Landing craft are boats and seagoing vessels used to convey a landing force from the sea to the shore during an amphibious assault. Most renowned are those used to storm the beaches of Normandy, the Mediterranean and this was the high point of the landing craft, with a significant number of different designs produced in large quantities by the United Kingdom and United States. Because of the need to run up onto a beach, World War II landing craft were flat-bottomed. This made them difficult to control and very uncomfortable in rough seas, the control point was normally at the extreme rear of the vessel, as were the engines. In all cases, they were known by a derived from the official name rather than by the full title. In the days of sail, the boats were used as landing craft. They transported 1,200 men in the first landing and took on board 600 men in less than 2 hours for the second landing, during World War I, the mass mobilization of troops equipped with rapid-fire weapons quickly rendered such boats obsolete.
Initial landings during the Gallipoli campaign took place in unmodified rowing boats that were vulnerable to attack from the Turkish shore defenses. In February 1915, orders were placed for the design of purpose built landing craft, a design was created in four days resulting in an order for 200 X Lighters with a spoon-shaped bow to take shelving beaches and a drop down frontal ramp. The first use took place after they had been towed to the Aegean and performed successfully in the 6 August landing at Suvla Bay of IX Corps, commanded by Commander Edward Unwin. X Lighters, known to the soldiers as Beetles, carried about 500 men, displaced 135 tons and were based on London barges being 105 feet 6 inches long,21 feet wide, the engines mainly ran on heavy oil and ran at a speed of approximately 5 knots. The sides of the ships were bulletproof, and was designed with a ramp on the bow for disembarkation, a plan was devised to land British heavy tanks from pontoons in support of the Third Battle of Ypres, but this was abandoned.
Despite this outlook, the British produced the Motor Landing Craft in 1920, the craft could put a medium tank directly onto a beach. From 1924, it was used with landing boats in annual exercises in amphibious landings, a prototype motor landing craft, designed by J. Samuel White of Cowes, was built and first sailed in 1926. It weighed 16 tons and had an appearance, having a square bow. To prevent fouling of the propellers in a craft destined to spend time in surf and possibly be beached, a crude waterjet propulsion system was devised by Whites designers. A Hotchkiss petrol engine drove a pump which produced a jet of water, pushing the craft ahead or astern. Speed was 5-6 knots and its capacity was good
16th Infantry Regiment (United States)
The 16th Infantry Regiment is a regiment in the United States Army. The 16th Infantry was constituted as the 1st Battalion, 11th U. S and it was redesignated as the 11th Infantry Regiment in 1866 and consolidated with the 34th Infantry on 3 March 1869 to form today’s 16th Infantry Regiment. Infantry was initially organized at Fort Independence, Massachusetts, in the summer and that October, the regiment was transferred to Perryville, Maryland, to prepare for Major General George B. McClellan’s upcoming spring campaign on the Virginia Peninsula, the regiment participated in the Second Battle of Bull Run in August. This clash was quickly followed in succession by the involvement at the Battle of Antietam, the Battle of Shepherdstown. In December 1862, the regiment fought at the Battle of Fredericksburg, a month later, the 1st Battalion, 11th U. S. Infantry fought what was arguably its most significant action of the war at Gettysburg, following the Civil War the 16th took part in the reconstruction of the south and performed duty on the frontier-the Indian Wars.
The 16th participated in the capture of San Juan Hill with the V Corps, the 16th fought in the Philippine–American War. It fought 27 engagements with the part of its activities concentrated against the rebels in the Cagayan Valley. In July 1912, the 16th Infantry returned from its tour in the Philippines for duty at the Presidio of San Francisco. On arrival in April 1914, the regiment was posted to Camp Cotton in the city of El Paso, for the next two years, in addition to the normal garrison duties, the troops conducted foot patrols along the dusty Mexican border. In March 1916, Villa raided Columbus, New Mexico, which, in turn, assembling a largely cavalry force, Pershing selected two infantry regiments to accompany the Pancho Villa expedition, the 16th and 6th Infantry Regiments. The long march into the interior of Mexico was hot and dusty, after several weeks of movement between Colonia Dublán and El Valle, the 16th Infantry finally settled in the latter place in June. There the soldiers built mud huts for quarters and returned to a garrison routine, except for occasional patrols into the nearby mountains.
