Landing ship, infantry

A Landing ship, infantry (LSI) or infantry landing ship was one of a number of types of British Commonwealth vessels used to transport landing craft and troops engaged in amphibious warfare during the Second World War. LSIs were operated by the Royal Navy, British Merchant Navy, Royal Canadian Navy, Royal Indian Navy, and Royal Australian Navy. They transported British Commonwealth and other Allied troops in sea assaults and invasions throughout the war.

Typically, a landing ship, infantry would transport its cargo of infantry from its embarkation port to close to the coast to be invaded. This location (known as a "transport area" in a US Navy task force, or "lowering position" in a Royal Navy task force) was approximately 6–11 miles off shore (11 miles was amphibious doctrine for the USN by mid-war, while the RN tended to accept the risks associated with drawing nearer the shore). The troops would then transfer to landing craft, most commonly LCAs, for the journey to the beach. The landing craft would return to the LSI after disembarking their cargo and be hoisted up to embark additional troops.

HMS Rocksand (F184)
LCAs leave HMS Rocksand, a landing ship, infantry, for the island of Nancowry in the British occupation of the Nicobar Islands, October 1945
Class overview
Name: Landing ship, infantry
Operators:
Succeeded by: Landing ship logistics
Built: 1938–1945
Completed: ~40
Active: 0
General characteristics
Troops: 150 to 1,500,
Crew: 120 to 300 officers and ratings
Armament: Typically a range of anti-aircraft guns
Armour: Typically anti-splinter mattresses and gun shields

Origins

In the years immediately before war was declared the Inter-Service Training and Development Centre sought to identify ships suitable to carry Army and Royal Marine formations being employed in amphibious operations. Such ships would not be purpose-built, but would be found within the lists of merchant marine vessels.[1] These ships needed to be fast and have davits capable of lowering the new landing craft assault fully loaded with troops.[2] Glengyle and her sisters, Glenearn, Glenroy, and Breconshire, then abuilding, were determined to be ideal for infantry landing ships.[3] This class of four fast passenger and cargo liners were intended for the Far East trade route.[4] The Admiralty acquired the four Glens shortly after their launchings, and converted them into fast supply ships. By June 1940, Glengyle, Glenearn, and Glenroy were under conversion to LSI(L)s. The Admiralty insisted on keeping Breconshire in a fast cargo configuration, so the ISTDC consulted the Director of Naval Construction about suitable requisitioned ships. The Dutch Continental passenger steamers Queen Emma and Princess Beatrix were converted to LSIs. Displacing approximately 3,000 gross registered tons and able to make 22 knots, these vessels could carry as many as 800 troops apiece.[5] These were the original 5 LSIs. More LSIs would be found in the years to come from requisitioning or new construction provided by the United States under Lend-Lease.

Design and conversion

LSIs were grouped according to their troop capacity and endurance. [6] Initially, all were requisitioned merchant vessels that exchanged carrying lifeboats for landing craft. [7] During April and June 1940, the Glens underwent further conversion into LSIs capable of transporting an embarked force of up to 34 officers and 663 other ranks and carrying 12 LCAs on Welin-McLachan davits and 1 LCM(1) stored in chocks on deck and launched by 30-ton derricks.[8][9][10] Glengyle was built by Caledon Shipbuilding & Engineering Company, Dundee, for the Glen Line. The only vital alterations to the 18 knot Glengyle and her sisters, Glenroy and Glenearn, were to assure davits strong enough to lower fully loaded LCAs, and to provide accommodation for the army units to be transported.[11] This latter alteration entailed introducing tables, forms, and posts for slinging hammocks into the former cargo hold.[12] Glengyle, the first LSI, was accepted into service on 10 September and, on 31 January 1941, she sailed around Africa to the Mediterranean.

Smaller LSI, such as Queen Emma and Princess Beatrix, were generally converted cross-channel ferries,[13] or a converted passenger ship.[14]

Conversion was accomplished, as with LSI(L), by adding davits for the landing craft, providing troop accommodation, plus some defensive armament, such as QF 12 pounder 12 cwt naval guns, and anti-aircraft guns, such as the 20 mm Oerlikon cannon.

