Pen & Sword's Land Craft #10: Landing Craft

Author/Artists: Ben Skipper


Pen & Sword


$24.95 from Casemate


Scott Van Aken

Notes: 64 pages, softcover, over 100 illustrations
ISBN: 978-1-399092138

The concept of landing craft is not a new one having been used in one form or another for centuries to carry troops across bodies of water. Mostly these were just shallow draft boats and often the troops themselves were used to power them with oars. Of course, this meant they did not cross large distances, but they were a great way to get soldiers to shore. It wasn't until the 1915 Gallipoli campaign that it was realized that just using standard boats or lighters wasn't really the best way to do things and a purpose built landing boat was what was needed. Several nations learned from the Gallipoli campaign and so you find boats being designed in the US, UK, Germany and Japan, to name a few.

This book looks at the wide variety of boats designed by the major WWII combatants and beyond. The book is divided into two major sections. One is a history of the design, development, and variety of landing craft. This runs the range of small troop carrying boats where the troops had to jump over the side up to the category of ships with the very large Landing Ship, Tank (LST), used in the last years of WWII. It also covers amphibian vessels like the DUKW and Alligator craft. For post war designs, hovercraft are included as they are an integral part of any modern amphibious capability. Further, these historical sections are divided by country so you can see how the craft developed over the years.

The other part of the book is for modelers. This includes several pages of full color profiles as well as build articles on some of the more interesting types. It is concluded by a section on available kits. I like that the publishers have made the book more logical as in the past it started with the history, then inserted the modeling section, then finished with the rest of the history. In all, it is a super book for both the enthusiast and modeler alike. Well worth picking up.

April 2022

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