Though the cavalry had several clashes with Villista and federal forces, in February 1917, Wilson recalled Pershing’s expedition from Mexico. As such, it was among the first four American regiments to arrive on French soil in World War I, soon after the regiment’s arrival, the 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry was selected to show the flag and parade through Paris on the 4th of July 1917. Prior to being committed to battle, the 16th Infantry Regiment, began training in July 1917 in the Gondrecourt area with the French 47th Division, Chasseaurs d’Alpines, nicknamed the “Blue Devils. ”Throughout the summer and fall the training went apace and soon it was time for exposure to actual combat. In the months that followed, the 16th Infantry would sustain even more casualties in battles at Ansauville, Cantigny
1st Infantry Division (United States)
The 1st Infantry Division is a combined arms division of the United States Army, and is the oldest continuously serving in the Regular Army. It has seen service since its organization in 1917 during World War I. It was officially nicknamed The Big Red One after its shoulder patch and is nicknamed The Fighting First, the division has received troop monikers of The Big Dead One and The Bloody First as puns on the respective officially-sanctioned nicknames. It is currently based at Fort Riley, sibert, from Army units in service on the U. S. -Mexico border and at various Army posts throughout the United States. The total authorized strength of this TO&E was 18,919 officers, George S. Frank W. Coe, who served as Chief of Coast Artillery, was the divisions first chief of staff. The first units sailed from New York City and Hoboken, New Jersey on 14 June 1917, throughout the remainder of the year, the rest of the division followed, landing at St. Nazaire and Liverpool, England. After a brief stay in rest camps, the troops in England proceeded to France, the last unit arrived in St.
Nazaire 22 December. Upon arrival in France, the division, less its artillery, was assembled in the First training area, on 4 July, the 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry, paraded through the streets of Paris to bolster the sagging French spirits. At Lafayettes tomb, Captain C. E. Stanton of the 16th Infantry Regiment stepped forward and said, two days later,6 July, First Expeditionary Division was redesignated as Headquarters, First Division. The total authorized strength of this new TO&E was 27,120 officers, on the morning of 23 October, the first American shell of the war was fired toward German lines by a First Division artillery unit. Two days later, the 2nd Battalion of the 16th Infantry suffered the first American casualties of the war, by April 1918, the Germans had pushed to within 40 miles of Paris. In reaction to this thrust, the Big Red One moved into the Picardy Sector to bolster the exhausted French First Army, to the divisions front lay the small village of Cantigny, situated on the high ground overlooking a forested countryside.
The 28th Infantry Regiment attacked the town, and within 45 minutes captured it along with 250 German soldiers and it was the first American victory of the war. The 28th was thereafter named the Black Lions of Cantigny, Soissons was taken by the First Division in July 1918. The Soissons victory was costly –700 men were killed or wounded, the First Infantry helped to clear the St. Mihiel salient by fighting continuously from 11 to 13 September 1918. The last major World War I battle was fought in the Meuse-Argonne Forest, the division advanced seven kilometers and defeated, in whole or part, eight German divisions. This victory was due to the efforts of George C. Marshall, who at the time was a captain in the 1st Division and organized soldiers movements, the war was over when the Armistice was signed
USS Samuel Chase (APA-26)
USS Samuel Chase, launched as SS African Meteor, was an Arthur Middleton class attack transport manned by the United States Coast Guard during World War II. She was named after Samuel Chase, a signatory to the Declaration of Independence, Samuel Chase participated in all five of the major U. S. She was decommissioned in February 1947, laid up in the James River in Norfolk, struck from the Navy register in October 1958 and she remained in the James River Reserve Fleet until sold for scrap in May 1973. The ship was laid down under Maritime Commission contract on 31 August 1940 as a Maritime Commission type hull at Ingalls Shipbuilding, Mississippi. African Meteor was launched on 23 August 1941, sponsored by Mrs. Theresa Murray, acquired by the Navy on 5 February 1942, the Chase got underway for Little Creek, Virginia. The engine room broke down just inside Cape May, NJ, through the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal and it broke down again. This time it took three days to get them running, after months of drills and training at Little Creek, Samuel Chase sailed from Hampton Roads on 18 September 1942.