In Canada in the spring of 1943, work was under way on the conversion of Prince David and Prince Henry to landing ship infantry (medium) (LSI (M)). They were reconfigured to carry 550 infantrymen transported in six LCAs and two LCM(1)s, and have large sick-bay facilities for the anticipated casualties. Their old 6-inch (152 mm) guns were replaced with two twin 4 inch mountings, two single Bofors, and ten Oerlikons. The rebuilding, which took place at Esquimalt and Vancouver, was completed in December 1943 and shortly after re-commissioning, she left for the United Kingdom via Cristobal and New York City, under Captain T.D. Kelly RCNR, (her final commanding officer) who had supervised the fitting-out of both ships. The ship's davits were capable of lifting an LCA which, by this time in the war, was approaching 14 tons.

HMCS PrinceDavid LSM
Four LCAs go ashore from HMCS Prince David off Bernières-sur-Mer, France, 6 June 1944

In Australia in mid-1942, HMAS Manoora was marked for conversion into the Royal Australian Navy's first landing ship, infantry at Garden Island Dockyard.[15] Her armed merchant cruiser armament was removed and replaced with a single 12-pounder gun, six 40 mm Bofors, and eight 20 mm Oerlikons.[16] The Walrus amphibian aircraft was removed, and the ship was modified to carry US manufactured landing craft: 17 LCVPs, and two LCM(3)s.[17][18] Manoora was initially able to accommodate 850 soldiers, but later modifications increased this to 1,250.[19] The ship was recommissioned on 2 February 1943 with the pennant number C77, and after spending six months on amphibious warfare training in Port Phillip, was deployed to New Guinea.[20]

In the United States, a commercial hull was put in war production by the Maritime Commission; the C1-S-AY1 subtype of thirteen ships built by Consolidated Steel Corporation, were modified for use as LSI(L)s under lend-lease.[21] These ships were all given two-word names beginning with "Empire", such as SS Empire Spearhead. All were able to accommodate two LCA flotillas; a total of 24 craft. The Empire Broadsword was lost at the Normandy Invasion, to a mine. Empire Javelin was sunk by a U-boat torpedo 28 December 1944. All these ships had davits fitted to accept LCAs and the other appropriate British manufactured landing craft for LSIs.

Normally British converted LSIs were fitted with heavy-duty power-operated davits.[22] Early landing ships were fitted with Welin-McLachlin davits – these being generally in use in the Merchant Navy for standard 99 man lifeboats.[23] As the weight of LCAs increased through the war (eventually approaching 14 tons) heavier davits were required. Later LSIs and those being refitted were provisioned with luffing davits of a crossbeam type.[24] The davits themselves provided a demarcation between the responsibilities of the LSI crew (either Royal Navy or Merchant Navy) and the members of the LCA flotilla.

Manning the landing ship, infantry

Some of the LSIs were commissioned into the Royal Navy, received navy crews, and flew the White Ensign, while most retained their civilian crews and flew the Red Ensign.[25] Royal Navy LSIs had Royal Navy landing craft flotillas assigned to them until 1943, when a proportion of landing craft flotillas were manned by Royal Marine crews. Merchant Navy LSIs would have Royal Navy gunners for the anti-aircraft equipment, and Royal Navy officers and ratings operating the ship’s flotilla of landing craft. [26] Generally, these divisions of personnel did not cooperate or share in each other's work responsibilities.

LSIs in Royal Canadian Navy service were crewed by Canadians and, by late 1943 on, were assigned RCN landing craft flotillas. The crews intermingled, lent a hand as needed in one another’s work, and messed together.

Ship designations

LSI(S) Landing ship, infantry (small)
LSI(M) Landing ship, infantry (medium)
LSI(L) Landing ship, infantry (large)
LSI(H) Landing ship, infantry (hand-hoisting)

