forestalled the necessity to bring heavy transport vehicles ashore during early stages of invasions, further reducing island and beach congestion.

Rated capacity – 5000 lbs.
270 cid 6–cylinder GMC motor.
Weight 14,800–Lbs.
Rated at, governed, 6.4 mph water and 50 mph land.
21,000+ manufactured–WWII only.
$10,800.00 cost.
Marines–two man crew, driver and assistant driver.
Tire inflation/deflation by driver from inside cab.
First operational use in Pacific at Noumea, 1943, in Europe at Sicily, 1943.

D-Day info:
D Day Tanks and countdown to 60th anniversary of D-Day from the Tank Museum Bovington

USMC info:
MARINE DUKWS IN WWII
 

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I know that rockets were tested as weapons for the DUKW's but was there any sort of "normal" weapon's fit for defense or suppression fire? Also, do you know what kind of personal weapons were usually carried by the crews of the DUKWs?
 
Ive seen specifications for the provisionng of a single .50 MG. Generally, they were not armed as they were not intended to be assaulting defended beaches.
 
Good thread idea syscom. Educational, keep it coming. Amphibious warfair 101 we can call it.
 
These are quite an interesting type of landing craft. In fact, they were indispensible in helping the allies to get tanks and heavy eqmt ashore quickly. Several types were made, but all did the same thing. As I keep saying, the Germans didnt have these types of boats to transport their heavy eqmt and tanks right up onto an unimproved beach. This is further proof that their planned invasion of England was not going to work. And its further evidence of the superior logistical system of the US and UK.

World War II LCTs
Landing craft tank - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

After the evacuation from Dunkirk it was seen that the only feasible way for the Allies to fight in Europe was by landing on its beaches. Churchill's suggestion for a boat capable of carrying one or more tanks led to a concerted approach to designs for "Combined Operations" craft. British constructors met in mid 1940 and drew up designs that led to one of them, Hawthorn Leslie, producing the first "Tank Landing Craft" in November 1940. This was the LCT Mk I also recorded as "LCT(1)".

The LCT was produced in several configurations, the two US ones were the Mark V and Mark VI. LCT Mk Vs had only a bow ramp while LCT Mk VIs had both bow and stern ramps. They were much smaller than the Landing ship, Tank (or LST), a larger amphibious assault ship for landing tanks which was capable of hauling and launching an LCT. They were unarmored and only lightly armed. LCT were not given names, only numbers. A large number were given through lend-lease to the UK and a small number to the USSR.

Besides being used to transport tanks, men or supplies, the LCT was a suitable platform for conversion and were modified for special duties for the invasion of Normandy in June 1944. To provide anti-aircraft protection for the convoys and during the assault itself several LCTs were converted into floating AA batteries, the LCT(4) conversions receiving the new designation LCF(4) "Landing Craft, Flak" and so forth. Some LCTs were fitted with guns or rockets (the later becoming Landing Craft, Tank (Rocket)) or as repair barges or minesweepers. Twenty-six of them had armor added, making them LCT(A), Landing Craft Tank (Armored) however, this reduced their load from 4 tanks to 3.

Production
US Production: A total of 1,435 of these craft were built, including 965 built during WWII. Most of the US LCT's were built at the Darby Steel Plant in the West Bottoms of Kansas City, Kansas. The ships were then floated more than 1,000 miles down the Missouri and Mississippi rivers to New Orleans, Louisiana prompting the ships to be nicknamed the "Prairie Ships."

UK production: 864 LCT(4)s were built. A British LCT, HM LCT (3) 7074 is owned by the Warship Preservation Trust and moored on the Wirral in England.

Note - I found the picture of the LCT being offloaded from the LST interesting, as my neighbor (who was an WW2 LST crewman) told me that their voyage from Pearl Harbor to the Philipines involved them carrying an LCT (or LCI) out there for the planned invasion of Japan.

