Military Review

“Do not just land, but also shoot when you go by the sea!”

That's how interesting it is история: during the Second World War, Soviet troops practically did not have to land amphibious landings, but our allies in the anti-Hitler coalition had to land them almost constantly. And it should be noted that the armed forces of the United States and Britain had in sufficient quantities a variety of amphibious. But each time they prepared for the next invasion, it turned out that most of these amphibious weapons did not have their own weapons. And it was required and even very much, because it simply did not succeed in suppressing all ship artillery support targets for the landing ship artillery! Therefore, willingly or not, but the army team had to improvise, often violating all the requirements and standards. And the problem of fire support of the landing from the sea was really very acute. After all, in order to destroy the unexpectedly revived machine-gun nest in a hundred meters of landing craft approaching the coast, it is not at all necessary to demand fire from cruisers or battleships, but they would simply not have fallen into it. That is why at the end of 1943, the US Army Artillery Research Center, located on the Aberdeen Peninsula, developed a whole program of tests that were to determine the degree of possibility of enhancing the firepower of standard landing craft - various barges and wheeled, and tracked amphibians such as DUKW and LVT.

The tests began as early as January 1944, and went until April. During this time, the site tested a variety of weapons of landing craft and gave them the appropriate recommendations. So, completely unsuitable for enhancing the firing capabilities of the landing force were: 106-mm mortar mounted on the DUKW vehicle chassis, 75-mm howitzer delivered on LVT2, 105-mm howitzer on LVT4, four-barreled anti-aircraft machine gun on LCT-6. Since Operation Overlord was expected ahead, the tests were conducted with high intensity, and practically everything that could somehow shoot along the shore from the sea was installed on the landing craft!

“Do not just land, but also shoot when you go by the sea!”

Tank "Kruseyder" landed on the shore. It is clear that this tank could not shoot from the hold of such a vessel.

At the same time, in the course of the experiments, it was determined not only the possibility of such shooting, but also the degree of its effectiveness, as well as the consumption of ammunition. After all, it was necessary to draw up all the specifications for making changes to the design of each landing craft and, accordingly, transport vehicles, to prepare the calculated data on the loading of ammunition and the fuel necessary for their delivery. That is, there was a lot of work, and it was carried out very thoroughly.

Experimental installation 57-mm gun in the folding ramp amphibious vessel.

Some of the points that emerged during the test surprised even experienced test tankers and weapons specialists. For example, it turned out that from tank Sherman can only be fired from the LCM-6 landing barge only after installing special turret rotation limiters on its hull. Otherwise, damage to the landing ramp could not be avoided. The Sherman Kalliop, which had a T-34 rocket launcher on the roof of the turret, could not use its cannon for firing, but, as it turned out, it could quite effectively fire its rockets at area targets on the shore.

Amphibious armored personnel carriers on the shore under fire.

105-mm howitzers could also shoot directly from the decks of landing barges, since their barrels rose above the edge of the ramp, but in order to mount them, that is, fix them so that they could do it, 30 mines were required, and the time for the paratroopers was too expensive! It was possible to install anti-aircraft guns on cruciform carriages on landing barges, and it was possible to shoot one of them, but only opening their beds partially, not completely, and carefully fixing them with braces to the bottom.

Shooting forward from behind the ramp is impossible, but to the side - you can!

The tests also revealed that 90-mm and 120-mm anti-aircraft guns can fire over the side of the barge and its ramp to any point on the horizon. But the “muzzle wave” on a towing vehicle often breaks out the windows, and it was impossible to transport them separately from the cars, since this deprived them of their mobility after disembarking on the coast.

LVTA4-2 with 76-mm short cannon in the tower. Museum of the Australian Royal Armored Forces in Papapunyal.

The light tanks М5А1, which were supposed to be landed on barges like LCM-6, proved to be very good. Because of the high height of the ramp, they, however, could not shoot straight along the course, but they did shoot over the sides in both directions. On top of that, two 106-mm mortars were originally installed on barges of this type, the base plates of which were laid in wooden boxes filled with sand. Two 106-mm mortars, two 37-mm tank guns and four more 7,62-mm machine guns - for such a small boat it was a really solid firepower. Well, in order not to reduce the ammunition of tanks, because it could be very necessary on the coast, it was recommended to place additional ammunition outside and bring it inside the tank through the open turret hatch. At the same time saving ammunition was no longer required!

