Amphibious warfare

Amphibious warfare

Overview
Amphibious warfare is the use of naval firepower, logistics and strategy to project military power ashore. In previous eras it stood as the primary method of delivering troops to non-contiguous enemy-held terrain. In this modern era amphibious warfare persists in the form of commando insertion by fast patrol boat
Patrol boat
A patrol boat is a relatively small naval vessel generally designed for coastal defense duties.There have been many designs for patrol boats. They may be operated by a nation's navy, coast guard, or police force, and may be intended for marine and/or estuarine or river environments...

s, zodiacs
Zodiac Group
Zodiac, which became Zodiac Aerospace in 2007, is a French corporation, specialized in the production and development of on-board systems, safety systems and cabin interiors...

 and mini-submersibles
Midget submarine
A midget submarine is any submarine under 150 tons, typically operated by a crew of one or two but sometimes up to 6 or 8, with little or no on-board living accommodation...

.

In the modern era of warfare, an amphibious landing of infantry troops on a beachhead
Beachhead
Beachhead is a military term used to describe the line created when a unit reaches a beach, and begins to defend that area of beach, while other reinforcements help out, until a unit large enough to begin advancing has arrived. It is sometimes used interchangeably with Bridgehead and Lodgement...

 is the most complex of all military maneuvers.
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Encyclopedia
Amphibious warfare is the use of naval firepower, logistics and strategy to project military power ashore. In previous eras it stood as the primary method of delivering troops to non-contiguous enemy-held terrain. In this modern era amphibious warfare persists in the form of commando insertion by fast patrol boat
Patrol boat
A patrol boat is a relatively small naval vessel generally designed for coastal defense duties.There have been many designs for patrol boats. They may be operated by a nation's navy, coast guard, or police force, and may be intended for marine and/or estuarine or river environments...

s, zodiacs
Zodiac Group
Zodiac, which became Zodiac Aerospace in 2007, is a French corporation, specialized in the production and development of on-board systems, safety systems and cabin interiors...

 and mini-submersibles
Midget submarine
A midget submarine is any submarine under 150 tons, typically operated by a crew of one or two but sometimes up to 6 or 8, with little or no on-board living accommodation...

.

In the modern era of warfare, an amphibious landing of infantry troops on a beachhead
Beachhead
Beachhead is a military term used to describe the line created when a unit reaches a beach, and begins to defend that area of beach, while other reinforcements help out, until a unit large enough to begin advancing has arrived. It is sometimes used interchangeably with Bridgehead and Lodgement...

 is the most complex of all military maneuvers. The undertaking requires an intricate coordination of numerous military specialties, including air power
Aerial warfare
Aerial warfare is the use of military aircraft and other flying machines in warfare, including military airlift of cargo to further the national interests as was demonstrated in the Berlin Airlift...

, naval gunfire
Naval gunfire support
Naval gunfire support is the use of naval artillery to provide fire support for amphibious assault and other troops operating within their range. NGFS is one of a number of disciplines encompassed by the term Naval Fires...

, naval transport, logistical planning
Logistics
Logistics is the management of the flow of goods between the point of origin and the point of destination in order to meet the requirements of customers or corporations. Logistics involves the integration of information, transportation, inventory, warehousing, material handling, and packaging, and...

, specialized equipment, land warfare, tactics
Military tactics
Military tactics, the science and art of organizing an army or an air force, are the techniques for using weapons or military units in combination for engaging and defeating an enemy in battle. Changes in philosophy and technology over time have been reflected in changes to military tactics. In...

, and extensive training in the nuances of this maneuver for all personnel involved.

History


Recorded amphibious warfare predates the 18th century by a couple of millennia: the Sea Peoples that menaced the Egyptians
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh...

 from the reign of Akhenaten
Akhenaten
Akhenaten also spelled Echnaton,Ikhnaton,and Khuenaten;meaning "living spirit of Aten") known before the fifth year of his reign as Amenhotep IV , was a Pharaoh of the Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt who ruled for 17 years and died perhaps in 1336 BC or 1334 BC...

 as captured on the reliefs at Medinet Habu
Medinet Habu (temple)
Medinet Habu is the name commonly given to the Mortuary Temple of Ramesses III, an important New Kingdom period structure in the location of the same name on the West Bank of Luxor in Egypt...

 and Karnak
Karnak
The Karnak Temple Complex—usually called Karnak—comprises a vast mix of decayed temples, chapels, pylons, and other buildings, notably the Great Temple of Amun and a massive structure begun by Pharaoh Ramses II . Sacred Lake is part of the site as well. It is located near Luxor, some...

; the Hellenic
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

 city states who routinely resorted to opposed assaults upon each others' shores, which they reflected upon in their plays and other expressions of art; the landing at Marathon
Battle of Marathon
The Battle of Marathon took place in 490 BC, during the first Persian invasion of Greece. It was fought between the citizens of Athens, aided by Plataea, and a Persian force commanded by Datis and Artaphernes. It was the culmination of the first attempt by Persia, under King Darius I, to subjugate...

 by the ancient Persians on 9 September 490 BC, which history records as the largest amphibious operation for 2,400 years until eclipsed by Gallipoli
Battle of Gallipoli
The Gallipoli Campaign, also known as the Dardanelles Campaign or the Battle of Gallipoli, took place at the peninsula of Gallipoli in the Ottoman Empire between 25 April 1915 and 9 January 1916, during the First World War...

.

More current amphibious landings have been conducted by small commando forces of various states and non-state actors. There exists debate over mainland China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 (PRC)'s potential to conduct amphibious operations against Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

 (ROC). With the bulk of the world's population concentrated near the sea, chances are high that future conflict may entail the use of amphibious assets.