Ships

See also

Notes and citations

  1. ^ Maund, p. 9.
  2. ^ Maund, p. 9.
  3. ^ Maund, p. 9
  4. ^ Fergusson, p. 41
  5. ^ Maund, p. 66.
  6. ^ Bruce, p. 16.
  7. ^ Bruce, p. 16.
  8. ^ Ladd,1976 p. 78
  9. ^ Maund, p. 66
  10. ^ Ladd, 1978, p. 245
  11. ^ Maund, p. 10.
  12. ^ Bruce, p. 21.
  13. ^ "The Heritage Coast: Landing Craft". theheritagecoast.co.uk. 2003. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
  14. ^ Mason, Geoffrey B. (2010). "HMS Royal Scotsman, LSI(L)". naval-history.net. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
  15. ^ Bastock, Australia's Ships of War, pp. 218–9
  16. ^ Bastock, Australia's Ships of War, p. 217.
  17. ^ Bastock, Australia's Ships of War, p. 217.
  18. ^ "HMAS Manoora (I)". HMA Ship Histories. Sea Power Centre – Australia. Retrieved 3 April 2011.
  19. ^ Bastock, Australia's Ships of War, p. 217.
  20. ^ Bastock, Australia's Ships of War, pp. 218–9
  21. ^ Buffetaut, p. 32.
  22. ^ Bruce, p18
  23. ^ Maund, p.10
  24. ^ North, p. 25
  25. ^ Bruce, p. 17.
  26. ^ Bruce, p. 17.
  27. ^ Colledge, J. J.; Warlow, Ben (2006) [1969]. Ships of the Royal Navy: The Complete Record of all Fighting Ships of the Royal Navy (Rev. ed.). London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN 978-1-86176-281-8. OCLC 67375475. p.126
  28. ^ "SS EL HIND". clydesite.co.uk. 2011. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
  29. ^ Groenenberg, Joanne (24 November 2004). "Maritime and Coastguard Agency - Press Releases". mcanet.mcga.gov.uk. Retrieved 13 February 2011.

References

  • Bruce, Colin J. Invaders, Chatham Publishing, London, 1999. ISBN 1-84067-533-0
  • Bastock, John. Australia's Ships of War Sydney : Angus and Robertson Publishers, 1975. ISBN 0207129274
  • Buffetaut, Yves. D-Day Ships, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, Maryland, 1994. ISBN 1-55750-152-1
  • Fergusson, Bernard. The Watery Maze; The Story of Combined Operations, Holt, New York, 1961.
  • Ladd, JD. Assault From the Sea: 1939–1945, Hippocrene Books, Inc., New York, 1976. ISBN 0-88254-392-X
  • Ladd, James D. Commandos and Rangers of World War 2, Macdonalds and Jane's, London, 1978. ISBN 0-356-08432-9.
  • Ladd, JD. Royal Marine Commando, Hamlyn Publishing Group Ltd., London, 1982. ISBN 0-600-34203-4
  • Lavery, Brian. Assault Landing Craft, Seaforth Publishing, Barnsley, UK, 2009. ISBN 978-1-84832-050-5
  • Lund, Paul, and Ludlam, Harry. War of the Landing Craft, New English Library, London 1976. ISBN 0-450-03039-3
  • Maund, LEH. Assault From the Sea, Methuen & Co. Ltd., London 1949.
  • Saunders, Hilary A. St. George. Combined Operations: The Official Story of the Commandos, New York: Macmillan, 1943.
  • US Navy ONI 226. Allied Landing Craft and Ships, US Government Printing Office, 1944.

External links

Attack transport

Attack transport is a United States Navy ship classification for a variant of ocean-going troopship adapted to transporting invasion forces ashore. Unlike standard troopships – often drafted from the merchant fleet – that rely on either a quay or tenders, attack transports carry their own fleet of landing craft.

They are not to be confused with landing ships, which beach themselves to bring their troops directly ashore, or their general British equivalent, the Landing ship, infantry.

A total of 388 APA (troop) and AKA (cargo) attack transports were built for service in World War II in at least fifteen classes. Depending on class they were armed with one or two 5-inch guns and a variety of 40 mm and 20 mm anti-aircraft weapons.

By the late 1960s, 41 of these ships were redesignated as "Amphibious Transports", with the hull code "(LPA)", and another 13 ships were redesignated as "Amphibious Transport, Small" with hull code "(LPR)", but they all retained their names and hull numbers.

Cameron-class steamship

The Cameron-class steamers was a class of British cargo steamships. They were designed for Clan Line and were also used by Scottish Shire Line and the Royal Navy.

Clan Macarthur, launched in 1935, sunk in the Indian Ocean by German submarine U-181 in August 1943.

Clan Macaulay, launched in 1936, damaged by bombing at Malta, scrapped in 1963.

Clan Buchanan, launched in 1937, sunk in the Indian Ocean by the German auxiliary cruiser Pinguin in 1941.

Clan Cameron, launched in 1937, scrapped 1959.

Clan Campbell, launched in 1937, sunk by bombing off Malta 1942.

