WEAPONS OF WAR: X-Lighter Motor Landing Craft

Popularly known as Black Beetles, X-Lighters revolutionised how British and Dominion troops were carried onto hostile shores. This forerunner to modern landing craft is profiled by John Ash

A DESTROYER TOWS A LANDING PARTY OFF GALLIPOLI. UNTIL 1915, POWERED SHIPS BROUGHT SMALL CRAFT INSHORE
ALEXANDER TURNBULL LIBRARY/NATIONAL LIBRARY NZ

In every amphibious beach landing the imperative is to get the assault waves ashore and inland as quickly as possible. Large-scale landings have always been intricate, complicated and risky. This was the case millennia ago when the Athenians tried to take Syracuse in 415 BCE and when the Persians mounted an assault on Marathon in 490 BCE. Both proved unsuccessful.

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