The Invention That Won World War II

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by ImaginaryNumber, Jun 5, 2019.

  1. ImaginaryNumber
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    ImaginaryNumber Imaginary Member

  2. Angélique
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    Angélique aka Angel (only by name)

    Great topic, thanks for starting IN . . !

    Wikipedia: LCVP (United States)

    — Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel (LCVP) or Higgins Boat — Built: 1942-45 — Completed: More than 23,358 —
    [​IMG]

     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2019
  3. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    From the first post, I got the impression that this was a new invention.
    Of course, like all good ideas, it was an improvement on landing craft designs that originated in 1879, by the Government of Chile, and a concept that was extensively developed by the British even prior to WWII,
    like the X Lighter of 1915,

    xlighter.png

    The British also produced the Motor Landing Craft in 1920, ...... The craft could put a medium tank directly onto a beach. From 1924, it was used with landing boats in annual exercises in amphibious landings. A prototype motor landing craft, designed by J. Samuel White of Cowes, was built and first sailed in 1926.
    It weighed 16 tons and had a box-like appearance, having a square bow and stern. To prevent the fouling of the propellers in a craft destined to spend time in the surf and possibly be beached, a crude waterjet propulsion system was devised by White's designers. A Hotchkiss petrol engine drove a
    centrifugal pump which produced a jet of water, pushing the craft ahead or astern, and steering it, according to how the jet was directed. Speed was 5-6 knots and its beaching capacity was good.


    Motorlandingcraft_1942.jpg

    In the run-up to WWII, many specialized landing craft, both for infantry and vehicles, were developed. In November 1938, the British Inter-Service Training and Development Centre proposed a new type of landing craft.[7] Its specifications were to weigh less than ten long tons, to be able to carry the thirty-one men of a British Army platoon and five assault engineers or signallers and to be so shallow drafted as to be able to land them, wet only up to their knees, in eighteen inches of water.[7] This craft later was designated LCVP—Landing Craft Vehicle, Personnel


    Lca_Juno.jpg

    LCA Landing troops at Normandy.
    Landing Craft Assault - Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landing_Craft_Assault


    Landing craft - Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landing_craft
     
  4. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Yes, not really an invention, and arguably the war was well and truly lost by D-day anyway.
     
  5. Angélique
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    Angélique aka Angel (only by name)

    At least I like they've knocked over 23,000 of Higgins' design very fast together from plywood, so they were available when needed.
     
  6. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Plywood ? I'd have guessed steel, but I am not au fait with the subject matter.
     
  7. Angélique
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    Angélique aka Angel (only by name)

    From the link at the top of post #1

    ‘‘ Thousands of flat-bottomed boats plowed through rough seas under cold gray skies. The smell of diesel fumes and vomit was overwhelming as the small vessels lurched toward the beaches. Waves slapped hard against the plywood hulls while bullets pinged off the flat steel bows.

    Frightened men in uniform hunkered down beneath the gunwales to avoid the continuous enemy fire. Suddenly, they heard the sound of the keels grinding against sand and stone. Heavy iron ramps dropped into the surf and the men surged forward into the cold water toward an uncertain fate. ’’


    Also a steel front gate to keep the bullets out and plywood hulls in the first link in post #2, and in the 1999 exact replica build video at he bottom of post #2.

    P.S. - Less exact post war copies utilized fibreglass construction, like in the movie Saving Private Ryan.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
  8. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    The landing craft, vehicle, personnel (LCVP) or Higgins boat was a landing craft used extensively in amphibious landings in World War II. The craft was designed by Andrew Higgins based on boats made for operating in swamps and marshes. More than 23,358 were built, by Higgins Industries and licensees.[1]

    Andrew Higgins started out in the lumber business, but gradually moved into boat building, which became his sole operation after the lumber transport company he was running entered bankruptcy in 1930. Many sources say his boats were intended for use by trappers and oil-drillers; occasionally, some sources imply or even say that Higgins intended to sell the boats to individuals intending to smuggle illegal liquor into the United States.[2][3][4]

    Higgins' financial difficulties, and his association with the U.S. military, occurred around the time Prohibition was repealed, which would have ruined his market in the rum-running sector; the U.S. Navy's interest in the boats was, in any case, providential, though Higgins proved unable to manage his company's good fortune.

    At just over 36 ft (11 m) long and just under 11 ft (3.4 m) wide, the LCVP was not a large craft. Powered by a 225-horsepower Diesel engine at 12 knots, it would sway in choppy seas, causing seasickness. Since its sides and rear were made of plywood, it offered limited protection from enemy fire but also reduced cost and saved steel.