Clan Chattan, launched in 1937, sunk by bombing off Crete in 1942.

Clan Chisholm, launched in 1937, sailed in convoy from Gibraltar and torpedoed and sunk by U-48 in October 1939.

Clan Cumming, launched in 1937, convoy duties to Malta and Piraeus, torpedoed off Piraeus in January 1941 but reached port, sunk by mine in the Gulf of Athens April 1941.

Clan Ferguson, launched in 1938, torpedoed and sunk by aircraft on a Malta convoy August 1942.

Clan Forbes, launched in 1938, convoy duties to Malta and Piraeus disguised as HMS Maidstone with a dummy funnel, scrapped in 1959.

Clan Fraser, launched in 1938, convoy duties to Malta and Piraeus. Hit by aerial bombs in Piraeus harbour in April 1941 whilst carrying a cargo of ammunition, exploded and sunk.

Clan Menzies, launched in 1938, sunk by torpedo off Ireland in 1940.

Clan Macdonald, launched in 1939, war service as Convoy Commodore ship on Mediterranean convoy to Piraeus 1941, thence to Brisbane and back to United Kingdom, bombed in UK, transferred to Houston Line in 1960, scrapped in China 1970.

Clan Lamont, launched in 1939, served as a Landing Ship Infantry on D-Day making 6 crossings carrying troops, was commissioned as HMS Lamont in July 1944 and served in the Far East. She was restored to Clan Line 1947 and scrapped in Japan in 1961.

Two members of the class were built for Scottish Shire Line, which was closely associated with Clan Line:

Perthshire, launched in 1936 and scrapped in Japan 1964.

Lanarkshire, launched in 1940 and scrapped in Japan 1963.

The Admiralty requisitioned three members of the class for the Royal Navy in 1942 while they were being built:

HMS Athene (seaplane depot ship), launched in 1940, returned to Clan Line in 1946 as Clan Brodie, and scrapped in Hong Kong in 1963.

HMS Engadine (seaplane depot ship), launched in 1941, returned to Clan Line in 1946 and renamed Clan Buchanan, and scrapped in Spain in 1962.

HMS Bonaventure (submarine depot ship for X-craft) launched in 1942, returned to Clan Line in 1948 as Clan Davidson, and scrapped in Hong Kong in 1963.One other ship is a member of this class:

Ocean Courier, launched in 1942, completed at Portland, Maine for the Ministry of War Transport, damaged by E-boat torpedo in English Channel 1944, transferred to Clan Line in 1948 and renamed Clan Macbean, scrapped 1960.

Duke of York (ship)

A number of ships have been named Duke of York after numerous holders of the title of Duke of York (or Duke of York and Albany):

Duke of York, an East Indiaman that made four voyages for the British East India Company between 1717 and 1731.

Duke of York was built in 1780 at Archangel, and wrecked on 11 September 1787 at New Years Harbour.

HM Hired armed cutter Duke of York

HM Hired armed lugger Duke of York

Duke of York was the brig Sophia, of 120 tons (bm), built c. 1812, that the government in Van Diemen's Land purchased in 1822 and renamed. The government hulked her in 1826 at Hobart and used her to house convicts. She was beached c.1840-1 due to her poor state. The government advertised her for sale in 1843 but she may have been broken up and the remains buried in landfill.

Duke of York, an East Indiaman that made eight voyages for the British East India Company between 1817 and 1832, and that during her ninth voyage was driven on shore by a hurricane 21 May 1832 and condemned at Calcutta on 6 June.

Duke of York, a barque launched in 1817 and wrecked in 1837, but that delivered the first pioneers to South Australia

Duke of York, a hired brigantine wrecked off Guadeloupe in December 1838

Duke of York, built for the London and North Western Railway, sold in 1911, and renamed Peel Castle. She served during World War I as an armed boarding vessel, returned to civilian service in 1919, and was broken up in 1939.

Duke of York, built for the London, Midland and Scottish Railway, passing to British Railways and in service until sold in 1964. In 1942 the Royal Navy requisitioned her, renamed her Prince of Wellington, and converted her to a "Landing Ship, Infantry (Hand-Hoisting)"; as such she participated in the raid on Dieppe and the Normandy Landings.