Note - MK4's were UK built. MK5's were US Built

LCT Mk IV specifications
Length: 185.5 ft long
Draught: about 3 ft
Capacity: 9 M4 Sherman or 9 Cromwell tanks or 6 Churchill tanks, or 300 tons of cargo.
Armament: as the LCF(4): 8 20 mm Oerlikon cannon, 4 2pdr (40 mm) Pom-Pom (gun)s.

LCT Mk V specifications
Displacement: 133 tons (135 t), 286 (291 t) tons (landing)
Length: 117 ft (35.7 m)
Beam: 32 ft (9.8 m)
Draft: 2 ft 10 in (0.9 m) forward, 4 ft 2 in (1.3 m) aft (landing)
Speed: 8 knots (15 km/h)
Armament: 2 x 20 mm
Complement: 1 officer, 12 enlisted
Capacity: 5 x 30-ton (27 t) or 4 x 40-ton (36 t) or 3 x 50-ton (45 t) tanks; or 9 trucks; or 150 short tons (136 t) cargo
3 Gray 225 hp (168 kW) diesels; triple screws
 

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Don't forget that German Vehicle, the jeep like one with the propeller that can go in water. I have temporarily forgotten its name. But it counts as amphibious.
 
Lemme refrase that question about the DUKW, I had seen it mentioned as having been used by the British with Rockets, flamethrowers, and other weapons later in the War in the European theatre. Any idea if there were actual designations for these fittings, or if they were field fits?
 
Lemme refrase that question about the DUKW, I had seen it mentioned as having been used by the British with Rockets, flamethrowers, and other weapons later in the War in the European theatre. Any idea if there were actual designations for these fittings, or if they were field fits?
I've been interested in British armour since I was little, yet I've never come across any reference to the DUKW being fitted with rockets, or any other weapon, while in British service.
 
First operational use in Pacific at Noumea, 1943, in Europe at Sicily, 1943.

What kind of use in Noumea? It was in allied hand since 1942, a major Us navy port.

Max
 
I would like to say that the DUKW would have been launched from a parent boat. The DUKW wouldn't have been in the water the whole time. My thoughts are that the Germans would have used swimmingwagens for those troops that needed to react with speed such as the advance guard. Then I imagine they would have had Kubelwagens as well. The Swimmingwagens would have been put ashore as an advance guard while the rest were unloading. I assume that the Germans would have been able to build transports for their tanks if they had the need. Although it was never clear on either side exactly what objections there were against the Germans being able to transport their tanks to another shore. We do know that there were German tanks in Japan at the close of WW2 from some photos.
 
I would like to say that the DUKW would have been launched from a parent boat. The DUKW wouldn't have been in the water the whole time. My thoughts are that the Germans would have used swimmingwagens for those troops that needed to react with speed such as the advance guard. Then I imagine they would have had Kubelwagens as well. The Swimmingwagens would have been put ashore as an advance guard while the rest were unloading. I assume that the Germans would have been able to build transports for their tanks if they had the need. Although it was never clear on either side exactly what objections there were against the Germans being able to transport their tanks to another shore. We do know that there were German tanks in Japan at the close of WW2 from some photos.

There is no indication or evidence that Germans had under development the many types of landing craft needed to support a major amphib invasion.

The DUKW alone ranks as an outstanding development for the allies.

Its all about logistics and the kubelwagon and Swimmingwagens could hardly have expected to provide a meaningfull contribution.
 
Probably you are thinking of LANDING CRAFT, INFANTRY (LARGE)

Ladders were lowered from either side of the bow for the troops to offload.

Have a look at D-Day : Normandie 1944 - L'assaut sur OMAHA Beach

Gives the listing of every type and images used on D-Day.

Should answer the quenstion.

No that isnt it. Ill look for a pic but if you've played Medal Of HONOR Frontline theres a clip with some British troops disenbarking from a Boat about the size of a Higgins boat, but the doors are opening sidewards
 

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