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 ?
At a strategic level, the use of an amphibious invasion gave the allies the opportunity to launch their sea-borne forces across the beach at the place and time of their choosing.
Launched on June 6th, 1944, this undertaking represented the largest amphibious invasion in human history.
Military historian O'Hara describes the Anglo-American Operation Torch, a risky amphibious invasion of neutral French territory in North Africa in order to get a toe-hold and open another front against the Nazis that would take pressure off the Russians.
With Britain and its Allies on their heels, Adolf Hitler saw the opportunity to try and gain aerial superiority, which would create the possibility of an amphibious invasion of Britain, code named Operation SEA LION.
AN ARTISTIC tribute has been paid to two Scottish veterans who gave their all on Normandy's beaches in the largest amphibious invasion in history.
On April 1, 1945, American forces launched the amphibious invasion of Okinawa during World War II.
Called Operation Neptune on June 7, 1944, and involving 6,883 vessels, this remains the biggest amphibious invasion force in world history.
Fields of War: Battle of Normandy is an in-depth guide to largest amphibious invasion in history June 6, 1944, the day when the combined forces of American, Britain, Canada, and other allied nations arrived on the shore of Normandy, France to begin the liberation of Europe from Adolf Hitler, during the Second World War.
ere were 150,000 soldiers, 24,000 airborne troops, 195,00 vehicles and 5,000 ships involved in what was and still is the biggest amphibious invasion in the history of the world," she said.
In Operation Overlord, Montgomery would be in tactical command of all land forces for the amphibious invasion of Normandy, France, codenamed Operation Neptune.
1) Although the nature and range of threats faced have evolved, a core focus of the Japan Self-Defense Force (JSDF) remains the same-the requirement to protect the nation from an amphibious invasion.

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