LVT and D Day

Discussions on WW2 in Western Europe & the Atlantic.
LineDoggie
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Re: LVT and D Day

Post by LineDoggie » 22 Jan 2021 01:19

Richard Anderson wrote:
21 Jan 2021 21:27



which was in June 1944 the run-of-the-mill LVT was unprotected versus rifle rounds.




A 1944 LVT-4 had Applique armor kits with .5 inch armor on the front glacis and .25 to the sides

LVT-(A)2 also had applique of the same level protection

to put in perspective the M3 Halftrack had the same thicknesses of armor
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Richard Anderson
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Re: LVT and D Day

Post by Richard Anderson » 22 Jan 2021 03:01

LineDoggie wrote:
22 Jan 2021 01:19
A 1944 LVT-4 had Applique armor kits with .5 inch armor on the front glacis and .25 to the sides
Indeed, but it reduced the useful cargo load by 3,000 pounds and only protected the cab and sides. Typically only the cab was armored in practice to save weight. It's why even though rated at 24 full loaded troops the normal combat load was 20. Worse, it simply wasn't much protection. At Pelieliu, 27 of 72 "armored" amphibians were lost in the first hours of the assault as were 38 of 203 LVT-2 and -4. So 37.5% of the truly armored versus 18.7% of the more lightly armored. Or 65 of 275 amphibians, 23.6%. For the LVT with applique armor, wherever the armor wasn't, they were protected by 14 gauge sheet metal.
LVT-(A)2 also had applique of the same level protection
You are thinking of the LVT-2. The LVT-(A)2 was the same armored hull as the LVT-(A)1 and LVT(A)-4, but without the turret. They were produced specifically for the Army, all of 450 of them, 200 at the end of 1943 and 250 in early 1944. It was discontinued because it had no real benefits over the LVT-2 and was dangerously overloaded when a full load of 20 troops were aboard.

To put it in perspective, at Saipan, 86 LVT-(A)4, 52 LVT-(A)1, 378 LVT-2 and (A)2, and 215 LVT-4 were available, which is probably the maximum that could be made available for Normandy. That's enough for nearly 10,000 troops in the assault...except the ability to assault land about 33,000 was what was needed for Normandy. Worse, from the U.S. Army perspective it would make it even harder to form boat teams from the rifle and weapons companies than did the 30-31 man limit of the LCVP and the LCA.
to put in perspective the M3 Halftrack had the same thicknesses of armor
And were also never intended as an assault armored vehicle.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

Carl Schwamberger
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Re: LVT and D Day

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 22 Jan 2021 04:29

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
21 Jan 2021 19:50
Its It is correct the LVT were largely hors combat at Betio, at the end of the day. But, also at the end of the day there is a considerable contrast between the battalions that were carried in by the LVT & those that had to wade across the 600 to 700 meters of reef. Aside from the fewer casualties crossing the reef the boat teams in the LVT were more likely to remain intact as cohesive squads & sections when they reached the seawall & were able to organized into companies and battalions quickly.
Richard Anderson wrote:
21 Jan 2021 21:27
Not exactly. On Betio the landing of 2/8 on RED 3 was least affected, losing an estimated 25 casualties in the landing, but not because of the protection of the LVT. It was the long pier that sheltered the LVT and Marines from the fire of the "Pocket", which was the best defended sector of the beach. On Red 2, 2/2 was massacred, losing its battalion commander, five of six officers in Easy Company, half of Fox Company, and badly shooting up Golf Company. On Red 1, half of King and Item were gone two hours into the battle and 3/2 had lost 17 of 37 officers.
Which is long after the LVT departed to reload. My analysis is strictly in getting the assault across the exposed beach, reef, marsh, wherever, to the first covered position. The seawall or shingle in both cases. That was the value of the LVT.
Those who waded the reef were hard pressed to stick together in tiny fire teams & the companies were disorganized and at a level of shock when they reached the seawall.
Richard Anderson wrote:
21 Jan 2021 21:27
The seawall is the problem...the LVT could not cross it and many got hung up in the attempt.
Where did I refer to crossing the shingle? Again: My analysis is strictly in getting the assault across the exposed beach, reef, marsh, wherever, to the first covered position.
Preserving the LVT by not using them as assault vehicles strikes me as not providing fire support in order to preserve ammunition.
Richard Anderson wrote:
21 Jan 2021 21:27
Not my point at all, which was in June 1944 the run-of-the-mill LVT was unprotected versus rifle rounds.
At close range. I've fired enough rounds at assorted thickness and grades of steel to understand that beyond 50 to 100 meters lead rifle caliber rounds deflect and ricochet. Even below 50 meters the bullet strike needs to be pretty close to 90 degrees to not slide off even 5mm steel. I've watched 5.56mm rounds from a M16 shot though common structural steel 14mm thick, but those struck at a perfectly oblique angle. At 70 degree angles full penetration was problematic & 60 degrees we did not observe any. Yes the AP rounds were a problem, but we see at Betio eight LVT out of 90 catastrophicly penetrated on the run into the beach. The rest of the LVT losses occurred on the withdrawal & return trips. Part of that may have had something to do with the less protected rear, with the open back of the cab. The weight of Japanese fires on the initial assault carried in the LVT did not inflict the same level of losses and disruption as on the less protected men wading across the 600+ meter reef.
I suppose we can put up a big map on the wall, mark out the fields of fire for the AT weapons, the probable route in to the WN of the assault units, and try to guess who gets flank shot and what the exposure time is. The armor value is hardly worth calculating as protection from the 5 & 7.5 cm caliber guns. What probably matters more is how many AT guns cover a approach to a WN & how much exposure time there is between entering the field of fire and disembarkation point at the shingle. Sixty seconds or two minutes from exiting the surf & cross to the shingle is not a lot of time for hitting moving targets. (Using a speed of 5 MPH for crossing the beach. 140 meters per minute at 5 MPH.)
Richard Anderson wrote:
21 Jan 2021 21:27
I already did, 12 years or so ago.


