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 ?
Despite long hours, Essex finished EVALEX on a successful note and carried that momentum on to Talon Vision and an amphibious landing exercise (PHIBLEX) in the Philippines.
In view of this situation, a British amphibious landing on the continent might have been an alternate course of action, but in view of the global context, maybe it would have had other implications that would have produced a new topic to analyze.
British inshore attack craft spearheaded the practice amphibious landings.
The Lyme Bay, an amphibious landing ship, is the last contract on Swan Hunter's books until the MoD aircraft carrier programme begins in 2008.
Among the reported targets are the Air Force's F/A-22 Raptor fighter jet, built by Lockheed Martin, and the Navy's DD(X) destroyer program and LPD-17 amphibious landing docks, both produced by teams led by Northrop Grumman.
99 and, when taken together, give readers a learned look at the various aspects of warfare, from Queen Victoria's colonial wars to the greatest amphibious landing in history.
Navy's CV and CVN-class aircraft carriers and LHA and LHD-class amphibious landing platforms.
A few years ago I had the opportunity to visit Inchon, where General MacArthur made his famous amphibious landing.
In 1943 he took part, as Liaison Officer in an amphibious landing at Nassau Bay, New Guinea with United States forces.
More than 30 ships, 24 aircraft and 11,000 Sailors, Marines, airmen, soldiers and Coast Guardsmen participated in a wide array of combined operations at sea, including anti-submarine warfare, tactical aircraft flights and amphibious landing exercises.
The 20 Royal Marines roared up a beach in their amphibious landing craft and leapt ashore brandishing assault rifles and mortars.
Still, in other instances, projects are slipped in simply to feed a pork-junkie's lonely craving: like the time House Appropriations Committee Chairman Bob Livingston of Louisiana secured nearly $1 billion in the 1995 defense bill for an amphibious landing ship that once again, the Navy hadn't even asked for; or when the hawkish chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, Pete Domenici, won a $17.

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