Amphibious Assault

Amphibious Assault : Strategy and tactics from Gallipoli to Iraq

By (author)  , By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Expected delivery to the United States in 6-9 business days.

Not ordering to the United States? Click here.


Landing on a hostile beach is one of the most ancient forms and still most difficult forms of warfare. It requires unparalleled levels of planning, organisation, coordination and cooperation between the services. After the disasters of Gallipoli and Zeebrugge in the World War I, amphibious operations reached their maturity in World War II, and were essential in the defeat of Japan, while the D-Day landings signaled the beginning of the end for Hitler. Since 1945, myriad expeditionary naval forces have set off for a wide range of destinations, including Korea, Vietnam, the Falkland Islands, Grenada, the Balkans and Iraq in 2003. In the post-Cold War era, amphibious warfare has reached new heights of importance in its ability to intervene rapidly in crisis situations.

Rather than following a narrative history, Amphibious Warfare takes the unique approach of building up the different stages of an amphibious campaign chapter by chapter, illustrating each with case studies. From planning and preparation to reaching landing zones, from beachhead consolidation to securing a target, Amphibious Warfare offers the complete picture of the people, strategy and tactics, ships and landing craft, tanks and aircraft, as well as the assaults involved.

Illustrated with more than 150 photographs and including a colour plate section of more than 40 artworks, Amphibious Warfare is the complete guide to a form of conflict of increasing relevance to the modern world.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 192 pages
  • 183 x 245 x 16mm | 486g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised
  • 2nd Revised edition
  • 175 photos and artworks; 175 Illustrations, unspecified
  • 1838860657
  • 9781838860653
  • 965,930

Table of contents

Introduction -- The Strategic Context

Chapter One: Preparation and Planning
Selection of landing point/target; type of forces required; training; command structure and inter-service/inter-ally cooperation; equipment and technology required; special considerations due to distance of battle space from base and terrain. Case studies include D-Day, German plans for the invasion of Britain in WWII, Inchon and the Falklands.

Chapter Two: Reaching the Battle Zone
The role of the navy: aircraft carriers, availability of merchant shipping and adequate protection; troop ships, destroyers and frigates to act as escort force. Case studies include Midway (Japanese failure to secure sea control prior to assault on island) and the Gulf.

Chapter Three: Pre-landing Operations
Bombardment, shelling and air strikes on primary targets; helicopter and submarine insertions; minesweeping operations and the clearing of beach defences.

Chapter Four: Securing the Beach
The development of landing craft; the experience of getting on to the beach; the need to get off the beach quickly; opposed and unopposed landings. Case studies include Dieppe, Iwo Jima, Omaha beach, Suez.

Chapter Five: Consolidation and Breakout
Not getting stuck with men and supplies piling up; getting enough depth so not under enemy fire. Concentration of forces in order to interdict enemy lines of communication and supply, prevent them from getting near the coast and driving you back. The approach to the main target. Case studies include Gallipoli, Anzio, D-Day, Falklands.

Chapter Six: Logistics and Supply
How to provide the munitions, food, men and materiel to sustain the operation once in the battle zone; pipelines, floating harbours, hospital ships (eg the Canberra in the Falklands). Case studies include the fleet trains for the Pacific campaign in WWII, Vietnam, Falklands.

Chapter Seven: Withdrawal and Evacuation
An often overlooked aspect of amphibious operations. Discussion of problems of planned withdrawal, withdrawal in contact with the enemy, conduct and requirements. Case studies include Gallipoli, Dunkirk, Crete, Korea (Hungnam in 1950).

Chapter Eight: Equipment
Detailed study of design and development of landing ships and craft, shore bombardment artillery. Future operations: Apache attack helicopters, long-range precision munitions, digitised command and control facilities, new aircraft carriers, helicopter carriers, roll-on/roll-off ships, landing logistic ships, landing platforms dock, submarines and escorts, submarine-launched Tomahawk land-attack missile (TLAM), the Eurofighter.

Chapter Nine: The Future of Amphibious Warfare
Changed strategic environment in post-Cold War era. No longer a pre-ordained monolithic threat. Instead, more crisis flashpoints all around the globe, which require rapid response. Demonstration of UN/NATO/Western will and means to intervene, often for humanitarian reasons. Amphibious forces are the only ones that can react immediately to such a crisis. Impact of technology: the digitisation of the battlespace, increasing weapon ranges (eg. TLAM) means the traditional beach landings may no longer be necessary. Naval forces having more impact on land than ever before. Discussion of evolving USMC issues such as Operational Manoeuvre, Sea Basing, precision fires. Higher sensitivity to casualties, and increased presence of media. Greater interoperability required between individual services, between the services of different countries and alliances, and non-military organisations.

Appendix: Amphibious Warfare Ships and Craft Designations Ship designations during World War II
Post-World War II Ship designations

show more

Review quote

"the book offers a very structured and easy to read introduction to the concept of
amphibious warfare." * Nautical Research Journal 60:2 (June 2015) *
show more

About Dr Ian Speller

Dr Ian Speller is a senior lecturer and Director of the Centre for Military History and Strategic Studies in the Department of History at NUI Maynooth. Prior to this he was a Senior Lecturer in the Defence Studies Department at King's College, London.
Dr Christopher Tuck is a Senior Lecturer in the Defence Studies Department. He has previously been a Lecturer in the Department of Defence and International Affairs at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst and a Research Intern at Saferworld, a foreign policy lobbying group. He has been at Staff College since 1997. He has an MSc Econ in Strategic Studies from the University of Aberystwyth and a PhD from Reading University. His current research consists of two book projects: one on British strategy during the Confrontation with Indonesia; the other on land warfare since 1900.
show more