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 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.
Due to the size of the operation, the Germans were unable to prevent the Russians from learning of preparations for an amphibious operation.
There's nothing worse than to have to create a whole plan for an amphibious operation and then a day or even hours before you're going to launch, you find out some new piece of information which is completely detrimental to your operation," said Ashley Johnson, the Office of Naval Research's Marine Air-Ground Task Force Maneuver EC manager for littoral combat future naval capability.
Hardy Glaraga, a Philippine Marine, hailed the amphibious operation, saying it was a rare opportunity to work with his American counterparts.
In June 1950, Amphibious Group One arrived in Japan to train Eighth Army in amphibious operations.
13) Amphibious operations are expeditionary in nature, and in the defense of the nation the forces involved must be capable of immediate deployment in an integrated manner.
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.
It can be used for any scenario involving amphibious operations," Scheier said.
When the fleet assembled off Beaufort on 8 January, Terry met with Porter to plan the amphibious operation.
For instance, without knowledge of tidal conditions, currents, the composition and slope of a beach, or the location of underwater obstructions and mines, amphibious operations can be doomed to failure before they begin.
The M113, one of the most versatile of military tracked vehicles, can transport 12 troops plus a driver and is capable of amphibious operation, extended cross-country travel over rough terrain, and high-speed operation on improved roads and highways.
Future contracts for the production of additional AN/SPS-67 Radar Systems based on the new design are anticipated by the company, with installations on more than 100 existing ships, including amphibious operation ships and Aegis destroyers.

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