Landing Ship, Dock (LSD) Amphibious warfare in the Pacific threw up many requirements for specialised support vessels, among which was that for a 'mother ship' to transport landing craft across the vast expanses of ocean between Japan’s various island fortresses. On arrival at the beachhead, the LSD had provision to launch and support its complement of LCTs for the duration of the operation. Landing Ship, Dock (LSD) DISPLACEMENT: 7,930 tons (7,805 tonnes) fully loaded DIMENSIONS: Overall length 457 ft 9 in (139.52 m); Beam 72 ft 3 in (22,02 m); Draught 17 ft (5,18 m) ENGINES: Two single shaft, geared steam turbine engines MAXIMUM SPEED: 16 knots (29.63 km/h) ARMAMENT: One 3 inch gun and up to twenty 20 mm Oerlikon cannons CREW COMPLEMENT: 290 CARGO CAPACITY: Two LCT 3/LOT 4, three LCT 5 or 36 LCM 3 landing craft or 1,500 tons (1,477 tonnes) of cargo and 263 troops. Landing Craft, Vehicle & Personnel (LCVP) One of the work horses of the Pacific war, the wooden LCVP was manufactured on a large scale by a network of contractors throughout the United States. Capable of carrying troops, cargo or vehicles, America's 'island hopping' strategy would have been impossible without these humble craft shuttling to and fro between the ocean-going transports and the various beachheads. Landing Craft, Vehicle & Personnel (LCVP) DISPLACEMENT: 11 1/2 tons (11.32 tonnes) fully loaded DIMENSIONS: Overall length 36 ft (10.97m) Beam 10ft 6in (3.20m) Draught 26 in (0.66m) ENGINE: Single shaft, water-cooled petrol or diesel engine MAXIMUM SPEED: 9 knots (16.67 km/h) ARMAMENT: Two 0.303in Browning machine guns. CREW COMPLEMENT: Three CARGO CAPACITY: One 3 ton (2,722 kg) truck, 36 troops or 31/2 tons (3,175 kg) of freight. The success of the US amphibious operations in the Pacific hinged on these unpretentious vessels. The first wave of an island assault force was made upon LVTs supported by specialised fire support to soften up the beachhead. The escorting warships laid down suppressive gunfire inland. Following the assault wave came landing craft ferrying in reinforcements. With the assault troops ashore, reinforcements are transferred to LVTs if the enemy's fire necessitates. Once the beachhead has been secured, work starts on constructing support facilities (airstrips, fuel dumps, field hospitals etc) to back up the troops fighting inland to secure the island.