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What Happens To Amtraks/amtanks After The Initial Landing Is Made?


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#21 shep854

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 0002 AM

Tarawa. Lack (and losses) of LVTs forced the Marines to do their fateful wade in when LCVPs grounded on the reefs
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#22 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 0324 AM

One of the Royal Tank Regiments (6th?) was reequipped with them for the crossing of the Rhine.

048d04c4c4f1c1da_large.jpg

 

Ive got a nagging feeling I read of them being used at Port Said in 1956, but I cant swear of it.


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#23 JasonJ

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 0748 AM

I think there were some examples of M4s getting stuck short of getting on the beach.

 
Tanks in Hell: A Marine Corps Tank Company on Tarawa is an excellent account of the first use of M4s by the Marines and the trouble they had getting ashore and fighting once there.

Probably will get that one.
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#24 Ken Estes

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 1225 PM

The original amtrac, the LVT1 "Alligator" was purposely armed with open mounts of .50 and .30 cal MGs because it was procured as a supply vehicle, intended to augment the offloading of the shipping by landing craft. There was no armor. The army later became interested and alone procured the LVT(A)-2, an armored version of the follow-on amtrac the LVT2 "Buffalo." The LVT1s at Guadalcanal were also used for inland movement of supplies, because so few vehicles were offloaded when the USN had to break off the landing ops. Their peculiar rollerbearing suspension for the tracks soon became worn out by this [intended for 100 hrs inland]. The landings at Guadalcanal were unopposed, but across the sound at Tulagi, it was a different story and the onboard weapons were put to use from the water and ashore as targets could be identified.

 

The doctrine became unchanged until the Tarawa battle, where the enemy defenses were strong and well-fortified for the time. Because of the reef, the amtrac battalion knew they would be exposed to defensive fire and improvised armor plating for both LVT1 and 2 amtracs, the latter having been designed for bolt-on cab plating. The losses were still heavy especially as the amtracs had to shuttle even more to offload stranded landing craft as well as the shipping. The 2d Amtrac Bn had 325 of 500 men as casualties, including the bn cdr KIA. After 3 days, only 19/75 LVT1 and 16/50 LVT2 remained in service. Needless to say, none ventured inland until the beaches had been secured.

 

The lessons of Tarawa governed the rest of the war. The personnel/cargo tractors would be armed and armored and an amphibious tank variant, forever termed armored amphibian in the USMC was procured, beginning with the LVT(A)1 produced by Borg-Warner. The inventor Donald Roebling (who used FMC for production) had interest in an amphbious tank version before the war, making first sketches in Jan40 which received no interest. The commandant of the amtrac driving school, located near Roebling's shops, requested light tank turrets from HQ on 3Nov41. He was provided with an M3 light tank turret and drawings for the turreted Marmon-Herrington's twin .50 turret. The Corps thought protection vs. .50 cal fire would suffice in overcoming beach defenses as were understood in those days. Borg-Warner's successful entry for the new vehicle integrated an M3A1 turret, and had 1/4 inch hull armor, 1/2 inch cab armor. They first appeared in action at the Roi-Namur landings [Feb44]. Some 500 were delivered to the USMC and Army.

 

With the amtracs upgraded with light tank radial engines, transmissions and final drives, plus torsilastic suspensions for roadwheels, operations inland from the highwater mark could be contemplated. The USMC wanted 300 armored amphibians delivered by Jun43, but the first of three armored amphibian battalions (staffed mostly by tank officers) did not stand up until Aug43. Amphibious planners in the Pacific first wanted to have the troops carried to an inland phase line by amtracs at Roi-Namur, escorted by the armored amphibians. However, all units at this operation were in their first battle and navigation problems dominated, preventing such actions. A valid attempt was made at Saipan by V Amphibious Corps to move inland with mounted assault infantry. In favor of this initiative, the 5 USMC and 3 Army amtrac battalions featured the latest LVT4 (1/3 of the total LVT available) as well as the first of the advanced 75mm armed LVT(A)4 with the 2d Armored Amphibian Bn and part of the Army's 708th Amphibious Tank Bn. In the third waves would arrive the USMC M4A2 medium tanks, now standard in all USMC tank battalions. The plan was for the armored amphibians to spearhead the attack by amtrac-mounted assault infantry, to a depth of one mile, thereby bypassing enemy positions and avoiding the usual cluster on the beach.