Japanese amphibious tank "Synhoto Ka-Tsu".

The same tank, armed with 120-mm short gun with a lightweight recoil.

The experience of the Americans was appreciated by the British. At first they received LVT2, armed with two machine guns: one 12,7-mm and one 7,62-mm. Then there were three of them already on each board, but in the end the English put a turret on the LVT2 with the 20-mm Polsten rapid-fire cannon. Then it turned out that such amphibians can transport even 17-pound (76,2-mm) Mk.1 cannon. This modification of the machine was given the designation LVT (A) 2. Its main difference was two folding ramps, with which the gun could be rolled to the ground after landing on the beach.

Australians are also actively preparing for amphibious operations on islands in the Pacific Ocean. Having received 30 LVT (A) and DUKW cars from the USA under the Lend-Lease, they also thought about how to enhance their fire capabilities. To do this, they put on their launchers for 4,5 inch-in caliber rockets (114 mm). The Americans themselves also applied them precisely from the LVT in November 1943 during the landing operation on the atoll Kwajalein. The rockets were then on 24 machines in the rear of the hull along the sides. It turned out that this was completely inconvenient, since during movement they were often flooded with waves, and the salty ocean water closed the electrical circuits. But even those shells, which they managed to launch then, produced a stunning psychological effect on the Japanese.

Well, the Australians, inviting to their assistants engineers from the United States, have developed a completely new installation, which had only one barrel and a drive above it. One rocket was placed in the barrel, and the other six were loaded into the drive. On each LVT (A) 4 machine, two launchers had to be mounted, so that without reloading, each of them could launch 12 shells one after another in seconds.

On tests, the missiles were fired automatically, at 0,3 intervals with. The rocket speed at the start reached 106 m / s, and the firing range was 990 m. The machine was tested without crew, firing three rounds completely in automatic mode. But the system showed itself so well that the shooting was carried out in full and with the crew on board. True, then it was necessary to give tankers helmets that had enhanced acoustic protection. But then, when they were wearing these helmets, no one complained about any inconvenience when shooting.

With automatic firing, all 12 missiles could be fired in 3,15 seconds. The shells flew around 1080 yards, but lay down in the target area with a wide scatter. Although it was noted that as a result of the bursting of such a large number of missiles, the target was less than impressive in less than 4 seconds, since each missile was equal in power to the 105-mm howitzer projectile. Soon the installation was adopted by the armed forces of Australia, but it was not armed anywhere else.

Thus, the possibility of enhancing the firepower of the assault force by firing also from the own landing craft by the equipment transported to them was proved. And in the best way tanks and multiply-charged rocket launchers showed themselves, which were mounted both on amphibious vehicles and ships, and on tank towers.

Colored pic A. Shepsa
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  1. cth; fyn
    cth; fyn 22 October 2015 07: 05 New
    And even the PT-76 was taken away from our Marine Corps, the pillars were left without tanks ... As the saying goes: the difference between a good mistress and a bad mistress is that the good one first buys a new thing, and then throws the old one, the bad one throws it off then it goes buy.
    1. inkass_98
      inkass_98 22 October 2015 07: 32 New
      Quote: cth; fyn
      completely posons without tanks left ..

      There is an Octopus. It lands, swims, shoots afloat. The gun is not a couple of PT-76. Their number is still not large, but there is a machine, and it’s already modernized.
      1. cth; fyn
        cth; fyn 22 October 2015 07: 43 New
        Duck did not have to remove the item from the armament, but gradually re-equip the units with new equipment, and then transfer the item to the reserve and when the reserve of new equipment is created, remove the veteran from service.
        1. 31rus
          31rus 22 October 2015 08: 02 New
          Correctly write, now there are no ATs or "Octopus", some cancers, despite the fact that there is already a good modernization of the AT, that we have nothing other than the APCs and these are high-readiness
          1. zadorin1974
            zadorin1974 22 October 2015 10: 03 New
            C'mon at the expense of the PT. I looked at WAR WELL photos from the exercises of the Marines of the TF, so they still use the BTR60. Not only 82 are visible. You can count the fingers and fingers of the airborne forces on the fingers of the airborne forces.
          2. umah
            umah 22 October 2015 10: 05 New
            Correctly write, now neither the Fri nor the "Octopus"

            Now we have BMP-1 and BMD-1 with 73 mm gun, BMP-2 and BMD-2 with 30 mm gun, a little BMP-3, and BMD-4 with the Bakhcha combat module combining light tanks 100,30 and 7,62 mm. There is Nona-S (120 mm) and Octopus-D (125 mm). Are you few? Or are you embarrassed that the PT-76 is called a tank, but what I wrote is called combat vehicles?
      2. ICT
        ICT 22 October 2015 07: 58 New
        Quote: inkass_98
        It lands, swims, shoots afloat

        but with seaworthiness how?
      3. common man
        common man 22 October 2015 09: 44 New
        Quote: inkass_98
        Quote: cth; fyn
        completely posons without tanks left ..

