Amphibious Warfare – The Tank Landing Ship (II)

When the LST Mk I was being designed, the concept of distant raiding still featured strongly in British minds and thus influenced the design, but by the winter of 1941 the distant raiding concept had been largely replaced by a fear of invasion. At their first meeting at the Atlantic conference in Argentia, Newfoundland, during …

Amphibious Warfare – The Tank Landing Ship

The Tank Landing Ship, or more properly, the Landing Ship, Tank (LST), is the type of vessel created in World War II to support amphibious operations with the carriage of vehicles (most especially armoured vehicles), cargo and troops to be landed directly onto an unimproved shore. The British ‘Dynamo’ evacuation from Dunkirk in June 1940 …

Amphibious Warfare – The Dock Landing Ship

A dock landing ship (often formally designated as a landing ship, dock, or LSD) is an amphibious warfare ship incorporating a docking well into the stern for the accommodation, transport, and launch/recovery of landing craft and amphibious vehicles. Some ships with docking wells, such as those of the Soviet/Russian ‘Ivan Rogov’ class, also have bow …

Soviet armoured river and coastal gunboats – the BKA and MBK types

Given its huge size and enormously varied geography, the USSR – like the Imperial Russia it succeeded in 1917 – found that there was considerable scope for the use of gunboats on the country’s many large rivers, major lakes, and even its shallow coastal waters (such as the Sea of Azov and the Gulf of …

US Chinese river gunboats

A number of European powers, the USA and Japan maintained flotillas of these shallow-draft river gunboats to patrol the larger rivers with which China abounds, enforcing these nations’ concessionary rights under the terms of treaties which China had been compelled to sign in the period after her defeat during the 1st Opium War (1840/42) with …

The British ‘Insect’ class river gunboat

Despite its different designation, the river gunboat was in reality the riverine counterpart of the sea-going monitor, but because of its supposed limitation to more confined waters was a far smaller vessel with a correspondingly lighter armament optimised for the bombardment of river bank targets. In February 1915 the British ordered 12 ‘Fly’ class river …

‘Roberts’ class British monitor

The designation ‘monitor’ is used for the type of comparatively small warship which was not fast or strongly protected, but carried a small number of guns characterised by their disproportionately large calibre. Monitors were operated by several navies from the early 1860s until the end of World War II in 1945, and in fact saw …

The US M16 self-propelled anti-aircraft mounting

The M45 quadruple machine gun mounting was a weapon mounting with four 0.5-in (12.7-mm) Colt-Browning M2HB (heavy barrel) L/90 heavy machine guns in the form of M2 Turret Type weapons mounted in vertical pairs on each side of the gunner’s electrically open cab. The M45 was developed by the W. L. Maxson Corporation in 1942 …

The German ‘Wirbelwind’ self-propelled anti-aircraft gun

Despite developing Blitzkrieg tactics, the Germans were as slow as the other early WWII powers in developing self-propelled anti-aircraft artillery. This stemmed in part from the German leadership and armaments industry’s primary concern with the development and manufacture of offensive weapons. Yet it was also a result of their belief that their breakthrough forces could …

The anti-aircraft cruiser – the British ‘Dido’ class

The ‘Dido’ class of British light anti-aircraft cruisers comprised 11 ships (three built by Cammell Laird, two by Scotts, two by Hawthorn Leslie, and single ships by Fairfield, Stephen, Chatham Dockyard and Portsmouth Dockyard), and there were also five generally similar ships of the ‘Bellona’ class, sometimes considered a sub-class of the ‘Dido’ class. The …