 

As usual, Japanese tenacity interrupted the planned operation on D-Day 15Jun44. Terrain inland included steep inclines and swamps.  Only the 4th Marine Division attempted the mechanized attack, 2d Marine Division opted to dismount at the water's edge, owing to terrain. A number of LVT(A) in fact reached the inland line, but most remained in the first 100 yards of the beach, suffering significant losses because of light armor and vehicle size/height. The Army 708th lost 30/68 of its vehicles at Saipan and Tinian combined. The commander of 1st Bn, 24th Marine Regt reported that "on five different days LVT(A)'s reinforced our tanks in the attack in our sector. Though they received many casualties they were very aggressive and their firepower very effective."

 

In the aftermath of the Marianas battles, a final doctrine for the armored amphibians was proposed and executed by their pioneer commander, LtCol Louis Metzger. The armored amphibians would support the waterborne assault, remaining half immersed to support the beach assault, then, when relieved by the tanks, they would revert to general support of the landing force, using their 75mm cannon as artillery under fire direction of the landing force artillery.

 

This was the final doctrine enshrined post-WWII under which the LVT3 and LVTP-5 personnel carriers and LVT(A)5 and LVTH-6 armored amphibians operated. Inland mechanized ops usually centered upon armored columns closely supported and led by tanks (first used at Guam), with eventual flank support to be provided by the antitank units (M-50 Ontos).

 

Mechanized ops had a final boost with the arrival of the much more agile LVTP-7/AAV-7 series vehicle, and appropriate doctrine merged in the 1980s for ad hoc operations with tanks, amtracs and infantry, but the only permanently mounted infantry in the USMC remains to this day exclusively in the Light Armored battalions, variously designated LAV, LAI and now, LAR Bns. 


Edited by Ken Estes, 15 February 2018 - 1233 PM.

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#25 Gavin-Phillips

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 1226 PM

Thank you for the continuing replies and great to see those videos.  I'm surprised at the apparent speed of that LVT-4, I thought they were quite slow machines but apparently not.  Quite manoeuvrable on the water as well.

 

I have seen footage of LVT's being used to cross the Rhine, I think it may well have been on the World At War TV series or something very similar to that.


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#26 rmgill

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 1251 PM

They're probably a little slower when full of marines with combat gear, but it's a sub-optimal displacement hull so it'll tend to be slow to move.


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#27 Chris Werb

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 1543 PM

Stuart the the UK had LVT3 at Suez. I suspect they were supplied by the US in the early 1950s
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#28 Ken Estes

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 2209 PM

The Corps held 1578 LVT3s in its 1949 inventory. Its post-Korea mobilization requirement was 1194, all of the converted LVT3C variant with the troop compartment roofed and a .30 cupola added, amounting to 700 conversions by 1955. By Feb55, the new LVTP-5 was beginning to enter service as its replacement. Some 400 unconverted LVT3 languished in desert storage, so either version of the LVT3 could have been supplied to the UK prior to Suez ops.


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#29 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 0403 AM

Stuart the the UK had LVT3 at Suez. I suspect they were supplied by the US in the early 1950s

 

Cheers Chris. I vaguely recalled it was some kidn of Amtrak, but I couldnt recall one what.

 

Any idea whom it was using them?


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#30 Ken Estes

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 1243 PM

Amtrak is the US passenger rail system

 

Amtrac is short for amphibious tractor, hence no 'k' included and continues in today's vernacular even though the the formal name started out as Landing Vehicle, Tracked (LVT) in navy terminology, then later became Assault Amphibious Vehicle (AAV) in the USMC. 