        There is an Octopus. It lands, swims, shoots afloat. The gun is not a couple of PT-76. Their number is still not large, but there is a machine, and it’s already modernized.

        There is also a BMP-3F. True, like Octopus is mainly on paper, but for export we drive them regularly.
    2. PSih2097
      PSih2097 22 October 2015 11: 50 New
      Quote: cth; fyn
      And even the pt-76 was taken away from our marine corps, and there were completely tanks without tanks ...

      What is bad BMP-3 with Bahchoy-U ???
      1. zadorin1974
        zadorin1974 22 October 2015 12: 57 New
        And no one even says that it’s bad. They say that they are practically nonexistent. I know that three are armed with motorized rifles in the South-East Military District, I haven’t heard about the Marines of the TF and SF. .
        1. cth; fyn
          cth; fyn 22 October 2015 13: 05 New
          In-in, there is a lot of any technology, but where is it in the troops?
  2. tchoni
    tchoni 22 October 2015 08: 00 New
    In general, a very correct, life-born approach. The bridgehead should be captured by specially equipped means, adapted to actions near the water cut. And to develop success - conventional armed forces adapted to actions on land
  3. fa2998
    fa2998 22 October 2015 10: 43 New
    I do not agree that the Red Army did not make landings. Not the Pacific Ocean, but forced hundreds of rivers, lakes and canals. And out of habit, on boats, rafts, fences and haystacks. Why did the leadership of the spacecraft, preparing to conduct an offensive war, not bother to deliver troops disembarking funds? Those numerous amphibious tanks (Project 3000) didn’t survive the year 41. Calculating the resourcefulness of the infantry? Well then the Allies began supplying amphibious vehicles (in the newsreel there are a lot of them), and it became more fun. Although the crew from above are not protected, but high-speed and maneuverable on water is better than a raft. hi
    1. kalibr
      22 October 2015 10: 52 New
      And really why?
    2. Alexey RA
      Alexey RA 22 October 2015 10: 58 New
      Quote: fa2998
      Why is the leadership of the spacecraft, preparing to wage an offensive war, not concerned about the supply of landing equipment to the troops

      Means of organizing crossings in the Red Army were.
      The problem was that, in order to act together with advanced detachments of motorized units, the crossing means had to have comparable mobility. And this the USSR could not provide - due to the lack of high-speed tractors and vehicles with high cross-country ability and heavy lifting capacity. Therefore, in the offensive, advance detachments crossed whoever could what they could, then sappers with light parks were pulled up, and behind them, together with the main forces, heavy pontoon bridge parks.
      1. fa2998
        fa2998 22 October 2015 11: 30 New
        Actually, I was talking about SELF-PROPELLED fighting vehicles, which ferries soldiers and supports them with fire. Pontoons, sappers and bridges are good, but on the other side, they are the enemy who does not like your pontoons at all. hi
        1. Alexey RA
          Alexey RA 22 October 2015 13: 35 New
          Quote: fa2998
          Actually, I was talking about SELF-PROPELLED fighting vehicles, which ferries soldiers and supports them with fire. Pontoons, sappers and bridges are good, but on the other side, they are the enemy who does not like your pontoons at all.

          And here the reason is the same. To make the same DUKW - you need to have an all-wheel drive truck. And they did not have time to launch them in the USSR before the war. We didn’t even have tires for a four-wheel drive all-terrain vehicle - remember the story with Shur-Gripp and Ground-Gripp for LB-62

          In general, the main problem of the Soviet pre-war light armored vehicles, tractors and vehicles is the lack of a light engine mastered by the industry with a capacity of 120-300 hp. It was the engine that rested against all pre-war projects of domestic armored personnel carriers, artillery tractors and heavy trucks. That is why it was necessary to make a parallel pair of two GAZ-202 and a serial pair of GAZ-203. Unfortunately, the maximum that the USSR managed to do was switch to the Dodge engine (GAZ-11 / GAZ-202). We did not manage to master GMC diesels.

