amphibious warfare

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amphibious warfare

(ămfĭb`ēəs), employment of a combination of land and sea forces to take or defend a military objective. The general strategy is very ancient and was extensively employed by the Greeks, e.g., in the Athenian attack on Sicily in 415 B.C. The term is, however, of modern coinage. It is sometimes applied to the joint operations of the Allied army and naval forces in the disastrous Gallipoli campaign (1915) of World War I. Amphibious warfare was widely employed in World War II. When the Japanese entered the war on a large scale in Dec., 1941, they used combined air, land, and naval operations to capture strategic islands such as the Philippines, Java, and Sumatra. However, the Japanese landings, like the Allied landing in N Africa (Nov., 1942), encountered little opposition and did not offer a true illustration of the problems of amphibious warfare. The problem faced by the Allies in the reconquest of Europe and the Pacific islands was how to land their forces on a heavily defended coast line. It was solved by the construction of special vessels called landing craft that were seaworthy and yet capable of allowing tanks and infantry to emerge without difficulty into shallow water for landing. The typical Allied amphibious operation consisted of heavy and continued air and naval bombardment of the enemy defenses, followed by a landing of troops with complete equipment from landing craft; the landing forces were supported in the early stages by naval guns until land artillery could come into action. By use of this method the Allies were able to invade heavily defended Pacific islands such as Tarawa (1943), Saipan (1944), Iwo Jima (1945), and Okinawa (1945). In Europe the Allies made landings on Sicily (1943) and Italy (1943–44), but the most spectacular example of amphibious warfare was the invasion of Normandy by the Allies from England on June 6, 1944 (see Normandy campaignNormandy campaign,
June to Aug., 1944, in World War II. The Allied invasion of the European continent through Normandy began about 12:15 AM on June 6, 1944 (D-day). The plan, known as Operation Overlord, had been prepared since 1943; supreme command over its execution was
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). That action was a prime example of combined movements of naval craft, land forces, and aircraft (used for offense, protection of other forces, and transport). The U.S. invasion of Incheon (1950) during the Korean War and the British and French invasion of Egypt during the Sinai crisis (1957) utilized the same basic tactics. Amphibious landings later occurred in Vietnam War and in the British retaking (1982) of the Falkland Islands. Modern amphibious assault ships use helicopters and VTOL airplanes to mount and support amphibious attacks.

Bibliography

See J. A. Isely and P. A. Crowl, The U.S. Marines and Amphibious War (1951); B. Fergusson, The Watery Maze: The Story of Combined Operations (1961).

References in periodicals archive ?
He served in the United States Amphibious Forces during World War II and was a veteran of D-Day in the Normandy Invasion, landing armored forces of General Dempsey's Second British Army at Gold Beach in the British sector.
The battle force role and multi-mission capability can support carrier battle groups, amphibious forces, and can also independently as flagships of surface action groups.
WORLD WAR II IN COLOUR Channel 5, 7pm The concluding programme looks at how Japan's forces waged a savage defence campaign despite a hopeless position, with US carriers and amphibious forces roaming at will across the Pacific and submarines cutting the vital supply lines to the mainland based, Japan's leaders believed that if they could inflict sufficient casualties on enemy forces, the Allies would give up, and American president Harry S Truman realised that there was only one way to force this fanatical enemy into surrendering, and decided to deploy the atomic bomb.
This means the bulk of ships and amphibious forces have returned to port," the armed forces said in a statement, adding that some smaller forces would remain in the area.
Military authorities said Friday that they have ordered naval and amphibious forces to end their hunt for the submarine, though some ground forces will remain involved.
Major General Martin Smith, Commandant General Royal Marines and Commander United Kingdom Amphibious Forces, will take up the post of Commander of Operation ATALANTA on 28 August, said the committee in a statement.
NLI has taken the first steps and driven some level of integration in the amphibious forces.
Aircraft, ships, and submarines cannot seize and hold territory; only the amphibious forces of the amphibious attack force can do that.
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Amphibious forces will enhance Japan's ability to contend with Chinas active maritime presence, especially to defend the Senkaku Islands.
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