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Thread: The Amtank

  1. #1
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    Default The Amtank

    How effective were they in combat?

    And how come they were not used in Italy or Normandy?

    The Story of Armored Amphibians

    The First Armored Amphibian Battalion was built around an extraordinary, now almost forgotten, vehicle, the amphibious tank. This vehicle and weapon came into being in World War II, played a very special role in combat, and then faded into history. It was called variously, an armored amphibian, amphibious tank, or amtank. And in the Equipment Tables it was designated the LVTA, for Landing Vehicle, Tracked (Armored). It is not entirely accurate to call our strange vehicle a seagoing tank, but we regularly went ashore from over two miles out to sea, and could also maneuver on land. That made us amphibious.
    ...
    --Marineamphibians.com





  2. #2
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    Default Re: The Amtank

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    How effective were they in combat?
    Don't know about Army operations, but the Marines in the Pacific seemed to like having them around from the personal accounts I've read.

    I may be confusing it with some other event, but I seem to recall that in one of the island assaults (Peleliu?) somebody miscalculated tides or coral reef height or something and the tracked amphibs were grinding away on a reef or didn't land on it and this badly affected the assault. (Google's not as good as it's cracked up to be, or I'd be able to find whatever it is that's in my memory and post it and look like I know what I'm talking about. )

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    And how come they were not used in Italy or Normandy?
    Perhaps the ability to land troops closer to shore from larger vessels, because of the absence of coral reefs, made the amphibs less useful?

    The relative speed of the amphibs against the landing vessels in Europe might also be a factor, if the European vessels could get there quicker with less time exposure to defensive fire?



    --Marineamphibians.com




    [/QUOTE]
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

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    Default Re: The Amtank

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    Don't know about Army operations, but the Marines in the Pacific seemed to like having them around from the personal accounts I've read.

    I may be confusing it with some other event, but I seem to recall that in one of the island assaults (Peleliu?) somebody miscalculated tides or coral reef height or something and the tracked amphibs were grinding away on a reef or didn't land on it and this badly affected the assault. (Google's not as good as it's cracked up to be, or I'd be able to find whatever it is that's in my memory and post it and look like I know what I'm talking about. )
    A few more beers have lubricated my neural pathways.

    I think it was Tarawa and the Higgins boats got stuck on the coral reef because somebody forgot to allow for an unusually low tide, so the troops couldn't be landed on the beach as intended and this stuffed up the assault greatly.

    Google isn't helping by failing to supply anything detailed to support my new memory, but there seem to be enough references there to suggest that I'm on the right track.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

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    Default Re: The Amtank

    Does anyone have ww2 combat pictures of the turreted version ?
    It's the first time I see one with that. I always saw the ones without turrets and only machine guns

    But here's some pictures of one in the bottom. Thanks for the link!
    http://www.marineamphibians.com/marshalls.htm
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    Default Re: The Amtank

    Additional pictures of LVT-1s.
    source: http://ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USMC/USM...awa/index.html
    Still no luck with turrets yet!
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    Default Re: The Amtank

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    I think it was Tarawa and the Higgins boats got stuck on the coral reef because somebody forgot to allow for an unusually low tide, so the troops couldn't be landed on the beach as intended and this stuffed up the assault greatly.
    That's what I recall too - the Amphitracks were the only landing craft able to hit the beach because the Higgins boats were kept out by the coral and so the infantry had to try and wade across the lagoon to fight back. Unsurprisingly they got massacred when they tried.

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    Default Re: The Amtank

    I supposed their usefulness in Europe were limited as there would be only periodic need for for such vehicles --and they would be useless against panzers. The Amtank version of the LVT-1 was more than a match for most Japanese tanks however, as the majority were so small and thinly armored, that Shermans in the Pacific used HE rounds against them as AP would just pass through so quickly that they couldn't transfer energy for the kill without a direct hit on the engine, crew or ammo...

    I believe the British in Canadian armies used the "Buffalo" and the LVT(A)-4, with a "Ronson" flamethrower, variants of the LTVs to secure the Scheldt Estuaries around Antwerp that Monty initially missed...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landing_Vehicle_Tracked

    The Amtank used an M-3 Stuart/Honey turret...