16th century


In 1565, the island of Malta
Malta
Malta , officially known as the Republic of Malta , is a Southern European country consisting of an archipelago situated in the centre of the Mediterranean, south of Sicily, east of Tunisia and north of Libya, with Gibraltar to the west and Alexandria to the east.Malta covers just over in...

 was invaded by the Turks
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 during the Siege of Malta
Siege of Malta (1565)
The Siege of Malta took place in 1565 when the Ottoman Empire invaded the island, then held by the Knights Hospitaller .The Knights, together with between 4-5,000 Maltese men,...

. A strategic choke point in the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

, the loss was so menacing for the Western Europe
Western Europe
Western Europe is a loose term for the collection of countries in the western most region of the European continents, though this definition is context-dependent and carries cultural and political connotations. One definition describes Western Europe as a geographic entity—the region lying in the...

 kingdoms that forces were urgently raised in order to recover the island. But it took four months to train, arm, and move a 5,500 man amphibious force to retake the island.

Then, Philip II
Philip II of Spain
Philip II was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and, while married to Mary I, King of England and Ireland. He was lord of the Seventeen Provinces from 1556 until 1581, holding various titles for the individual territories such as duke or count....

, King of Spain, decided to train and assign amphibious-assault skilled units to the Royal Armada. These units were trained specifically for the fighting on ships and from ships. The Spanish Marines
Infanteria de Marina
The Spanish Navy Marines is a corps within the Spanish Navy responsible for providing amphibious warfare from the sea utilizing naval platforms and resources...

 were born. The idea was to set up a permanent assignation of land troops to the Royal Spanish Navy, available for the Crown.

Thus, countries adopted the idea and subsequently raised their early marine corps too.

The first "professional" Marine units were already task-trained amphibious troops, but instead of being disbanded, were kept for the Crown's needs. First actions took place all along the Mediterranean Sea where the Turks and pirate settlements were a risk for the commerce and navigation: Algiers
Algiers
' is the capital and largest city of Algeria. According to the 1998 census, the population of the city proper was 1,519,570 and that of the urban agglomeration was 2,135,630. In 2009, the population was about 3,500,000...

, Malta, Gelves
Gelves
Gelves is a city located in the province of Seville, Spain. According to the 2006 census , the city has a population of 8,325 inhabitants.-External links:* - Sistema de Información Multiterritorial de Andalucía...

.

Landings at the "Terceras Landing" in the Azores
Azores
The Archipelago of the Azores is composed of nine volcanic islands situated in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, and is located about west from Lisbon and about east from the east coast of North America. The islands, and their economic exclusion zone, form the Autonomous Region of the...

 Islands 25 May 1583, was a military feat as the planners decided to make a fake landing to distract the defending forces (5,000 Portuguese
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

, English
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 and French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 soldiers); also special sea going barge
Barge
A barge is a flat-bottomed boat, built mainly for river and canal transport of heavy goods. Some barges are not self-propelled and need to be towed by tugboats or pushed by towboats...

s were arranged in order to unload cavalry
Cavalry
Cavalry or horsemen were soldiers or warriors who fought mounted on horseback. Cavalry were historically the third oldest and the most mobile of the combat arms...

 horse
Horse
The horse is one of two extant subspecies of Equus ferus, or the wild horse. It is a single-hooved mammal belonging to the taxonomic family Equidae. The horse has evolved over the past 45 to 55 million years from a small multi-toed creature into the large, single-toed animal of today...

s and 700 artillery pieces on the beach; special rowing boats were equipped with small cannon
Cannon
A cannon is any piece of artillery that uses gunpowder or other usually explosive-based propellents to launch a projectile. Cannon vary in caliber, range, mobility, rate of fire, angle of fire, and firepower; different forms of cannon combine and balance these attributes in varying degrees,...

s to support the landing boats; special supplies were readied to be unloaded and support the 11,000 men landing force strength. The total strength of the amphibious force, was 15,000 men, including an armada of 90 ships.

After an initial reconnaissance
Reconnaissance
Reconnaissance is the military term for exploring beyond the area occupied by friendly forces to gain information about enemy forces or features of the environment....

 action where the most suitable beaches for the landing assets were chosen, a 4,000–man first assault wave was unloaded while two "Galeras" made a distractive fake landing away from the main beach. The main defensive body ran to defend against the feinted action, but the first wave had set up a firm defensive perimeter, and the second wave was already landing with the heavy artillery.

In this operation we can find documented reports about the detailed planning, the previous reconnaissance of the beaches, the special equipment and training, ship-to-shore movement, naval fire support. Not the first landing, but one of the first amphibious operations.

17th century


This was a century of "expansion". European countries were expanding and creating colonies. Amphibious operations were mostly oriented to settle colonies and strong points along the navigational routes. Fights among countries to keep or destroy opposing power's capabilities were continuous.

Amphibious forces were fully organized and devoted to this mission, although the troops not only fought ashore, but on board ships.

18th century


Amphibious landings were performed by Spanish Marines allowing them to conquer Sardinia
Sardinia
Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea . It is an autonomous region of Italy, and the nearest land masses are the French island of Corsica, the Italian Peninsula, Sicily, Tunisia and the Spanish Balearic Islands.The name Sardinia is from the pre-Roman noun *sard[],...

 (1717) and Sicily (1732).

By their nature amphibous assaults are highly complex operations involving the coordination of disperate elements and are therefore prone to disastrous results if not properly planned. One of the most spectacular instances of such a failure occurred in 1741 at the Battle of Cartagena de Indias
Battle of Cartagena de Indias
The Battle of Cartagena de Indias was an amphibious military engagement between the forces of Britain under Vice-Admiral Edward Vernon and those of Spain under Admiral Blas de Lezo. It took place at the city of Cartagena de Indias in March 1741, in present-day Colombia...

, when a large British empire amphibious assault force with a compromised command was defeated by a much smaller but well organised and led Spanish empire defence.