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#31 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 1324 PM

Sorry, im always doing that. My railway obsession leaking through.


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#32 Gavin-Phillips

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 1341 PM

Some really amazing information on this thread, thank you all very much.  I had no idea that the pre-LVTP5 models were still being used post-WW2 (albeit in an upgraded form like LVT3C).  

 

Regarding the likes the the LVT(A)4 and LVT(A)5 "amtanks", there doesn't seem to be much information out there as far as how much ammunition they can carry for their 75mm howitzer, or the 30cal and 50cal machineguns.  Does anyone know?

 

Are there any suggestions for "the best book" on these vehicles?  I already have the Osprey's New Vanguard number 30 "Amtracs" in my sights however are there any others which people could recommend?  Covering either their use, or history and/or technical details, variants, specialist versions and so on?


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#33 Chris Werb

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 1842 PM

 

Stuart the the UK had LVT3 at Suez. I suspect they were supplied by the US in the early 1950s

 

Cheers Chris. I vaguely recalled it was some kidn of Amtrak, but I couldnt recall one what.

 

Any idea whom it was using them?

 

 

I had this discussion with the late, great, George Forty at the Tank Museum about a decade ago and he was not aware of the circumstances of supply, numbers or post war usage of the LVT-3s by our forces. 

 

The following pic shows an LVT-3 with post war British Army numberplate indicating it is a renumbered WW2 vehicle (the letters in the middle begin with Z - new vehicles started at the opposite end of the alphabet, although I think AA may have been exclusively RAF)

https://www.gettyima...cture-id3271431

 

There were also LVT-4s and LVT(A)4s ((or perhaps (A5)s) at Suez - operated by the French, including some fitted with L40/60 Bofors guns.

 

https://cdn-live.war...suez%201956.jpg

 

http://www.imcdb.org/i998953.jpg

 

https://www.chars-fr.../lvt(a)4_25.jpg

 

http://cdojaubert.ca...0/14203061.html

 


 


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#34 Chris Werb

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 1848 PM

A surviving British LVT-3 

 

https://collection.n...cc=1998-09-79-1

 

If you do a search on LVT-3 or go to page 199 in the following online book you will find who used them at Suez Stuart (and apparently also LVT-4)

 

https://books.google...-3 suez&f=false


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#35 DogDodger

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 2237 PM

Some really amazing information on this thread, thank you all very much.  I had no idea that the pre-LVTP5 models were still being used post-WW2 (albeit in an upgraded form like LVT3C).  
 
Regarding the likes the the LVT(A)4 and LVT(A)5 "amtanks", there doesn't seem to be much information out there as far as how much ammunition they can carry for their 75mm howitzer, or the 30cal and 50cal machineguns.  Does anyone know?
 
Are there any suggestions for "the best book" on these vehicles?  I already have the Osprey's New Vanguard number 30 "Amtracs" in my sights however are there any others which people could recommend?  Covering either their use, or history and/or technical details, variants, specialist versions and so on?

Hunnicutt's Stuart says both carried 100 75 mm rounds. Early LVT(A)4s had 400 .50 cal (and 2000 rounds .30cal if they were fitted with the bow MG), while late LVT(A)4s and LVT(A)5s had 6000 rounds .30 cal.
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#36 DougRichards

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Posted 17 February 2018 - 0214 AM

There is an LVT-4 at the Puckapunyal RAAC museum in Victoria, Australia, but is not accessible to the public.  I have a photo that I took back in 1998 somewhere.  I believe that the one there is the same vehicle that I saw back in 1972 in the Hunter River area of New South Wales, parked by the roadside.  A Citizen Military Force (ie Army Reserve) unit was equipped with these: the Northern River Lancers...  how anyone would operate a lance from an LVT-4 is anyone's guess: but there are few references, this is an interesting one:

 

http://www.environme...spx?siteid=1155

 

Landing Vehicle Tracked (LVT4) History | Database | Links | Print History

The 15th Northern Rivers Lancers Regiment was undertaking training manouvres at Stockton on 8 March 1954. The flotilla headed out to sea from Wave Trap Beach near Camp Shortland to the Mungo Brush area to the north, near Port Stephens. Rising bad weather and high seas lead to the sinking of five LVT(a)4s, one LVT4, and two DUKWs, with three lives lost. One of the LVT4s has been located underwater in 30 metres, and is the focus of limited recreational diving visitation. This was a significant peacetime loss of life and equipment.

The LVTs, short for Landing Vehicle Tracked Mk IV, were amphibious assault vehicles built during 1943-5, and first used in the Pacific Theatre during World War II. They were nicknamed the "Water Buffalo".

 

 

Database
Site information Site ID: 1155     Type: Amphibious craft Construction: Steel Primary industry: Defence Sub-industry: army Gross tonnage: 18.1 Net tonnage:   Length (mtrs): 7.95 Beam (mtrs): 3.25 Draft (mtrs): 3.1 Cargo: Ammunition Engine: Continental W-670-9A 7 cylinder 4 cycle radial gasoline 250hp Country built: UNITED STATES State built:   Port built:   builder:   Port registered:   When built: 1944 Registration number:   Official number:   Sources: www.lancers.org.au Comments: The 15th Northern Rivers Lancers Regiment was undertaking training manouvres at Stockton. Bad weather lead to the sinking of five LVT(a)4s, one LVT4, and two DUKWs with three lives lost. Lost event When lost: 1954/03/08 Where lost: Newcastle Bight, Stockton Beach Wrecked/Refloated: Foundered Sinking: Training exercise From port: Camp Shortland, Stockton To port: Morna Point/ Broughton Island Master:   Owner: Australian Army - 15th Northern River Lancers Crew: 6 Passengers:   Crew deaths: 0 Passenger deaths: 0 Total deaths: 0     Location Maximum latitude: 32.87144431 Minimum latitude:   Maximum longitude: 151.9161161 Minimum longitude:   Datum used: GDA94       Datum    Latitude    Longitude    Zone    Easting    Northing AGD66 32.87144922632040 151.91611610000000 56 398598.63313503700000 13637569.16056910000000 AGD84 32.87144922632040 151.91611610000000 56 398598.63313503700000 13637569.16056910000000 GDA94 32.87144434167660 151.91611610000000 56 398598.99565538400000 13637556.00342670000000 WGS84 32.87144434081610 151.91611610000000 56 398598.99565489400000 13637556.00343280000000 Management Found: Yes Inspected: NO Protected: NSW Heritage Act 1977 Jurisdiction: State Protection notes:   Signage:   Web address:  
Links
Unidentified LVT

  There are currently no links associated with this site.

Edited by DougRichards, 17 February 2018 - 0339 AM.

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#37 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 17 February 2018 - 0258 AM

A surviving British LVT-3 

 

https://collection.n...cc=1998-09-79-1

 

If you do a search on LVT-3 or go to page 199 in the following online book you will find who used them at Suez Stuart (and apparently also LVT-4)

 

https://books.google...-3 suez&f=false

 

Many thanks Chris, im always forgetting google books, and its incredibly useful resource I know.


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#38 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 17 February 2018 - 0300 AM

 

There is an LVT-4 at the Puckapunyal RAAC museum in Victoria, Australia, but is not accessible to the public.  I have a photo that I took back in 1998 somewhere.  I believe that the one there is the same vehicle that I saw back in 1972 in the Hunter River area of New South Wales, parked by the roadside.  A Citizen Military Force (ie Army Reserve) unit was equipped with these: the Northern River Lancers...  how anyone would operate a lance from an LVT-4 is anyone's guess: but there arte few references, this is an interesting one:

 

http://www.environme...spx?siteid=1155

 

Landing Vehicle Tracked (LVT4) History | Database | Links | Print History

The 15th Northern Rivers Lancers Regiment was undertaking training manouvres at Stockton on 8 March 1954. The flotilla headed out to sea from Wave Trap Beach near Camp Shortland to the Mungo Brush area to the north, near Port Stephens. Rising bad weather and high seas lead to the sinking of five LVT(a)4s, one LVT4, and two DUKWs, with three lives lost. One of the LVT4s has been located underwater in 30 metres, and is the focus of limited recreational diving visitation. This was a significant peacetime loss of life and equipment.