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    Default Re: The Amtank

    Quote Originally Posted by pdf27 View Post
    That's what I recall too - the Amphitracks were the only landing craft able to hit the beach because the Higgins boats were kept out by the coral and so the infantry had to try and wade across the lagoon to fight back. Unsurprisingly they got massacred when they tried.
    The LVT were able to cross the reefs. They were designed to do that. But when they crawled across the shallow coral heads the front and sides were exposed to the Japanese AT guns and infantry guns.

    I dont have numbers for the dead & wounded in the lagoon vs on shore. The battle lasted roughly 60 hours & the total US dead were slightly over 1000. The three reinforced battalions in the first wave totaled slightly over 3000 men if memory serves correctly. They mostly waded and swam across 700-900 meters of water under fire from the MG, mortars, AT guns, and light infantry guns of the defenders. The one Japanese officer to survive is often quoted as saying "when I saw the enemy continuing to press forward and reach the shore I knew we had lost'.

    The main reinforcing group also crossed the lagoon a few hours later, A third group landed on a different beach outside the main lagoon. They were unable to link with the main landing until the next day.

    The actor Eddie Arnold was a USN Ensign commanding a landing craft section. When debarking his first boatload he saw the hundreds of wounded in the lagoon & on returning to his ship got permission to take some medical corpsmen and volunters back. He then led this crew into the water to pull wounded to safety, while under enemy fire. He made repeated trips back for the remainder of the day bringing in full loads of wounded and dead. Arnold was already a well know singer & entertainer & could have spent the war doing USO shows.

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    Default Re: The Amtank

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    I supposed their usefulness in Europe were limited as there would be only periodic need for for such vehicles --and they would be useless against panzers. The Amtank version of the LVT-1 was more than a match for most Japanese tanks however, as the majority were so small and thinly armored, that Shermans in the Pacific used HE rounds against them as AP would just pass through so quickly that they couldn't transfer energy for the kill without a direct hit on the engine, crew or ammo...

    I believe the British in Canadian armies used the "Buffalo" and the LVT(A)-4, with a "Ronson" flamethrower, variants of the LTVs to secure the Scheldt Estuaries around Antwerp that Monty initially missed...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landing_Vehicle_Tracked

    The Amtank used an M-3 Stuart/Honey turret...
    The British also used a 'brigade' of them in Italy, for the Po River crossing in 1945. The Germans had flooded the lower Po delta or marshlands along the coast. The Brits used the LVT, which they called the Buffalo, to flank the Po defense via the wetlands.

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    Default Re: The Amtank

    I think that because the PTO was a secondary theatre of war that the powers that be decided to not limit or impede the aquisition of LVT's to them because of the nature of the ground war there had to come from the sea so most of the LVT's went to the Pacific and not to the ETO. The ETO had fewer assault landing to contend with so they relied on the Higgins boat to deliver the troops and goods to the beaches and left the specialized LVT's to the Marines.

    LVT(A)-1 (1942, A stands for armored)
    Based on the LVT-2, this fire support version had an armored (6 to 12 mm) hull. It was fitted with a turret nearly identical to that of the Light Tank M3, with a 37 mm Gun M6 in mount M44, and also carried two rear-mounted machine guns. 510 units produced.

    LVT-4
    Although usually associated with the Pacific theatre, toward the end of the war LVTs were employed in Europe as well. The US, British and Canadian Army used the Buffalo in the Battle of the Scheldt, during the Operation Plunder, along the Po River, across the river Elbe and in a number of other river crossing operations.

    LVT(A)-4 (1944)
    Another fire support version, with 75 mm Howitzer Motor Carriage M8 turret armed with a 75 mm howitzer, in some cases replaced with the Canadian Ronson flamethrower. A single .50 cal machine gun was installed on the ring mount above the turret rear. In the late production vehicles the heavy machine gun was replaced with two M1919A4 .30 MGs on pintle mounts and one more in the bow mount. 1,890 units produced

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    Default Re: The Amtank

    I keep seeing photgraphs of these, purportedly taken on the beaches in Normandy. The terrain & uniforms in the photos does not contradict this. Is there any information on what unit had these & how many there might have been? My guess is some support unit was using them as logistics/utility vehicals.

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    Default Re: The Amtank

    I think the info here is pretty conclusive.

    http://www.mapleleafup.org/forums/sh...ad.php?t=12368

    They were at Normandy in June

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    Default Re: The Amtank

    Pulling out of the archives. Thanks for the replies...

    Coincidentally, I was watching something on the Military/History Channel last night that stated that none of these vehicles were used at Normandy. But we can consider the source as questionable of course...

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