In 1759, during the siege of Quebec, the British troops attempted on a number of occasions to cross the Saint Lawrence River
Saint Lawrence River
The Saint Lawrence is a large river flowing approximately from southwest to northeast in the middle latitudes of North America, connecting the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean. It is the primary drainage conveyor of the Great Lakes Basin...

 in force. An attempt to land some 4,000 troops in the face of resistance failed. Ultimately a landing was managed at a relatively-undefended site, and British troops gained a foothold allowing 5,000 to take part in the Battle of the Plains of Abraham
Battle of the Plains of Abraham
The Battle of the Plains of Abraham, also known as the Battle of Quebec, was a pivotal battle in the Seven Years' War...

 which led to the surrender of the city.

In 1762 Royal Navy troops & marines succeed in taking the capitals of the Spanish West & East Indies Havana in Cuba
British expedition against Cuba
The Battle of Havana was a military action from March to August 1762, as part of the Seven Years' War. British forces besieged and captured the city of Havana, which at the time was an important Spanish naval base in the Caribbean, and dealt a serious blow to the Spanish navy...

 & Manila
Battle of Manila (1762)
The Battle of Manila was fought during the Seven Years' War , from September 24, 1762 to October 6, 1762, between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Spain in and around Manila, the capital of the Philippines, a Spanish colony at that time.-Prelude:British troops stationed in India were...

 by sea respectively.

In 1776, Samuel Nicholas
Samuel Nicholas
Samuel Nicholas was the first officer commissioned in the United States Continental Marines and by tradition is considered to be the first Commandant of the Marine Corps.-Early life:...

 and the Continental Marines
Continental Marines
The Continental Marines were the Marine force of the American Colonies during the American Revolutionary War. The corps was formed by the Continental Congress on November 10, 1775 and was disbanded in 1783. Their mission was multi-purpose, but their most important duty was to serve as on-board...

, the "progenitor" of the United States Marine Corps
United States Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

, made a first successful landing in the Battle of Nassau
Battle of Nassau
The Battle of Nassau was a naval action and amphibious assault by American forces against the British port of Nassau, Bahamas during the American Revolutionary War...

.

In 1781, the Spanish field marshal Bernardo de Gálvez, successfully captured British controlled Fort George by amphibious assault in the Battle of Pensacola
Battle of Pensacola (1781)
The Siege of Pensacola was fought in 1781, the culmination of Spain's conquest of the British province West Florida during the American War of Independence.-Background:...

. In 1782, he captured the British naval base at New Providence
New Providence
New Providence is the most populous island in the Bahamas, containing more than 70% of the total population. It also houses the national capital city, Nassau.The island was originally under Spanish control following Christopher Columbus' discovery of the New World, but the Spanish government showed...

 in the Bahamas. In 1782, a long Franco-Spanish attempt to seize Gibraltar
Great Siege of Gibraltar
The Great Siege of Gibraltar was an unsuccessful attempt by Spain and France to capture Gibraltar from the British during the American War of Independence. This was the largest action fought during the war in terms of numbers, particularly the Grand Assault of 18 September 1782...

 by water borne forces was abandoned. In 1783, a Franco-Spanish force invaded the island of Minorca
Invasion of Minorca, 1781
The Franco-Spanish conquest of Minorca from its British defenders in February 1782, after the Siege of Fort St. Philip lasting over five months, was an important step in the achievement of Spain's aims in its alliance with France against Britain during the American War of Independence...

.

In 1793, Minorca experienced yet another of its many changes of sovereignty, when captured by a British landing.

19th century


During the Mexican-American War an amphibious assault was against Veracruz
Siege of Veracruz
The Battle of Veracruz was a 20-day siege of the key Mexican beachhead seaport of Veracruz, during the Mexican-American War. Lasting from 9-29 March 1847, it began with the first large-scale amphibious assault conducted by United States military forces, and ended with the surrender and occupation...

 in what could be considered the first amphibious assault made by the United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

. General William J. Worth
William J. Worth
William Jenkins Worth was a United States general during the Mexican-American War.-Early life:Worth was born in 1794 in Hudson, New York, to Thomas Worth and Abigail Jenkins. Both of his parents were Quakers, but he rejected the pacifism of their faith...

 jumped from the boat and waded to shore in chest deep water and thus could be considered the first U.S. Army soldier to make an amphibious assault.

During the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, the United States made several amphibious assaults all along the Confederate states coastline. Hatteras Inlet
Battle of Hatteras Inlet Batteries
The Battle of Hatteras Inlet Batteries, sometimes known as the Battle of Forts Hatteras and Clark, was a small but significant engagement in the early days of the American Civil War. Two Confederate forts on the North Carolina Outer Banks were subjected to an amphibious assault by Union forces that...

 and Port Royal, South Carolina
South Carolina
South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...

 were the first of many attacks. Along with others on Roanoke Island
Roanoke Island
Roanoke Island is an island in Dare County near the coast of North Carolina, United States. It was named after the historical Roanoke Carolina Algonquian people who inhabited the area in the 16th century at the time of English exploration....

, NC, Galveston, TX, Morris Island
Morris Island
Morris Island is an 840 acre uninhabited island in Charleston Harbor in South Carolina, accessible only by boat. The island lies in the outer reaches of the harbor and was thus a strategic location in the American Civil War.-History:...

 and James Island
James Island
James Island may refer to:*James Island , a World Heritage island in The Gambia*James Island , an island in Haro Strait off Sidney, BC near Vancouver Island*James Island , another name for Santiago Island...

, SC, Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter
Fort Sumter is a Third System masonry coastal fortification located in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina. The fort is best known as the site upon which the shots initiating the American Civil War were fired, at the Battle of Fort Sumter.- Construction :...

, SC and several others. The largest was at Fort Fisher
Second Battle of Fort Fisher
The Second Battle of Fort Fisher was a joint assault by Union Army and naval forces against Fort Fisher, outside Wilmington, North Carolina, near the end of the American Civil War...

