amphibious warfare

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Related to amphibious landing: amphibious assault, Amphibious attack

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 ?
Technavio's market research analysts predict the global amphibious landing craft market to reach more than USD 10 billion in revenues by 2020.
Philippines amphibious landing exercise dubbed PHIBLEX 2015 at the Philippine Marine barracks at Fort Bonifacio at suburban Taguig city east of Manila, Philippines AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)
The Global Amphibious Landing Craft market can be segmented into three divisions: LCAC, LCM, and LCU.
Even as the Wehrmacht marshaled its units to react to the Allies' successful D-Day landings in France, they had to contend with airborne and amphibious landings in the expanse of coastline extending from Marseilles to Toulon to Nice, an area which encompasses the French Riviera.
It was an amphibious landing unlike any other that had preceded them.
Apart from being in the market for four- six more large amphibious landing ships to augment the American- built INS Jalashwa inducted almost three years ago, there are other items on order that indicate the desired amphibious assault readiness.
The amphibious landing ship Royal Fleet Auxiliary Largs Bay set sail from Southampton, earlier this month with cargo including 5,700 sheets of corrugated iron to build much-needed shelters, 40 vehicles and 15 containers of general stores.
Army and Navy long-haul vessels and battle-loaded amphibious landing ships and craft.
The assault was conducted in two phases: an air assault landing of American and British airborne divisions shortly after midnight, and an amphibious landing of Allied infantry and armoured divisions on the coast of France commencing at 6.
The Essex ESG conducted an evaluation exercise (EVALEX) from 2-10 October 2008 in Okinawa, Japan, to hone their skills working with the 31st MEU in a series of air and amphibious landing exercises.
The three-day operation, in which French and Italian navy units are taking part, involves amphibious landing of military personnel and equipment.
And in years past we have run many articles about D-Day and the brave servicemembers who took part in what remains to this day the largest and most complex amphibious landing ever conducted.

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