| The different landing
operations, in Dieppe, in Sicily and in Normandy,
required that new types of ships be built,
especially designed for carrying troops and
material in preparation for an amphibious
Ship Infantry (LSI)
The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) bought two pre-war
steamers from Canadian National Steamships,
which were converted for transporting troops:
HMCS Prince David and Prince Henry. They could
carry 550 infantrymen, as well as six LCAs
and two LCMs. Their role was to get within
a few kilometres from the landing beach and
to launch the LCAs and LCMs tied to the davits.
The LCAs and LCMs act as shuttles between
the ships and the beach until all men are
landed. On June 6, 1944, D-Day, Prince David
and Prince Henry were used for landing British
troops on Gold Beach.
LCA 1050 leaving side of HMCS
Prince David, loaded with soldiers
of the Régiment de la Chaudière,
9 May 1944.
by R.G. Arless. Department of
National Defence / National Archives
of Canada, PA-141525.
Landing Craft Assault
LCAs are small wooden boats, 12.5 m in length,
equipped with machine-guns. They can take
up to 30 men to the beach, having to progress
under enemy fire as long as the beaches were
not under control.
Craft Mechanized (LCM)
LCMs have a 15.2 m-long steel hull, with a
landing ramp at the bow. They can carry vehicles
as well as men, and when they reach the beach,
the ramp is lowered to let them out. LCMs
are equipped with machine-guns.
Craft Tank (LCT)
Designed in Britain, LCTs can take six tanks
on board; they come in several types depending
on the vehicles they carry or on their armament.
Some have a special ramp for launching amphibious
tanks (Duplex Drive or DD tanks) at sea. Others
can fire rockets against enemy positions and
ensure the protection of the landing troops.
LCT(SP) can also carry self-propelled guns
that are positioned at some distance from
the beach and cover the assault troops.
LCI(L) 299 of the 2nd Canadian
Flotilla carrying personnel of
the 9th Canadian Infantry Brigade
to the Normandy beaches on D-Day.
by Gilbert A. Milne. Department
of National Defence / National
Archives of Canada, PA-136986.
Landing Craft Infantry
On June 6, 1944, the RCN had ten flotillas
with three LCIs in each. They landed 4,600
men on the Normandy beaches.
An LCI is designed for a long crossing with
150 infantrymen on board in addition to
her regular crew. Built in the US, LCIs
are 48 m-long and can reach a speed of 12
knots. Crossing the whole width of the Channel,
in contrast to LCAs and LCMs, LCIs reach
the beach only after the first assault has
been made. These are the ships most usually
seen on D-Day photos, with their two lateral
ramps that let soldiers down towards the