, which was the largest and most powerful fort in the world at the time, protecting the entrance of Wilmington, North Carolina
Wilmington, North Carolina
Wilmington is a port city in and is the county seat of New Hanover County, North Carolina, United States. The population is 106,476 according to the 2010 Census, making it the eighth most populous city in the state of North Carolina...

. The assaulting force of over 15,000 men and 70 warships with over 600 guns, was the most powerful amphibious assault in world history (and was not surpassed until the large scale landings of World War Two).

An early form of amphibious warfare was employed during the War of the Pacific
War of the Pacific
The War of the Pacific took place in western South America from 1879 through 1883. Chile fought against Bolivia and Peru. Despite cooperation among the three nations in the war against Spain, disputes soon arose over the mineral-rich Peruvian provinces of Tarapaca, Tacna, and Arica, and the...

 in 1879, and saw coordination of army, navy and specialized units.

The first amphibious assault of this war took place as 2,100 Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

an troops successfully took Pisagua
Pisagua
Pisagua is a Chilean port on the Pacific Ocean, located in Huara comuna , in Tarapacá Region, northern Chile. In 2007, the new province of El Tamarugal was established and the comuna of Huara, previously within the province of Iquique, was incorporated to the newly created province.-Early...

 from 1,200 Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

vian and Bolivia
Bolivia
Bolivia officially known as Plurinational State of Bolivia , is a landlocked country in central South America. It is the poorest country in South America...

n defenders on 2 November 1879. Chilean Navy
Chilean Navy
-Independence Wars of Chile and Peru :The Chilean Navy dates back to 1817. A year before, following the Battle of Chacabuco, General Bernardo O'Higgins prophetically declared "this victory and another hundred shall be of no significance if we do not gain control of the sea".This led to the...

 ships bombarded beach defenses for several hours at dawn, followed by open, oared boats landing Army infantry
Infantry
Infantrymen are soldiers who are specifically trained for the role of fighting on foot to engage the enemy face to face and have historically borne the brunt of the casualties of combat in wars. As the oldest branch of combat arms, they are the backbone of armies...

 and sapper
Sapper
A sapper, pioneer or combat engineer is a combatant soldier who performs a wide variety of combat engineering duties, typically including, but not limited to, bridge-building, laying or clearing minefields, demolitions, field defences, general construction and building, as well as road and airfield...

 units into waist-deep water, under enemy fire. An outnumbered first landing wave fought at the beach; the second and third waves in the following hours were able to overcome resistance and move inland. By the end of the day, an expeditionary army of 10,000 had disembarked at the captured port.
In 1881 Chilean ships transported approximately 30,000 men, along with their mounts and equipment, 500 miles (804.7 km) in order to attack Lima. Chilean commanders were using purpose-built, flat-bottomed landing craft that would deliver troops in shallow water closer to the beach, possibly the first purpose-built amphibious landing craft in history: "These [36 shallow draft, flat-bottomed] boats would be able to land three thousand men and twelve guns in a single wave".

Landing tactics and operations were closely observed by neutral parties during the war: two Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 ships monitored the Battle of Pisagua
Battle of Pisagua
The Battle of Pisagua , was a landing operation of the War of the Pacific, fought on November 2, 1879, between Chile and the combined forces of Bolivia and Peru. The Chilean army commanded by Erasmo Escala, supported by the Chilean Fleet, launched an amphibious assault, led by Gen...

; United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 observer Lt. Theodorus B.M. Mason included an account on his report The War on the Pacific Coast of South America. The USS Wachusett with Alfred Thayer Mahan
Alfred Thayer Mahan
Alfred Thayer Mahan was a United States Navy flag officer, geostrategist, and historian, who has been called "the most important American strategist of the nineteenth century." His concept of "sea power" was based on the idea that countries with greater naval power will have greater worldwide...

 in command, was stationed at Callao, Peru, protecting American interests during the final stages of the War of the Pacific. He formulated his concept of sea power while reading a history book in an English gentleman’s club in Lima, Peru. This concept became the foundation for his celebrated The Influence of Sea Power upon History
The Influence of Sea Power upon History
The Influence of Sea Power Upon History: 1660-1783 is a history of naval warfare written in 1890 by Alfred Thayer Mahan. It details the role of sea power throughout history and discusses the various factors needed to support and achieve sea power, with emphasis on having the largest and most...

.

World War I era


An amphibous assault took place at the beaches of Veracruz, Mexico
Veracruz, Veracruz
Veracruz, officially known as Heroica Veracruz, is a major port city and municipality on the Gulf of Mexico in the Mexican state of Veracruz. The city is located in the central part of the state. It is located along Federal Highway 140 from the state capital Xalapa, and is the state's most...

 in 1914, when the United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 attacked and occupied the city as result of the Tampico Affair
Tampico Affair
The Tampico Affair started off as a minor incident involving U.S. sailors and Mexican land forces loyal to General Victoriano Huerta during the guerra de las facciones phase of the Mexican Revolution...

.

During World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, amphibious warfare was still in its infancy: tactics and equipment were rudimentary and required much improvisation.
During this period, British Royal Marine Light Infantry (merged with the Royal Marine Artillery in the 1920s to form the Royal Marines
Royal Marines
The Corps of Her Majesty's Royal Marines, commonly just referred to as the Royal Marines , are the marine corps and amphibious infantry of the United Kingdom and, along with the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary, form the Naval Service...

) were used primarily as naval parties onboard Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 warships to maintain discipline and man ships' guns. The RMLI joined a new Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 division—the Royal Naval Division—formed in 1914 to fight on land; however, throughout the conflict, army units were depended upon to provide the bulk—if not all—of troops used in amphibious landings.