Wish I had been paid to do history. snif. In the past decade just reading some books has cost me income. Hopefully thats over & maybe I can pin a big map on my wall :)
Richard Anderson wrote:
21 Jan 2021 21:27
The problem for LVT on OMAHA was that they were no more maneuverable than the tanks, which hung up on the seawalls, the various groins, and on the shingle. And, yet again, they don't need to be AT guns, heavy machine gun and even rifle fire was deadly to the LVT. OMAHA had the further complication of the seaward obstacles not found at Betio except as the reef affected the approach. Then there were the antitank barriers and bluffs further complicating the problem, in many cases the WN simply weren't closely accessible to the LVT or tanks.
Again: My analysis is strictly in getting the assault across the exposed beach, reef, marsh, wherever, to the first covered position. I've argued nowhere for the LVT as a armored assault vehicle. Basically its a boat that can cross 300 meters of exposed sand and gravel beach in 30 to sixty seconds. Thats a a lot less exposure than the assault teams had trying to run across the beach.
Richard Anderson wrote:
21 Jan 2021 21:27
Nor would it really make much sense to replace the tanks with lightly armored LVT (A)
No argument there. In the Pacific the tanks were supplemented with MG & cannon armed LVT, but not replaced. The LVT weapons were to provide suppressive fires on their final run to the beach, something the tanks could not do well. The tanks were to do fire support above the surf line, something the LVT could not really do. They two over lapped a bit on the beach, but they were fighting two different parts of the assault. Been nice if they could have done that on SWORD GOLD JUNO OMAHA UTAH beaches & a few other places along the Calvados & Cotientin coast.

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Re: LVT and D Day

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 22 Jan 2021 04:38

Richard Anderson wrote:
22 Jan 2021 03:01
... Worse, from the U.S. Army perspective it would make it even harder to form boat teams from the rifle and weapons companies than did the 30-31 man limit of the LCVP and the LCA.
The Army has always had difficulties organizing anything beyond a basic template. Imagine the conniption if they'd had to use whaleboats like the Marines used into the 1930s.