          And with the existing GAZ-202 engine, the maximum possible is the T-40.
  4. Roy
    Roy 22 October 2015 10: 57 New
    The author writes: "... during the Second World War, Soviet troops practically did not have to land amphibious assault forces ..."

    In gives! And on the Black Sea, how many landings during the war were. and in the Baltic, North and Pacific.
    Do not underestimate the role of our naval landing operations.
    1. Maksus
      Maksus 22 October 2015 12: 00 New
      I agree, the South Kuril landing is worth what, and the planned landing in Hokkaido would be the pearl of our marine corps.
      1. Alexey RA
        Alexey RA 22 October 2015 13: 44 New
        Quote: Maksus
        I agree, the South Kuril landing is worth what, and the planned landing in Hokkaido would be the pearl of our marine corps.

        Fortunately, after landing in Korea and the Kuril Islands, the landing in Hokkaido was canceled. Because, despite the experience of 4 years of war, the Pacific Fleet managed to run through all the rakes of domestic DESOs in its landings. The same landing in Seishin left by the enemy as a result of planning errors turned into three days of fierce fighting. In the landings, on the islands of the Kuril ridge, we managed to expose the landing ships under the fire of unsuppressed BO batteries and under the airborne control system of the few remaining Japanese aircraft, and the landing itself - to land without normal anti-tank equipment under attack by Japanese tanks.
      2. kalibr
        22 October 2015 15: 43 New
        Black Pearl!
  5. Maksus
    Maksus 22 October 2015 11: 25 New

    The author forgot about these tanks, which took part, including in the landing in Normandy. The markings on the tower served to guide the gun in azimuth.
    1. kalibr
      22 October 2015 12: 51 New
      They did not shoot from the sea! The article deals with machines that were tested for fire support of the landing from the sea and that’s it! That is, cars that could sail and shoot. DD tanks and those that were carried in the "belly" of tank trucks do not count!
      1. zadorin1974
        zadorin1974 22 October 2015 14: 04 New
        Vyacheslav, did you completely read the article? It’s just the story that they tested the ability to support tanks and other equipment (mortars, anti-aircraft guns, howitzers) during transport on landing vehicles (small landing barges, pontoons, amphibious conveyors) from BDK to the landing site. In simple words, is it possible to shoot from a tank or mortar while driving on a barge. The Americans wonderful shot the film War in the Pacific, with large-scale scenes of landing on the islands.
  6. Volga Cossack
    Volga Cossack 22 October 2015 11: 49 New
    good article! indeed, a machine gun on a landing ship is more important than a battleship gun - which is a few miles from the coast ..........
  7. gallville
    gallville 23 October 2015 12: 04 New
    In the Russian Federation, the Marine Corps has 8 thousand personnel. Not only is this disastrously small. A minimum of 1 brigade is required for each of the fleets, including the Caspian (there is generally a collapse !!!! the brigade that passed Chechnya was disbanded to a couple of battalions). So also can not be equipped for human beings. The BTR-82 with a 30mm gun is rumored to have poor stability, and the firepower of this gun has long been not enough.
    The equipment of the brigades themselves should come from the concept of the use of MP. Since Soviet times, it has not changed much - holding the bridgehead until the land forces landed and moving with them deep into the territory. From here you can form an approximate composition of brigades for technology. In essence, the MP team from the NE can only differ in equipment at the battalion level i.e. BMP-3F. In addition, you need to look at the BTG that will be formed during the landing.
    An approximate composition of BTG is seen:
    3 companies of infantry - 31 units. (BMP-3F looks really there melon);
    1 company of fire support - 10 units. (Vienna, or MTLB with sleigh);
    1 machine-gun grenade platoon;
    1 air defense platoon - 3 units (or MTLB with MANPADS or arrow or something will give birth on the basis of BMP-3F);
    1 anti-tank platoon - 3 units (chrysanthemum, or again MTLB with wearable cornets);
    1 reconnaissance platoon - (they are the first to land from a helicopter, mtlb or brm are already coming after them);
    In the future, they are attached (better to their own):
    1 UAV platoon
    1 tank company
    1 battery of 152 mm guns.