The first amphibious assault of the war ended in disaster in 1914. A large British Indian Army
British Indian Army
The British Indian Army, officially simply the Indian Army, was the principal army of the British Raj in India before the partition of India in 1947...

 force was directed to launch an amphibious assault on Tanga
Tanga, Tanzania
Tanga is both the name of the most northerly seaport city of Tanzania, and the surrounding Tanga Region. It is the Regional Headquarters of the region.With a population of 243,580 in 2002, Tanga is one of the largest cities in the country...

, German East Africa
German East Africa
German East Africa was a German colony in East Africa, which included what are now :Burundi, :Rwanda and Tanganyika . Its area was , nearly three times the size of Germany today....

. British actions prior to the assault, however, alerted the Germans to prepare to repel an invasion. The Indian forces suffered heavy casualties when they advanced on the city
Battle of Tanga
The Battle of Tanga, sometimes also known as the Battle of the Bees, was the unsuccessful attack by the British Indian Expeditionary Force “B” under Major General A.E. Aitken to capture German East Africa during World War I in concert with the invasion Force “C” near Longido on the slopes of...

, forcing them to withdraw back to their boats, leaving much of their equipment behind.

The Allied invasion against the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 at the Battle of Gallipoli
Battle of Gallipoli
The Gallipoli Campaign, also known as the Dardanelles Campaign or the Battle of Gallipoli, took place at the peninsula of Gallipoli in the Ottoman Empire between 25 April 1915 and 9 January 1916, during the First World War...

 in 1915 proved even more disastrous than Tanga, in part due to incompetence at the high command strata.

Soldiers were landed via open, oared whaleboat
Whaleboat
A whaleboat is a type of open boat that is relatively narrow and pointed at both ends, enabling it to move either forwards or backwards equally well. It was originally developed for whaling, and later became popular for work along beaches, since it does not need to be turned around for beaching or...

s and tug
Tug
Tuğ is a village in the Khojavend Rayon of Azerbaijan....

s at Anzac Cove
Landing at Anzac Cove
The landing at Anzac Cove was part of the amphibious invasion of the Gallipoli Peninsula by Australian and New Zealand forces on 25 April 1915. The landing, north of Gaba Tepe on the Aegean coast of the Peninsula, was made by soldiers of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps and was the first...

 and Helles
Landing at Cape Helles
The landing at Cape Helles was part of the amphibious invasion of the Gallipoli peninsula by British and French forces on April 25, 1915 during the First World War. Helles, at the foot of the peninsula, was the main landing area. With the support of the guns of the Royal Navy, a British division...

. At V Beach, Helles, the landing troops—inexperienced at amphibious landings—were effectively slaughtered by the Ottoman defenders, most not even making it out of their landing craft. The Royal Dublin Fusiliers, for example, lost almost all their officers, including their commander, and suffered over 500 casualties.

In a second landing at Suvla
Landing at Suvla Bay
The landing at Suvla Bay was an amphibious landing made at Suvla on the Aegean coast of Gallipoli peninsula in the Ottoman Empire as part of the August Offensive, the final British attempt to break the deadlock of the Battle of Gallipoli...

 in August, the forerunner of modern landing craft—the armoured 'Beetle'—was first used by the British.

On the 11th of October 1917 German land and naval forces launched an amphibious assault, code named Operation Albion
Operation Albion
Operation Albion was the German land and naval operation in September-October 1917 to invade and occupy the Estonian islands of Saaremaa , Hiiumaa and Muhu , then part of the Russian Republic...

, on the islands of Saaremaa
Saaremaa
Saaremaa is the largest island in Estonia, measuring 2,673 km². The main island of Saare County, it is located in the Baltic Sea, south of Hiiumaa island, and belongs to the West Estonian Archipelago...

 (Ösel), Hiiumaa
Hiiumaa
Hiiumaa is the second largest island belonging to Estonia. It is located in the Baltic Sea, north of the island of Saaremaa, a part of the West Estonian archipelago. Its largest town is Kärdla.-Name:...

 (Dagö) and Muhu
Muhu
Muhu , is an island in the Baltic Sea. With an area of 198 km² it is the third largest island belonging to Estonia, after Saaremaa and Hiiumaa....

 (Moon), that controlled the entrance to the Gulf of Riga
Gulf of Riga
The Gulf of Riga, or Bay of Riga, is a bay of the Baltic Sea between Latvia and Estonia. According to C.Michael Hogan, a saline stratification layer is found at a depth of approximately seventy metres....

. By the end of the month German forces had successfully overrun the islands forcing the Russians to abandon them with the loss of some 20,000 troops, 100 guns and the Pre-dreadnought battleship Slava
Russian battleship Slava
Slava was a pre-dreadnought battleship of the Imperial Russian Navy, the last of the five s. Commissioned too late to participate in the Battle of Tsushima during the Russo-Japanese War, she survived while all of her sister ships were either sunk during the battle or surrendered to the Imperial...

. The capture of the islands opened a route for German naval forces into the Gulf of Finland
Gulf of Finland
The Gulf of Finland is the easternmost arm of the Baltic Sea. It extends between Finland and Estonia all the way to Saint Petersburg in Russia, where the river Neva drains into it. Other major cities around the gulf include Helsinki and Tallinn...

 threatening the city of Petrograd, a fact that contributed to the cessation of hostilities on the Eastern front

Interwar period


The Alhucemas Landing on 8 September 1925, performed by a Spanish-French coalition against rebel Kabilas
Rif War (1920)
The Rif War, also called the Second Moroccan War, was fought between Spain and the Moroccan Rif Berbers.-Rifian forces:...

 in the north of Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

, was a landing where tanks were used for the first time; air naval gunfire support
Naval gunfire support
Naval gunfire support is the use of naval artillery to provide fire support for amphibious assault and other troops operating within their range. NGFS is one of a number of disciplines encompassed by the term Naval Fires...

 were employed by the landing forces, directed by spotting personnel with communication devices.