HMS Duke of York, two ships of the British Royal Navy

HMAS Kanimbla (C78)

HMAS Kanimbla was a passenger ship converted for use as an armed merchant cruiser and landing ship infantry during World War II. Built during the mid-1930s as the passenger liner MV Kanimbla for McIlwraith McEachern Limited, the ship operated in Australian waters until 1939, when she was requisitioned for military service, converted into an armed merchant cruiser, and commissioned in the Royal Navy as HMS Kanimbla.

Initially used to board and take control of merchant vessels belonging to Occupied Europe and operating in Asian waters, Kanimbla led the raid to capture the Iranian port of Bandar Shahpur in August 1941, and was present during the covert Japanese midget submarine attack on Sydney Harbour in 1942. In 1943, the ship was converted into a Landing Ship Infantry, transferred to the Royal Australian Navy, and operated throughout the South West Pacific Theatre until the end of the war.

Kanimbla was decommissioned and returned to her commercial owners in 1950. In 1961, she was sold to the Pacific Transport Company and renamed Oriental Queen. The ship operated as a liner throughout the Pacific and to Japan until 1973, when she was broken up for scrap.

HMAS Manoora (F48)

HMAS Manoora was a passenger liner that served in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) during World War II. She was built in Scotland in 1935 for the Cairns to Fremantle coastal passenger run for the Adelaide Steamship Company. She was requisitioned by the RAN for naval service in 1939. Manoora was initially converted into an armed merchant cruiser (AMC), operating primarily in Australian, New Guinea, and Pacific waters, with deployments to Singapore and the Bay of Bengal.In 1942, the ship was converted into the RAN's first landing ship, infantry (LSI). After extensive training, Manoora was involved in most of the Allied amphibious operations in the Pacific during 1944 and 1945. After the war's end, the ship was used to transport occupation forces and refugees until 1947, when she was decommissioned from naval service and returned to the Adelaide Steamship Company. Manoora continued to operate in Australian waters until 1961, when she was sold to an Indonesian company and renamed Albulombo. The ship was sold for scrap in 1972.

HMAS Westralia (F95)

HMAS Westralia (F95/C61) was an auxiliary cruiser of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). Built by Scottish shipbuilder Harland and Wolff and completed in 1929, Westralia was operated by the Huddart Parker company until 1939, when she was requisitioned for service with the RAN as an Armed Merchant Cruiser (AMC). Fitted with guns and commissioned in early 1940, Westralia was initially used to escort convoys in the Pacific and Indian oceans. In November 1940, the largest mutiny in RAN history occurred aboard the ship, with 104 men charged.

In 1943, Westralia was converted into a Landing Ship, Infantry (LSI). The ship was used to transport units of the United States Army and United States Marine Corps, and took part in numerous amphibious landings. After being used to repatriate personnel at the end of the war, Westralia was decommissioned in 1946. Before she could be returned to her owners, the vessel was requisitioned again, this time for use as a troop transport supporting the British Commonwealth Occupation Force (BCOF). Westralia was not commissioned again, and operated by a merchant navy crew until 1951, when she was returned to Huddart Parker. In 1959, the ship was sold to the Asian and Pacific Shipping Co Ltd for use as a livestock carrier. Initially operated as Delfino, she was renamed Woolambi in 1960, before being sold for scrap in 1961.

HMCS Prince Henry

HMCS Prince Henry was an armed merchant cruiser and a landing ship infantry during World War II for the Royal Canadian Navy. The ship began service as the ocean liner SS Prince Henry for the Canadian National Steamship Company servicing ports along the Canadian British Columbia Coast and cities in the United States Northwest. However, lack of commercial opportunity and the arrival of the Great Depression forced the vessel's owners to send Prince Henry to ply the passenger trade along the North American eastern seaboard. In 1937, the vessel was chartered by Clarke Steamship Company and renamed SS North Star for service in the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The Clarke Steamship Company purchased the vessel outright in 1938. In 1939, with the outbreak of World War II, North Star was one of the vessels acquired by the Royal Canadian Navy for naval service, which returned the ship to its original name.