The first stop was Halifax, Canada to join up with a convoy and arrived at Belfast, Northern Ireland. On 26 October, she sailed from Greenock, Scotland, as flagship for the landings at Algiers, en route, she was narrowly missed by a torpedo in the same attack that disabled the attack transport, USS Thomas Stone. This was her first of several brushes with disaster under persistent enemy air. The goal of Operation Torch was the capture of the airfields and ports of North Africa to allow the allies to continue operations from the ground, from the air. This was to be accomplished within 24 hours in a three-pronged assault commencing on 8 November 1942, while the landings were taking place off Morocco, the Samuel Chase under the command of Commander Roger C. Heimer, landed the first troops just east of Algiers shortly after midnight, the Samuel Chase remained off the beach for three days before entering the harbor of Algiers. While lying off Algeries the expeditions transports were attacked daily first by bombers, German JU-88s came in with torpedoes, one passed under Chases anchor chain and hit a Navy transport astern taking out her rudder and screws.
The Chases gun crews shot down two JU-88s after they dropped their torpedoes and came down its starboard side about 100 feet away, both of the aircraft crashed on the beach. The landing craft maintained their runs to the beach despite the attacks, the immense size of the Chase made her look formidable to the attacking aircraft and thus she received a disproportianate amount of the enemys attention. The crewmen of the Coast Guard manned transport were commended by the British for their defense and were credited with shooting down three planes. So intense was the fire that the British nicknamed the Chase the Battleship, the transport sailed on 12 November with a convoy to the United Kingdom to pick up reinforcements, which were disembarked at Algiers on 6 December
Omaha Beach was the code name for one of the five sectors of the Allied invasion of German-occupied France in the Normandy landings on 6 June 1944, during World War II. On D-Day, the untested 29th Infantry Division, along with nine companies of U. S. Army Rangers redirected from Pointe du Hoc, were to assault the western half of the beach, the battle-hardened 1st Infantry Division was given the eastern half. The initial assault waves, consisting of tanks and combat forces, were carefully planned to reduce the coastal defenses. Opposing the landings was the German 352nd Infantry Division, of the 12,020 men of the division,6,800 were experienced combat troops, detailed to defend a 53-kilometer front. The Germans were largely deployed in strongpoints along the coast—the German strategy was based on defeating any seaborne assault at the water line, very little went as planned during the landing at Omaha. Difficulties in navigation caused the majority of landing craft to miss their targets throughout the day, the defenses were unexpectedly strong, and inflicted heavy casualties on landing U. S. troops.
Under heavy fire, the engineers struggled to clear the beach obstacles, weakened by the casualties taken just in landing, the surviving assault troops could not clear the heavily defended exits off the beach. This caused further problems and consequent delays for landings, small penetrations were eventually achieved by groups of survivors making improvised assaults, scaling the bluffs between the most heavily defended points. Omaha was bounded at either end by large rocky cliffs, the crescent-shaped beach presented a gently sloping tidal area averaging 300 m between low and high-water marks. Above the tide line was a bank of shingle 2.5 m high, at the western end, the shingle bank rested against a stone sea wall which ranged from 1. 5–4 m in height. For the remaining two thirds of the beach after the seawall ended, the shingle lay against a low sand embankment, the German defensive preparations and the lack of any defense in depth indicated that their plan was to stop the invasion at the beaches.
Four lines of obstacles were constructed in the intertidal zone,30 meters behind these was a continuous line of logs driven into the sand pointing seaward, every third one capped with an anti-tank mine. The final line of obstacles was a line of hedgehogs 150 meters from the shoreline. The area between the bank and the bluffs was both wired and mined, and mines were scattered on the bluff slopes. Positions within each strongpoint were interconnected by trenches and tunnels, as well as the basic weaponry of rifles and machine guns, more than 60 light artillery pieces were deployed at these strongpoints. The heaviest pieces were located in eight gun casemates and four open positions while the guns were housed in 35 pillboxes. A further 18 anti-tank guns completed the disposition of artillery targeting the beach, areas between the strongpoints were lightly manned with occasional trenches, rifle pits, and 85 machine-gun emplacements. No area of the beach was left uncovered, and the disposition of weapons meant that flanking fire could be brought to bear anywhere along the beach, Allied intelligence had identified the coastal defenders as a reinforced battalion of the 716th Infantry Division
United States Coast Guard
The United States Coast Guard is a branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the countrys seven uniformed services. This has happened twice, in 1917, during World War I, created by Congress on 4 August 1790 at the request of Alexander Hamilton as the Revenue Marine, it is the oldest continuous seagoing service of the United States. As Secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton headed the Revenue Marine, by the 1860s, the service was known as the U. S. Revenue Cutter Service and the term Revenue Marine gradually fell into disuse, the modern Coast Guard was formed by a merger of the Revenue Cutter Service and the U. S. Life-Saving Service on 28 January 1915, under the U. S. Department of the Treasury. As one of the five armed services, the Coast Guard has been involved in every U. S. war from 1790 to the Iraq War. As of 2014 the Coast Guard had over 36,000 men and women on duty,7,350 reservists,29,620 auxiliarists. In terms of size, the U. S. Coast Guard by itself is the worlds 12th largest naval force.