Floating depots were organized with medical, water, ammunition and food supplies, to be dispatched ashore when needed. The barges used in this landing were the surviving "K" boats from Gallipoli
Gallipoli
The Gallipoli peninsula is located in Turkish Thrace , the European part of Turkey, with the Aegean Sea to the west and the Dardanelles straits to the east. Gallipoli derives its name from the Greek "Καλλίπολις" , meaning "Beautiful City"...

. But in this case, the landings were performed against a prepared, defended in force positions.

World War II


By the Second World War tactics and equipment had moved on. Purpose built landing craft
Landing craft
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 many Pacific islands during WWII...

 were used at the evacuation from Dunkirk (Operation Dynamo) and an amphibious operation was tried out at Dieppe
Dieppe Raid
The Dieppe Raid, also known as the Battle of Dieppe, Operation Rutter or later on Operation Jubilee, during the Second World War, was an Allied attack on the German-occupied port of Dieppe on the northern coast of France on 19 August 1942. The assault began at 5:00 AM and by 10:50 AM the Allied...

 in 1942. The operation proved a failure but the lessons, hard learned, were used later. Many small scale operations were conducted by the Allies on the Axis-held coast of Europe, including raids on the Lofoten Islands
Operation Claymore
Operation Claymore was the codename for a British Commandos raid on the Lofoten Islands in Norway during the Second World War. The Lofoten Islands were an important center for the production of fish oil and glycerine, used in the German war industry. The landings were carried out on 4 March 1941,...

, St Nazaire and Bruneval
Operation Biting
Operation Biting, also known as the Bruneval Raid, was the codename given to a British Combined Operations raid on a German radar installation in Bruneval, France that occurred between 27–28 February 1942 during World War II...

.

Arguably the most famous amphibious assault was the Normandy landings on 6 June 1944, in which British, Canadian, and US forces were landed at Utah
Utah Beach
Utah Beach was the code name for the right flank, or westernmost, of the Allied landing beaches during the D-Day invasion of Normandy, as part of Operation Overlord on 6 June 1944...

, Omaha
Omaha Beach
Omaha Beach is 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...

, Gold
Gold Beach
Gold Beach was the code name of one of the D-Day landing beaches that Allied forces used to invade German-occupied France on 6 June 1944, during World War II....

, Juno
Juno Beach
Juno or Juno Beach was one of five sectors of the Allied invasion of German-occupied France in the Normandy landings on 6 June 1944, during the Second World War. The sector spanned from Saint-Aubin, a village just east of the British Gold sector, to Courseulles, just west of the British Sword sector...

 and Sword
Sword Beach
Sword, commonly known as Sword Beach, was the code name given to one of the five main landing areas along the Normandy coast during the initial assault phase, Operation Neptune, of Operation Overlord; the Allied invasion of German-occupied France that commenced on 6 June 1944...

 beaches. The organizational planning of the landing itself (Operation Neptune
Operation Neptune
The Normandy landings, codenamed Operation Neptune, were the landing operations of the Allied invasion of Normandy, in Operation Overlord, during World War II. The landings commenced on Tuesday, 6 June 1944 , beginning at 6:30 AM British Double Summer Time...

) was in the hands of Admiral
Admiral
Admiral is the rank, or part of the name of the ranks, of the highest naval officers. It is usually considered a full admiral and above vice admiral and below admiral of the fleet . It is usually abbreviated to "Adm" or "ADM"...

 Bertram Ramsay
Bertram Ramsay
Admiral Sir Bertram Home Ramsay KCB, KBE, MVO was a British admiral during World War II. He was an important contributor in the field of amphibious warfare.-Early life:...

. It covered the landing of the troops and their re-supply.

Other large amphibious operations in the European Theatre in WWII include:
  • Norway
    Operation Weserübung
    Operation Weserübung was the code name for Germany's assault on Denmark and Norway during the Second World War and the opening operation of the Norwegian Campaign...

  • Great Britain (not carried out)
  • Crete
    Battle of Crete
    The Battle of Crete was a battle during World War II on the Greek island of Crete. It began on the morning of 20 May 1941, when Nazi Germany launched an airborne invasion of Crete under the code-name Unternehmen Merkur...

  • North Africa
    Operation Torch
    Operation Torch was the British-American invasion of French North Africa in World War II during the North African Campaign, started on 8 November 1942....

  • Sicily
    Allied invasion of Sicily
    The Allied invasion of Sicily, codenamed Operation Husky, was a major World War II campaign, in which the Allies took Sicily from the Axis . It was a large scale amphibious and airborne operation, followed by six weeks of land combat. It launched the Italian Campaign.Husky began on the night of...

  • Salerno
  • Anzio
    Operation Shingle
    Operation Shingle , during the Italian Campaign of World War II, was an Allied amphibious landing against Axis forces in the area of Anzio and Nettuno, Italy. The operation was commanded by Major General John P. Lucas and was intended to outflank German forces of the Winter Line and enable an...

  • Southern France
    Operation Dragoon
    Operation Dragoon was the Allied invasion of southern France on August 15, 1944, during World War II. The invasion was initiated via a parachute drop by the 1st Airborne Task Force, followed by an amphibious assault by elements of the U.S. Seventh Army, followed a day later by a force made up...



In the Pacific Theatre
Pacific War
The Pacific War, also sometimes called the Asia-Pacific War refers broadly to the parts of World War II that took place in the Pacific Ocean, its islands, and in East Asia, then called the Far East...

, almost every campaign involved "island hopping" assaults from the sea. Some of the famous ones include:
  • Malaya
    Japanese Invasion of Malaya
    The Japanese Invasion of Malaya, or Battle of Kota Bharu, began just after midnight on 8 December 1941 before the attack on Pearl Harbor...

