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).

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References in periodicals archive ?
(2013) The Indonesian Armed Forces Doctrine about Amphibious Operations, Jakarta: Indonesian Armed Forces Headquarter.
The process seems particularly apt, given that the Anzac (originally, the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) relationship was forged during the course of one of the most notorious amphibious operations in history.
These cavils aside, this book is an important contribution to the literature on amphibious operations with application to the study of strategy and joint operations generally.
As Colonel Boscawen points out, British success at Louisbourg marked the beginning of the end of New France, and it also began a series of British joint amphibious operations during the remainder of the war.
Unity of effort is absolutely essential to the success of an amphibious operation. JP 3-02 clearly identifies this fact by including it as a planning tenet and a characteristic of amphibious operations.
Major Ben Watson, an instructor at the US Marine Corps' Expeditionary Warfare School (EWS) in Quantico, VA, said that planning for an amphibious operation may or may not be done electronically depending on how much time is available.
Operation Chromite established an allied foothold that eventually pushed the North Koreans back, freeing the South Korean capital area and proving the Marine Corps amphibious operation was alive and well.
troops converged on the training camp of Cavite, 34 kilometers south of Manila, to conduct a large-scale amphibious operation -- the main phase of a series of joint military exercises that started Feb.
During DAWN BLITZ MSDF and GSDF planned and executed complex components of an amphibious operation including fires, communications, supply, ship-to-shore movement, and air operations.
The Germans had no real capability for an amphibious operation of the scale required.
units by airlift was succeeded by disparate small sealifts from Japan as MacArthur sought to buy time in order to mount an amphibious operation that would lay bare the North Koreans' lines of communications and enable their forces' envelopment and destruction.
An unusually well-educated officer, he was also atypically open to new ideas, although this is often attributed to the influence of his son John; nearly blind in his later years, he nevertheless demonstrated energy and enterprise in the Netherlands, the West Indies, and Egypt, where his landing at Abukir was a classic amphibious operation. <BL>

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