The LVTs, short for Landing Vehicle Tracked Mk IV, were amphibious assault vehicles built during 1943-5, and first used in the Pacific Theatre during World War II. They were nicknamed the "Water Buffalo".

 

 

Database
Site information Site ID: 1155     Type: Amphibious craft Construction: Steel Primary industry: Defence Sub-industry: army Gross tonnage: 18.1 Net tonnage:   Length (mtrs): 7.95 Beam (mtrs): 3.25 Draft (mtrs): 3.1 Cargo: Ammunition Engine: Continental W-670-9A 7 cylinder 4 cycle radial gasoline 250hp Country built: UNITED STATES State built:   Port built:   builder:   Port registered:   When built: 1944 Registration number:   Official number:   Sources: www.lancers.org.au Comments: The 15th Northern Rivers Lancers Regiment was undertaking training manouvres at Stockton. Bad weather lead to the sinking of five LVT(a)4s, one LVT4, and two DUKWs with three lives lost. Lost event When lost: 1954/03/08 Where lost: Newcastle Bight, Stockton Beach Wrecked/Refloated: Foundered Sinking: Training exercise From port: Camp Shortland, Stockton To port: Morna Point/ Broughton Island Master:   Owner: Australian Army - 15th Northern River Lancers Crew: 6 Passengers:   Crew deaths: 0 Passenger deaths: 0 Total deaths: 0     Location Maximum latitude: 32.87144431 Minimum latitude:   Maximum longitude: 151.9161161 Minimum longitude:   Datum used: GDA94       Datum    Latitude    Longitude    Zone    Easting    Northing AGD66 32.87144922632040 151.91611610000000 56 398598.63313503700000 13637569.16056910000000 AGD84 32.87144922632040 151.91611610000000 56 398598.63313503700000 13637569.16056910000000 GDA94 32.87144434167660 151.91611610000000 56 398598.99565538400000 13637556.00342670000000 WGS84 32.87144434081610 151.91611610000000 56 398598.99565489400000 13637556.00343280000000 Management Found: Yes Inspected: NO Protected: NSW Heritage Act 1977 Jurisdiction: State Protection notes:   Signage:   Web address:  
Links
Unidentified LVT

  There are currently no links associated with this site.

 

 

Thanks Doug. Im ashamed to admit my knowledge of Australian Regiments is limited to the Royal Australian Rifles and the 1st Armoured Regiment. I guess you have a fit of amalgamations, just like we did.


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#39 2805662

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Posted 17 February 2018 - 0418 AM

 
Thanks Doug. Im ashamed to admit my knowledge of Australian Regiments is limited to the Royal Australian Rifles and the 1st Armoured Regiment. I guess you have a fit of amalgamations, just like we did.


*Royal Australian Regiment, not Rifles. It is unusual as it has had up to nine battalions at one time (currently has seven battalions active: 1 RAR, 2 RAR (Amphib), 3 RAR, 5 RAR, 6 RAR, 7 RAR, 8/9 RAR).
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#40 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 17 February 2018 - 0712 AM

Gah, you see, Ignorant Brit again. :)

 

In a strange example of syncronicity (this seems to keep happening with this magazine), the latest After the Battle Magazine has a feature the Port Stephens Amphibious Training Centre in Australia. Photos seem to be all of Landing Craft, but ill let you know if it says anything about LVT's.


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