  • The Philippines 1941-42 and 1944-45
  • Battle of Guadalcanal
  • Battle of Tarawa
    Battle of Tarawa
    The Battle of Tarawa, code named Operation Galvanic, was a battle in the Pacific Theater of World War II, largely fought from November 20 to November 23, 1943. It was the first American offensive in the critical central Pacific region....

  • Battle of Makin
    Battle of Makin
    The Battle of Makin was a battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II, fought from 20 November to 24 November 1943, on Makin Atoll in the Gilbert Islands.-Japanese invasion and fortification:...

  • Battle of Saipan
    Battle of Saipan
    The Battle of Saipan was a battle of the Pacific campaign of World War II, fought on the island of Saipan in the Mariana Islands from 15 June-9 July 1944. The Allied invasion fleet embarking the expeditionary forces left Pearl Harbor on 5 June 1944, the day before Operation Overlord in Europe was...

  • Battle of Peleliu
    Battle of Peleliu
    The Battle of Peleliu, codenamed Operation Stalemate II, was fought between the United States and the Empire of Japan in the Pacific Theater of World War II, from September–November 1944 on the island of Peleliu, present-day Palau. U.S...

  • Battle of Iwo Jima
    Battle of Iwo Jima
    The Battle of Iwo Jima , or Operation Detachment, was a major battle in which the United States fought for and captured the island of Iwo Jima from the Empire of Japan. The U.S...

  • Battle of Okinawa
    Battle of Okinawa
    The Battle of Okinawa, codenamed Operation Iceberg, was fought on the Ryukyu Islands of Okinawa and was the largest amphibious assault in the Pacific War of World War II. The 82-day-long battle lasted from early April until mid-June 1945...



The war finished before the large Indian Ocean amphibious assault Operation Zipper
Operation Zipper
During the Second World War, Operation Zipper was a British plan to capture either Port Swettenham or Port Dickson, Malaya as staging areas for the recapture of Singapore. However, due to the end of the war in the Pacific, it was never fully executed. Some of the proposed landings on Penang went...

 was launched, however, small amphibious operations took place along the Arakan coast during the Burma Campaign
Burma Campaign
The Burma Campaign in the South-East Asian Theatre of World War II was fought primarily between British Commonwealth, Chinese and United States forces against the forces of the Empire of Japan, Thailand, and the Indian National Army. British Commonwealth land forces were drawn primarily from...

.

After World War II



During the Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

 the US X Corps, consisting of the 1st Marine Division and 7th Infantry Division landed at Inchon
Battle of Inchon
The Battle of Inchon was an amphibious invasion and battle of the Korean War that resulted in a decisive victory and strategic reversal in favor of the United Nations . The operation involved some 75,000 troops and 261 naval vessels, and led to the recapture of the South Korean capital Seoul two...

. Conceived of and commanded by US
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 General Douglas MacArthur
Douglas MacArthur
General of the Army Douglas MacArthur was an American general and field marshal of the Philippine Army. He was a Chief of Staff of the United States Army during the 1930s and played a prominent role in the Pacific theater during World War II. He received the Medal of Honor for his service in the...

, this landing is considered by many military historians to have been a tactical jewel, one of the most brilliant amphibious maneuvers in history . The success of this battle eventually resulted in link up with US Army forces that broke out of the Pusan perimeter, and led by the 1st Cavalry Division and its Task Force Lynch, http://www.first-team.us/journals/1stndx03.html cleared much of South Korea. A second landing by the Tenth Corps on the east coast approached the Chosin Reservoir and hydroelectric plants that powered much of Communist China's heavy industry, and led to intervention by Chinese
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 forces on behalf of North Korea
North Korea
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...

. Amphibious landings also took place during the First Indochina War
First Indochina War
The First Indochina War was fought in French Indochina from December 19, 1946, until August 1, 1954, between the French Union's French Far East...

, notably during Operation Camargue
Operation Camargue
Operation Camargue was one of the largest operations by the French Far East Expeditionary Corps and Vietnamese National Army in the First Indochina War. It took place from 28 July until 10 August 1953...

, one of the largest of the conflict.



The British Royal Marines
Royal Marines
The Corps of Her Majesty's Royal Marines, commonly just referred to as the Royal Marines , are the marine corps and amphibious infantry of the United Kingdom and, along with the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary, form the Naval Service...

 made their first post-WWII amphibious assault during the Suez Crisis
Suez Crisis
The Suez Crisis, also referred to as the Tripartite Aggression, Suez War was an offensive war fought by France, the United Kingdom, and Israel against Egypt beginning on 29 October 1956. Less than a day after Israel invaded Egypt, Britain and France issued a joint ultimatum to Egypt and Israel,...

 of 1956 when they successfully landed at Suez
Suez
Suez is a seaport city in north-eastern Egypt, located on the north coast of the Gulf of Suez , near the southern terminus of the Suez Canal, having the same boundaries as Suez governorate. It has three harbors, Adabya, Ain Sokhna and Port Tawfiq, and extensive port facilities...

 on 6 November as part of a joint seaborne/airborne operation code-named MUSKETEER. It was the first amphibious operation that employed helicopters in the assault. Nearly 30 years later in the Falklands War
Falklands War
The Falklands War , also called the Falklands Conflict or Falklands Crisis, was fought in 1982 between Argentina and the United Kingdom over the disputed Falkland Islands and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands...

