Hobby Master HG4404 USMC LVT-2 'Water Buffalo' Amtank Amphibious Vehicle - Unknown Unit, Battle of Saipan, Mariana Islands, June 1944 (1:72 Scale)
"I have always considered Saipan the decisive battle of the Pacific offensive (it was) the naval and military heart and brain of the Japanese defense strategy."
- Lieutenant General Holland M. Smith, Commander of the US Fleet Marine Force in the Pacific, July 1944
The Landing Vehicle Tracked (LVT) was a class of amphibious vehicles introduced by the United States Navy, Marine Corps and Army during World War II. Originally intended solely as cargo carriers for ship to shore operations, they rapidly evolved into assault troop and fire support vehicles as well. The types were all widely known as amphtrack, amtrak, amtrac etc., a portmanteau of amphibious tractor.
After much deliberation, it was determined that amphibious tracked vehicles were the only solution to this problem. Both the amtrac and the amtank were developed, designed to be able to climb onto a reef from the sea then advance across the rough coral to the beach without exposing the troops inside to small arms fire. The amtracs were responsible for transporting troops ashore where they could continue the assault. The amtanks, on the hand, led the way, firing at the enemy positions the moment naval gunfire and air strikes lifted.
Based on the LVT-2, the LVT(A)-1 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 an M44 mount, and also carried two rear-mounted machine guns. 510 units produced.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a USMC LVT-2 'Water Buffalo' Amtank Amphibious Vehicle which saw action at the Battle of Saipan, Mariana Islands, fought during June 1944. Sold Out!
Length: 4-1/4 inches
Width: 1-3/4 inches
Release Date: August 2011
Historical Account: "Stepping Stones" - 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 June 16th - July 9th, 1944. The Allied invasion fleet embarking the expeditionary forces left Pearl Harbor on June 5th, 1944, the day before Operation Overlord in Europe was launched. The U.S. 2nd Marine Division, 4th Marine Division, and 27th Infantry Division, commanded by Lieutenant General Holland Smith, defeated the 43rd Division of the Imperial Japanese Army, commanded by Lieutenant General Yoshitsugu Saito.