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.


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 ?
The previous package included two navy frigates in addition to anti-tank missiles and amphibious attack vehicles.
The new arms package, which includes two navy frigates, anti-tank missiles, combat systems for minesweepers, amphibious attack vehicles and communications systems, is the first arms deal since 2011, and the third offered by President Barack Obama, for a total of $14 billion.
If the Japanese had conducted an analysis of force capabilities to determine the Allied operational- level critical strengths, they may have identified the following elements: the submarines assigned to commander, Submarine Forces Pacific; the land-based air in the region; a fast carrier force (consisting of aircraft carriers, fast battleships, cruisers, and destroyers); a fire support group (consisting of battleships, cruisers, and destroyers) used primarily for force protection and gunfire support; and an amphibious attack force (composed of cruisers, destroyers, destroyer escorts, escort carriers, transports, cargo ships, landing craft, mine craft, and supply vessels carrying one or more Army or Marine divisions).
Navy, where he served on the amphibious attack transport U.
He did not provide details about the training, but the Liberty Times newspaper said it would include skills in areas such as coastal defence against amphibious attack.
With South Korean and American ground forces initially heavily outnumbered and thrown back to the southern tip of the Korean Peninsula, MacArthur then conceived and pushed through--over the initial objections of the Joint Chiefs of Staff--the Inchon amphibious attack far behind enemy lines.
In the field of battle, he had blundered strategically and lost hundreds of men in a failed amphibious attack against the French position.
It was the most awesome amphibious attack in the history of military combat and acted as the spearhead of the Allies' final onslaught on Hitler's forces in occupied Europe.
They are 648 feet long and 105 wide, and designed to carry tilt rotor Ospreys or helicopters on deck and amphibious attack craft below, as well as a crew of" more than 350 sailors and a force of 800 Marines.
The Royal Navy is expected to send a task force within two weeks in preparation for an amphibious attack.
Vera Cruz was considered by many the best-defended city in North America, with its thick walls and imposing offshore castle San Juan de Ulua, and US forces had never conducted a large-scale amphibious attack.
Top, PH2 Aaron Ansarov captured the essence of amphibious operations as CH-53E Sea Stallion helicopters conduct low-level flight operations while amphibious attack vehicles storm the beach during Exercise Cobra Gold 2002 in Thailand.

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