, the Argentine 1st Marine Brigade of the Argentine Navy
Argentine Navy
The Navy of the Argentine Republic or Armada of the Argentine Republic is the navy of Argentina. It is one of the three branches of the Armed Forces of the Argentine Republic, together with the Army and the Air Force....

 along with Naval Special Forces, landed at Mullet Creek
Mullet Creek
Mullet Creek is a small river in East Falkland. It is not a major watercourse, but is best known for its part in the Falklands War On April 2, 1982, Argentinian marines led by Guillermo Sanchez-Sabarots, landed his squadron of special forces at Mullet Creek, and advanced on Stanley...

 near Stanley
Stanley, Falkland Islands
Stanley is the capital and only true cityin the Falkland Islands. It is located on the isle of East Falkland, on a north-facing slope in one of the wettest parts of the islands. At the 2006 census, the city had a population of 2,115...

 on 2 April 1982, while later the Royal Marines' 3 Commando Brigade
3 Commando Brigade
3 Commando Brigade is a commando formation of the British Armed Forces and the main manoeuvre formation of the Royal Marines. Its personnel are predominantly Royal Marines, supported by units of Royal Engineers, Royal Artillery, The Rifles, and the Fleet Air Arm, together with other Commando...

, (augmented by the British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

's Parachute Regiment) landed at Port San Carlos
Port San Carlos
Port San Carlos is located on the northern bank of the inlet known as Port San Carlos, off San Carlos Water on the Western coast of East Falkland, in the Falkland Islands...

 on 21 May 1982.

In the Sri Lankan Civil War
Sri Lankan civil war
The Sri Lankan Civil War was a conflict fought on the island of Sri Lanka. Beginning on July 23, 1983, there was an on-and-off insurgency against the government by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam , a separatist militant organization which fought to create an independent Tamil state named Tamil...

, the Sri Lanka armed forces
Sri Lanka Armed Forces
The Sri Lanka Armed Forces is the overall unified military of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka encompassing the Sri Lanka Army, the Sri Lanka Navy, the Sri Lanka Air Force which comes under preview of the Ministry of Defence...

 carried out several successful amphibious assault against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam was a separatist militant organization formerly based in northern Sri Lanka. Founded in May 1976 by Vellupillai Prabhakaran, it waged a violent secessionist and nationalist campaign to create an independent state in the north and east of Sri Lanka for Tamil...

, that included the landing code named Operation Balavegaya
Operation Balavegaya
Operation Balavegaya was a combined military operation launched by the Sri Lankan Military in Jaffna. It was the largest amphibious assault launched by the Sri Lankan Military in its history. Operation Balavegaya was launched in response to siege of Elephant Pass by the LTTE terrorists...

.

During the Persian Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

, a large amphibious assault force, composed of USMC
United States Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

 and naval support, was positioned off the coast of Kuwait
Kuwait
The State of Kuwait is a sovereign Arab state situated in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south at Khafji, and Iraq to the north at Basra. It lies on the north-western shore of the Persian Gulf. The name Kuwait is derived from the...

 and Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

. This force was composed of 40 amphibious assault ship
Amphibious assault ship
An amphibious assault ship is a type of amphibious warfare ship employed to land and support ground forces on enemy territory by an amphibious assault...

s, the largest such force to be assembled since the Battle of Inchon
Battle of Inchon
The Battle of Inchon was an amphibious invasion and battle of the Korean War that resulted in a decisive victory and strategic reversal in favor of the United Nations . The operation involved some 75,000 troops and 261 naval vessels, and led to the recapture of the South Korean capital Seoul two...

. The objective was to fix the six Iraqi divisions deployed along the Kuwaiti coast. The purpose behind this amphibious maneuver (known as an amphibious demonstration) was to prevent 6 Iraqi divisions poised for the defense of the littorals from being able to actively engage in combat at the real front. The operation was extremely successful in keeping more than 41,000 Iraqi forces from repositioning to the main battlefield. As a result, the Marines maneuvered through the Iraq defense of southern Kuwait and outflanked the Iraqi coastal defense forces.

An amphibious assault was carried out by Royal Marines
Royal Marines
The Corps of Her Majesty's Royal Marines, commonly just referred to as the Royal Marines , are the marine corps and amphibious infantry of the United Kingdom and, along with the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary, form the Naval Service...

, U.S. Marines and units of the Polish
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 special forces
GROM
GROM is one of five special forces units of the Polish Armed Forces. It was officially activated on July 8, 1990...

 when they landed at the Al-Faw Peninsula
Al-Faw Peninsula
The Faw peninsula is a marshy region adjoining the Persian Gulf in the extreme south-east of Iraq, between and to the south-east of the cities of Basra and Abadan ....

 on 20 March 2003 during the Iraqi War
2003 invasion of Iraq
The 2003 invasion of Iraq , was the start of the conflict known as the Iraq War, or Operation Iraqi Freedom, in which a combined force of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq and toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein in 21 days of major combat operations...

.

The most recent amphibious assault
2008 invasion of Anjouan
The invasion of Anjouan , on March 25, 2008, was an amphibious assault led by the Comoros, backed by African Union forces, including troops from Sudan, Tanzania, Senegal, along with logistical support from Libya and France...

 was launched in the Comoros
Comoros
The Comoros , officially the Union of the Comoros is an archipelago island nation in the Indian Ocean, located off the eastern coast of Africa, on the northern end of the Mozambique Channel, between northeastern Mozambique and northwestern Madagascar...

 by government and African Union troops in March 2008.

See also

  • Littoral warfare
    Littoral (military)
    Littoral combat is a term in military and naval warfare. It refers to operations in and around the littoral zone, within a certain distance of shore, including surveillance, mine-clearing and support for landing operations and other types of combat shifting from water to ground, and back.The...

  • 32nd Marines Brigade (Greece)
  • Amphibious warfare (United States)
    Amphibious warfare (United States)
    The United States has a long history in amphibious warfare from the landings in the Bahamas during the American Revolutionary War, to some of the more massive examples of World War II in the European Theater of Operation on Normandy, and in Africa and Italy, as well as the constant island warfare...

  • Battleplan
    Battleplan
    Battleplan is a military television documentary series examing various military strategies used in modern warfare since World War I. It is shown on the Military Channel in the U.S. and UKTV History...

    (documentary TV series)
  • List of amphibious warfare ships