Gaso.Line GasSPE02 US Landing Craft Mechanized (1:50 Scale)
"In war there is no second prize for the runner-up."
- General Omar Bradley
In the 1930s the U.S. Marine Corps and Navy, anticipating the need for amphibious assaults, experimented with small landing boats. Private firms were contracted to develop boats based on criteria outlined by the Navy. In Fleet Exercise 5, conducted in 1939, the 36-foot "Eureka" boat, manufactured by Andrew Higgins, a New Orleans boat builder, proved superior to all others. While this boat met or exceeded the Navy's criteria, it did not have a bow ramp, which was deemed critical for disembarking troops and war materiel. In 1941, a Marine Corps officer showed Higgins a picture of a Japanese landing craft with a ramp in the bow, and Higgins was asked to incorporate this design into his "Eureka" boat. He did so, producing the basic design for the Landing Craft Vehicle, Personnel (LCVP), often simply called the Higgins boat. The LCVP could carry 36 combat-equipped infantrymen or 8,000 pounds (3,600 kilograms) of cargo from ship to shore. During World War II the United States produced 23,398 of these craft while a British version of the LCVP called the Landing Craft, Assault, or LCA, were also built.
In addition to the basic infantry assault craft, the U.S. Army needed a vessel to transport and land its medium battle tank, and in May 1941 Higgins was asked to produce a tank-landing craft. One year later the Navy accepted the 50-foot (15.25-metre) Higgins design, the prototype for the Landing Craft, Mechanized (LCM). During the war, 11,392 LCMs were produced by the United States with 486 used during Operation Overlord. Sold Out!