    LCVP (United States) - Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LCVP_(United_States)
     
  9. Angélique
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    Angélique aka Angel (only by name)

    Not only the sides and stern were made of plywood, there's also some 1940s original plywood bottom built footage in the post #2 video at about 3:01 to ± 3:51.

    The original WWII footage of plywood bottoms and hull sides and sterns being built in the streets of New Orleans in Louisiana is shown at ~ 3:12.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
  10. Angélique
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    Angélique aka Angel (only by name)

    They were only L 36' 3" (11.05 m) × B 10' 10" (3.30 m) × D 2' 2" (0.66 m) fore / 3' (0.91 m) aft, at a loading capacity of a 6,000 lb (2,722 kg) vehicle, or a better over the floor distributed general cargo and troops of 8,100 lb (3,674 kg), a steel version would have less carrying capacity I'll guess, apart from steel being more scarce at the time near the end of WWII when most were made.

    I wonder though what the small tanks and the trucks that fitted in weighted, many might have gone to the beach with overweight.

    P.S. —

    On second thoughts, the weight of the small tanks and the trucks that fitted in might have been just within the loading capacity range of the design, since it was designed to do so.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
  11. Angélique
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    Angélique aka Angel (only by name)

    Pic from the link in post #1, which looks like wood construction to me...

    [​IMG]
    ‘‘ . . . Assault troops approach Omaha Beach in Normandy, June 6, 1944. . . . ’’

    ‘‘ . . . Higgins developed a reputation for being able to do the impossible. Once, the Navy asked him if he could come up with plans for a new boat design in three days. “Hell,” he replied. “I can build the boat in three days.” And that is exactly what he did. . . . ’’

    Correction on the quote, 23,358 ¹ boats built in 3 years is over 21 ¹ boats on average per day, starting from 50 employees to over 20,000 near the end of LCVP production, while among the new build recruits were many at the outset unskilled men and women, of which many were elderly and/or handicapped in one way or the other, whoever was available at the time and wanted to help, skills were trained on the job, that would have been harder with steel vs. plywood and the needed tooling.

    ¹ which production numbers are only about the post #1 Higgins produced LCVPs, besides the variety of other landing craft in different shapes and sizes, the PT boats and the supply vessels and other specialized boats which Higgins' people built to his designs² in support of the war effort.

    ² only some of Higgins' granted patents are roughly linked there, by far not all his boat designs.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
  12. Angélique
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    Angélique aka Angel (only by name)

    Some Wikipedia quotes from the Andrew Higgins page with given sources...

    ‘‘ General (and 1953 to 1961 president of the United States) Dwight Eisenhower is quoted (in 1964) as saying, "Andrew Higgins ... is the man who won the war for us. ... If Higgins had not designed and built those LCVPs, we never could have landed over an open beach. The whole strategy of the war would have been different." Adolf Hitler recognized his heroic war efforts in ship production and bitterly dubbed him the "New Noah." [2] [3] ’’

    Andrew Jackson Higgins memorial at Utah Beach, Normandy, France

    [​IMG]
    (large image)
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
  13. MikeJohns
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    MikeJohns Senior Member

    It was nothing new, and not hard for any designer. The US Navy asked Higgins to produce something similar to the Thornycroft design already in production by both England and Japan he was even given details of the Japanese design as a basis for his design.

    His value was arguably not the design but his ability to implement effective economic large scale production.
     

  14. waikikin
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    waikikin Senior Member

    Great story, love this bit... sometimes it's what's required- lie the timing of patent application- prep meets opportunity

    "
    Higgins developed a reputation for being able to do the impossible. Once, the Navy asked him if he could come up with plans for a new boat design in three days. “Hell,” he replied. “I can build the boat in three days.” And that is exactly what he did.

    “The man was all about efficiency and getting things done,” Schick says. “The Navy began to realize that if there was an impossible task, just give it to Higgins and he’ll do it.”

    The secret to Higgins success may have been his personality. He was driven to succeed and never let barriers slow him down. He often bulled his way through or over bureaucratic quagmires, labor difficulties, material shortages and negative-thinking people with a brusk attitude and a few salty words.

    “As long as Higgins was the one in charge and didn’t have to rely on other people, he could bust through any obstacle that came in his way,” Schick says. “That attitude of determination and hard work helped him solve just about any issue.”"

    J.
     
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