Converted to an armed merchant cruiser, Prince Henry was ordered to patrol along the west coast of South America to intercept German merchant vessels trying to break the British blockade and return to Germany. Prince Henry took part in the apprehension of two German merchant vessels. The armed merchant cruiser escorted convoys in the US Aleutians campaign before returning to Canada to undergo conversion to a landing ship infantry. Following the conversion, Prince Henry was sent to the United Kingdom to take part in the invasion of Normandy. Prince Henry landed troops on Juno Beach on D-day and then spent the next two months supporting the beachhead. The vessel was then sent to the Mediterranean Sea in preparation for Operation Dragoon, the invasion of Southern France. Prince Henry was flagship of one of the advance forces clearing coastal islands prior to the main invasion. Prince Henry continued service in the Mediterranean, landing Allied troops at Piraeus in the liberation of Greece from the Axis powers. Following this service, Prince Henry returned to the United Kingdom where the ship was paid off by the Royal Canadian Navy and loaned to the Royal Navy.

Taken into British service as Prince Henry, the vessel served as an accommodation ship and headquarters ship at Wilhelmshaven, Plymouth and Falmouth. Following the end of the war, the ship was acquired outright by the Ministry of War Transport, renamed Empire Parkeston and used as a troopship to shuttle military personnel between Harwich and the Hook of Holland. In 1956, Empire Parkeston was one of the troopships used to land invasion forces at Port Said in the Suez Crisis. The vessel was taken out of service in 1961 and sold to be broken up for scrap at La Spezia, Italy in 1962.

HMIS El Hind (F120)

HMIS El Hind (F120) was a merchant ship that was requisitioned by the Royal Indian Navy (RIN) in 1943. She was commissioned, and served as a Landing Ship, Infantry (Large) during World War II. She was destroyed in a fire in 1944.

HMNZS Monowai (F59)

HMNZS Monowai (F59) was a former Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O) merchant vessel. At the outbreak of World War II she became an armed merchant cruiser of the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN). She subsequently became HMS Monowai, a Landing Ship, Infantry and mostly operated as a troopship. In 1946 she returned to her old trade as a passenger ship.

HMS Amsterdam

Three ships of the Royal Navy have borne the name HMS Amsterdam, after the city of Amsterdam:

HMS Amsterdam (1804) was the Dutch frigate Proserpine, launched in 1801, that the British captured in 1804 when they captured Suriname. She was sold in 1815.

HMS Amsterdam (1914) was a merchant vessel launched in 1894 and taken into service in 1914 as an armed boarding steamer. She was returned in September 1919.

SS Amsterdam (1930) was a merchant vessel launched in 1930, requisitioned in 1939 as a troop transport and in 1944 converted to an LSI(H) - Landing Ship Infantry (Hand-hoisting). Recommissioned HMS Amsterdam, she carried elements of the United States 2nd Ranger Battalion to Pointe du Hoc on D-day. Later converted to a hospital ship, she hit naval mines in the English Channel and sank in 1944.

HMS Donovan

Two ships of the Royal Navy have borne the name HMS Donovan:

HMS Donovan (1918) was a 24-class sloop launched in 1918 and sold in 1922.

HMS Donovan was a Landing Ship, Infantry, built as Cape Berkeley, but renamed HMS Empire Battleaxe before being launched in 1943. She was renamed HMS Donovan in 1945, the name reverting to Empire Battleaxe in 1946, before she was returned to the US Navy in 1947.

HMS Duke of Wellington

Two Royal Navy ships have carried the name Duke of Wellington

HMS Duke of Wellington (1852), a 131-gun first-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy

TSS Duke of York (1935), a steamer renamed Duke of Wellington during the Second World War for service as a Landing Ship, Infantry

HMS Empire Battleaxe

Empire Battleaxe was a British ship of the Second World War and as HMS Donovan in service with the Royal Navy

just after the Second World War.

Built as a Type C1-S-AY1 Landing Ship, Infantry named Cape Berkeley she then saw merchant service as Empire Battleaxe before being commissioned into the Royal Navy as HMS Empire Battleaxe and then Donovan. After she was decommissioned she returned to merchant service as Empire Battleaxe and was returned to the USA where she was renamed Cape Berkeley once again. A proposed sale in 1948 to China and renaming to Hai C fell through and she was scrapped in 1966.

HMS Prince Charles (1941)

HMS Prince Charles was a ship taken up from trade in the Second World War. Built as the Belgian cross-channel ferry Prince Charles, she was requisitioned by the Royal Navy and used as a Landing Ship, Infantry, before being returned in early 1945.

