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


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#1 Gavin-Phillips

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 1446 PM

A bit of a strange question maybe, but I've recently found a few clips of the 2010 TV series Pacific on youtube which revolves around a number of young Marines deployed to various combat zones in the Pacific Theatre.  There's a few good scenes of LVT's being used (both LVT-4's and the turret version armed with the 75mm howitzer (either LVT(A)-4 or LVT(A)-5).

 

Anyway, I was wondering what is supposed to happen with these kinds of amphibious assault vehicles once they reach the shoreline and the troops disembark.  Do they continue the fight and support the infantry with their own weapons or do they return to the landing ships to be reloaded again?  Surely a later AAV like the LVTP5 is unsuitable for supporting infantry on land?  It would make a rather large and thinly armoured target - probably more so than an AAV7A1.  I can imagine the turreted variants would be able to better assist the infantry especially in terrain unsuitable for conventional tanks or other armour.

 

So what is the typical function of these early Amtracs (and their successor LVTP5) once the initial landing phase is over?

 

 


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#2 shep854

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 1807 PM

They continue as APCs.


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#3 rmgill

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 1808 PM

They go back to the ship with casualties and get more Marines or supply. During the assault phases, anything big can't be expected to get into short and deposit material supply so the LVTs and Landing Craft work back and forth. 


Some of the specialized units had assault equipment which would stay and fight. 

Marine_flame_thrower_LVT_Amtrac_in_actio

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#4 rmgill

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 1809 PM

Hmm. Were they that ideal as APC's given how large they were as vehicles once ashore? 


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#5 Richard Lindquist

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 1958 PM

In WWII, they were more valuable for resupply and bringing in reinforcements than to be used as APCs.  The weapons versions were used ashore, but their thin skins made them very vulnerable.  Siince you would need them for the next landing after this one, you didn't want to waste them.


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#6 JasonJ

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 2021 PM

I think the assualt versions were made to help the immediate fight near the landing zone in order to help the marines get past the initial beach. For fighting deeper in, would make more sense for the marines to just wait for M4s to arrive. Also, I recall on a couple of the landings that the US wanted the islands to be secured quickly, so the assualt LVTs might have been seen as a way to help speed up taking control of the island. Well I don't directly know,TBH. One more factor might have been availability of M4s. On Guadalcanal, they had only M2A4s, M3 lights, and halftracks with the 75mm. M4s came later. Perhaps M4 numbers were still short on availabilty so maybe assualt LVTs might have helped fill up the role for mobile fire support. LVTs also likely had better performance in getting out of the water onto the beach. I think there were some examples of M4s getting stuck short of getting on the beach.

Edited by JasonJ, 13 February 2018 - 2022 PM.

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#7 shep854

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 2334 PM

Ah. I was thinking of current use.
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#8 Gavin-Phillips

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 1302 PM

Thank you for the replies.  

 

I can easily imagine that especially in the Pacific theatre of operations, the ground conditions could/would be difficult for conventional armour and the mobility of the LVT's with the 75mm howitzers would have been better than nothing as far as infantry support goes - despite their thin armour making them a bit on the vulnerable side.  

 

Thanks once again and that's a fantastic picture of an LVT(A)-4 (or -5 maybe), rmgill.  The Pacific TV mini-series featured a few (or maybe the same vehicle over and over) of those supporting the advance of the marines on-land which is what inspired me to ask this question.


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#9 rmgill

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 1324 PM

I think it was a few of the same vehicles over and over. I'm pretty sure the LVT at VMMV was contracted for use as I have seen Marc post on social media photos from either the Pacific where he was there to tend to a few of the vehicles (on reflection, perhaps it was Eastwoods Iwo Jima Dual Movie set (Flags of our Fathers and Letters from Iwo). Either way, there's not a lot running around still, and they're a bear to move since they're so large and wide. I think Flags/Letters was filmed in Iceland... for the volcanic sand beaches. 


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#10 shep854

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 1325 PM

I think it was a few of the same vehicles over and over. I'm pretty sure the LVT at VMMV was contracted for use as I have seen Marc post on social media photos from either the Pacific where he was there to tend to a few of the vehicles (on reflection, perhaps it was Eastwoods Iwo Jima Dual Movie set (Flags of our Fathers and Letters from Iwo). Either way, there's not a lot running around still, and they're a bear to move since they're so large and wide. I think Flags/Letters was filmed in Iceland... for the volcanic sand beaches. 

Similar climate as well.


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#11 rmgill

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 1345 PM

Is it? I'd suspect that Iceland being quite a bit more northerly would be bloody cold in comparison.
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#12 shep854

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 1400 PM

At the time of the landings, Iwo was pretty chilly.  You're right, of course; I thought Iwo was farther north.  In my mind's eye, I always had the Marianas and Iwo more due east of Japan, even after all the years of looking at Pacific maps. 


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#13 Rick

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 1652 PM

Hmm. Were they that ideal as APC's given how large they were as vehicles once ashore? 

By the look of the treads in the photo, I don't see alot of apc use from these vehicles. Looks good for pushing against water though.


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#14 rmgill

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 1726 PM

Yeah. I guess they work ok on firm ground. They do however tend to REALLY tear up turf. I suspect the wear rate is rather high on firm ground. 

VMMV/Alan Cors' LVT-4 in Nokesville, VA. 
 

lvt4idler.jpg


lvt4int.jpg


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#15 Jeff

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 1830 PM

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.


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#16 rmgill

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 1857 PM

I guess this thread needs video..





Edited by rmgill, 14 February 2018 - 1902 PM.

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#17 rmgill

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 1859 PM


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#18 rmgill

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 1901 PM


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#19 Al

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 1947 PM

Weren't they also useful for getting over reefs?


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#20 rmgill

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 2050 PM

I suspect they were. I can't recall which landings that the landing craft got stuck, but the LVT's were able to climb up and over and then traverse the lagoons in between. 


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