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Re: LVT and D Day

Post by Richard Anderson » 22 Jan 2021 17:19

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
22 Jan 2021 04:29
Which is long after the LVT departed to reload. My analysis is strictly in getting the assault across the exposed beach, reef, marsh, wherever, to the first covered position. The seawall or shingle in both cases. That was the value of the LVT.
It was? By my reading, many of those casualties to the infantry were recorded before they even debarked and while debarking, when they were especially exposed. Yes, they made it across the reef, but there was no reef in Normandy to cross. The exposed beach was also not crossed at Betio, given the beach they were landed on was badly exposed. In Normandy, crossing the exposed beach was valuable, but I doubt the LVT could have breached the beach obstacles any better than the landing craft, which was a complication not present at Betio. At Betio, the seawall was false security on RED 1 and 2 and was actually a killing zone. At Normandy, the shingle and seawall provided limited cover to the front, but were flanked, exposed to mortar and artillery fire, and too far from the German positions that needed to be assaulted to make them valuable.
Those who waded the reef were hard pressed to stick together in tiny fire teams & the companies were disorganized and at a level of shock when they reached the seawall.
Yes, but aside from Red 3, which landed in relatively good shape, none of the other LVT teams on Red 1 and 2 were in much better shape...the situation on Red 1 was potentially saved by tanks rather and sheer guts rather than by organized fire teams landed by LVT.
Where did I refer to crossing the shingle? Again: My analysis is strictly in getting the assault across the exposed beach, reef, marsh, wherever, to the first covered position
You referred to landing at the shingle... "What probably matters more is how many AT guns cover a approach to a WN & how much exposure time there is between entering the field of fire and disembarkation point at the shingle." The problem with that on Normandy was disembarking at the shingle wouldn't help, if the LVT were to be an asset they needed to be able to debark the assault teams closer to the WN, buttracked vehicles had major problems crossing the widespread shingle.
Preserving the LVT by not using them as assault vehicles strikes me as not providing fire support in order to preserve ammunition.
Sure, but then I never said that. Either you need enough LVT to land the landing force, which was impossible at Normandy, because at least three times the number available were needed. Or, you need to execute the revolving door plan as attempted at Betio, where the LVT were to retract, return across the reef, and then transfer more assault teams from LCP/LCVP to LVT...which did not work,
At close range. I've fired enough rounds at assorted thickness and grades of steel to understand that beyond 50 to 100 meters lead rifle caliber rounds deflect and ricochet.
Was that 14 gauge sheet steel? Yet again, except for the areas covered by the applique, the LVT was unprotected against rifle fire and adding the full applique armor set was problematic. Note also the evidence from Peliliu could be taken as showing the better protected LVT(A) were actually more vulnerable, but probably because they were firing back.
but we see at Betio eight LVT out of 90 catastrophicly penetrated on the run into the beach.
I hate to bring this up, but that was eight known lost on the run-in to Japanese gunfire, which the well-disciplined Japanese did not open up with until the LVT were approximately 150 yards from touchdown. In other words, in less than a minute before touchdown.
Wish I had been paid to do history. snif. In the past decade just reading some books has cost me income. Hopefully thats over & maybe I can pin a big map on my wall :)
I wasn't "paid" to do history at the time. I was paid to work for TRADOC, but was working and living in Newport News, far away from my distraction at Tysons Corner, so had time on my hands a lot. :lol:
Again: My analysis is strictly in getting the assault across the exposed beach, reef, marsh, wherever, to the first covered position. I've argued nowhere for the LVT as a armored assault vehicle. Basically its a boat that can cross 300 meters of exposed sand and gravel beach in 30 to sixty seconds. Thats a a lot less exposure than the assault teams had trying to run across the beach.
Except that isn't what it was able to do at Betio and it is unlikely it could have done it at many of the beaches at Normandy, certainly not OMAHA.
No argument there. In the Pacific the tanks were supplemented with MG & cannon armed LVT, but not replaced. The LVT weapons were to provide suppressive fires on their final run to the beach, something the tanks could not do well. The tanks were to do fire support above the surf line, something the LVT could not really do. They two over lapped a bit on the beach, but they were fighting two different parts of the assault. Been nice if they could have done that on SWORD GOLD JUNO OMAHA UTAH beaches & a few other places along the Calvados & Cotientin coast.
Indeed, I've long thought that a very good place for the LVT would have been after the landing, to outflank the German positions in the Cotentin via the Praries Marecageuses.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

Richard Anderson
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Re: LVT and D Day

Post by Richard Anderson » 22 Jan 2021 17:22

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
22 Jan 2021 04:38
The Army has always had difficulties organizing anything beyond a basic template. Imagine the conniption if they'd had to use whaleboats like the Marines used into the 1930s.
Well, they seem to have done just fine adapting to the Navy's surf boats...in 1847. Of course, there was no resistance on the beach... :lol:
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: LVT and D Day

Post by OpanaPointer » 26 Jan 2021 13:58

Haven't caught up on this thread but I did see mention of LVTs crossing the Rhine in the Marshall Cavendish books.
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Sheldrake
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Re: LVT and D Day

Post by Sheldrake » 26 Jan 2021 14:12

OpanaPointer wrote:
26 Jan 2021 13:58
Haven't caught up on this thread but I did see mention of LVTs crossing the Rhine in the Marshall Cavendish books.
flooded rhine
By March 1945 the British 79th Armoured Division had an armoured brigade of four regiments equipped with LVT4
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/79th_Armo ... d_Kingdom)

They had been used in the battles for Scheldt estuary in November 1944 and the flooded Rhineland plains of the Reichwald battles. A flooded landscape with many water obstacles was an ideal place to use LVT. No other craft or vehicle was as suitable. D Day was very different.

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Re: LVT and D Day

Post by OpanaPointer » 26 Jan 2021 15:08

I've heard of DD Shermans making the crossing, but that was in the dim, dark past.
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Re: LVT and D Day

Post by EwenS » 26 Jan 2021 16:59

The first use of the LVT Buffalo by British forces was on 8-12 Oct 1944 when 5 Assault Regt Royal Engineers carried troops of the Canadian 9th Infantry Brigade on their assault of the Breskens Pocket on the south side of the Scheldt estuary. On 1 Nov 1944 they were used again during Operation Infatuate II, the assault on Walcheren on the north side of the Scheldt estuary.

33rd Armoured Brigade then converted to them in early 1945 in time for the Rhine Crossing. There were also British units using them in Italy by April 1945 when it came to crossing Lake Commachio. There were also some supposed to have reached India by Aug 1945 but I’ve yet to track down the details.

Another not very well known British amphibious vehicle that was used from Oct 1944 was the 8 wheeled Terrapin.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrapi ... s_vehicle)

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