HMS Princess Beatrix

HMS Princess Beatrix was a commando troop ship of the Royal Navy during the Second World War. Built as a civilian passenger liner in 1939 by De Schelde at Vlissingen, she was named the MS Prinses Beatrix, after Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands, and operated by Stoomvaart Maatschappij Zeeland (SMZ) (The Zealand Steamship Company) between Flushing and Harwich, along with her sister ship, MS Koningin Emma. After fleeing to Britain after the German invasion in 1940, she was requisitioned by the British Ministry of War Transport, renamed HMS Princess Beatrix and converted to a troopship at Harland and Wolff's yard in Belfast. During the war her main role was transporting British Commandos, and she participated in the Lofoten Islands Raid and the Dieppe Raid. She had the advantage of a high speed that allowed hit and run operations. Later designated as a landing ship, infantry (medium) she took part in the landings in North Africa, Sicily, Salerno, Anzio, and southern France. In 1946 Princess Beatrix was returned to her owners and continued to operate as ferry from Hook of Holland until 1969, when she was scrapped in Antwerp, Belgium.

HMS Queen Emma

HMS Queen Emma was a commando troop ship of the Royal Navy during the Second World War. Built as a civilian passenger liner in 1939 by De Schelde at Vlissingen, she was named the MS Koningin Emma, after Queen Emma of the Netherlands, and operated by Stoomvaart Maatschappij Zeeland (SMZ) (The Zealand Steamship Company) between Flushing and Harwich, along with her sister ship, MS Prinses Beatrix. After fleeing to Britain after the German invasion in 1940, she was requisitioned by the British Ministry of War Transport, renamed HMS Queen Emma and converted to a troopship at Harland and Wolff's yard in Belfast. During the war her main role was transporting British Commandos, and she participated in the Lofoten Islands Raid and the Dieppe Raid. She had the advantage of a high speed that allowed hit and run operations. Later designated as a Landing Ship, Infantry (Medium) she took part in the landings in North Africa, Sicily and Normandy. She operated in the Indian Ocean, and in the Dutch East Indies after the end of the war. In 1946 Queen Emma was returned to her owners and continued to operate as ferry from the Hook of Holland until 1969, when she was scrapped in Antwerp, Belgium.

HMS Sainfoin (F183)

HMS Sainfoin was a Landing Ship, Infantry of the Royal Navy that was built in 1943 by Consolidated Steel Corporation, Wilmington, California, United States as the merchant vessel Cape Washington. She was transferred to the Ministry of War Transport in 1944 and renamed Empire Crossbow. Later that year, she was requisitioned by the Royal Navy and commissioned as HMS Sainfoin, with the pennant number F183. In 1946, she was returned to merchant service as Empire Crossbow. She was transferred to the United States in 1947 and renamed Cape Washington. The ship was then laid up until scrapped in 1964.

Landing Craft Infantry

The Landing Craft Infantry (LCI) were several classes of seagoing amphibious assault ships of the Second World War used to land large numbers of infantry directly onto beaches. They were developed in response to a British request for a vessel capable of carrying and landing substantially more troops than their smaller Landing Craft Assault (LCA). The result was a small steel ship that could land 200 troops, traveling from rear bases on its own bottom at a speed of up to 15 knots.

Some 923 were built starting in 1943, serving in both the Pacific and European theaters, including a number that were converted into heavily armed beach assault support ships. Commonly called "Elsie Items," the LCI(L) supplemented the small LCAs/LCVPs as a way to get many troops ashore before a dock could be captured or built. As such, they were the largest dedicated beachable infantry landing craft (the larger Landing Ship Infantry (LSI) was a transporter for troops and small craft such as the British LCA) in the allied inventory.

RMS Otranto (1925)

RMS Otranto was an ocean liner that was built for the Orient Steam Navigation Company in 1925. The "RMS" prefix stands for Royal Mail Ship, as she carried overseas mail under a contract between Orient Line and Royal Mail. Otranto was in service until 1957, when she was sold for scrap.

The ship was named after the town of Otranto in Apulia in southern Italy. She was Orient Line's second ship of that name. The first was a 1909 passenger liner that in 1914 became the armed merchant cruiser HMS Otranto and in 1918 was lost as a result of a collision.

In the Second World War the second Otranto was converted into a troop ship and a Landing ship, infantry. She took part in the invasions of French North Africa (Operation Torch), Sicily (Operation Husky) and Italy (Operation Avalanche).

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