Because of its authority, the Coast Guard can conduct military operations under the U. S. Department of Defense or directly for the President in accordance with Title 14 USC 1–3. The Coast Guards enduring roles are maritime safety, security, to carry out those roles, it has 11 statutory missions as defined in 6 U. S. C. §468, which include enforcing U. S. law in the worlds largest exclusive economic zone of 3.4 million square miles, the Coast Guards motto is the Latin phrase, Semper Paratus. In a 2005 article in Time magazine following Hurricane Katrina, the author wrote, the Coast Guards most valuable contribution to may be as a model of flexibility, and most of all, spirit. Wil Milam, a swimmer from Alaska told the magazine, In the Navy. Practicing for war, training for war, in the Coast Guard, it was, take care of our people and the mission will take care of itself. The Coast Guard carries out three basic roles, which are subdivided into eleven statutory missions. Both agencies maintain rescue coordination centers to coordinate this effort, and have responsibility for military and civilian search and rescue.
The two services jointly provide instructor staff for the National Search and Rescue School that trains SAR mission planners and coordinators, previously located on Governors Island, New York, the school is now located at Coast Guard Training Center Yorktown at Yorktown, Virginia. The NRC takes Maritime Suspicious Activity and Security Breach Reports, details on the NRC organization and specific responsibilities can be found in the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan. The Marine Information for Safety and Law Enforcement database system is managed and used by the Coast Guard for tracking pollution, the five uniformed services that make up the U. S
Invasion of Normandy
The Western Allies of World War II launched the largest amphibious invasion in history when they assaulted Normandy, located on the northern coast of France, on 6 June 1944. The invaders were able to establish a beachhead as part of Operation Overlord after a successful D-Day, Allied land forces came from the United States, Britain and Free French forces. The Normandy invasion began with overnight parachute and glider landings, massive air attacks, the invasion began and during the evening the remaining elements of the airborne divisions landed. Land forces used on D-Day sailed from bases along the south coast of England, Allied forces rehearsed their D-Day roles for months before the invasion. On 28 April 1944, in south Devon on the English coast,749 U. S. soldiers and sailors were killed when German torpedo boats surprised one of these landing exercises, Exercise Tiger. In the months leading up to the invasion, the Allied forces conducted an operation, Operation Fortitude, aimed at misleading the Germans with respect to the date.
There were several leaks prior to or on D-Day, through the Cicero affair, the Germans obtained documents containing references to Overlord, but these documents lacked all detail. Double Cross agents, such as the Spaniard Juan Pujol, played an important role in convincing the German High Command that Normandy was at best a diversionary attack. After being told, Eisenhower reduced Miller to lieutenant colonel and sent him back to the U. S. where he retired, another such leak was General Charles de Gaulles radio message after D-Day. He, unlike all the leaders, stated that this invasion was the real invasion. This had the potential to ruin the Allied deceptions Fortitude North, in contrast, Gen. Eisenhower referred to the landings as the initial invasion. A full moon occurred on 6 June, Allied Expeditionary Force Supreme Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower had tentatively selected 5 June as the date for the assault. The weather was fine during most of May, but deteriorated in early June, the Allied troop convoys already at sea were forced to take shelter in bays and inlets on the south coast of Britain for the night.
It seemed possible that everything would have to be cancelled and the returned to their embarkation camps. The next full moon period would be nearly a month away, at a vital meeting on 5 June, Eisenhowers chief meteorologist forecast a brief improvement for 6 June. Commander of all forces for the invasion General Bernard Montgomery. Commander of the Allied Air Forces Air Chief Marshal Leigh Mallory was doubtful, on the strength of Staggs forecast, Eisenhower ordered the invasion to proceed. As a result, prevailing overcast skies limited Allied air support, some troops stood down and many senior officers were away for the weekend