Landing Craft Assault

Landing Craft Assault

The Landing Craft Assault (LCA) was the British and Commonwealth landing craft of the Second World War. It was the main small landing craft used to put troops ashore on Omaha, Utah, Juno, Gold and Sword Beaches.


After the problems experienced at Gallipoli during the First World War, it was obvious that for a successful landing, troops had to be put ashore safely and quickly in large numbers. The design and production, and use of landing craft was the responsibility of the Royal Navy

The first LCAs were put into service at the start of the Second World War and were used for landing British forces thereafter, though among their first duties was evacuation from Dunkerque (Operation Dynamo).

The LCA was used for every landing in Europe, for Madagascar and with the Commonwealth fleets (RN, RAN and RNZN) in the Far East. Following the invasions of Normandy and southern France, production of LCAs was stopped in Europe. Some manufacture continued in the Far East up until the end of the war there.

In RN service LCA were normally crewed by Royal Marines

The LCA was never operated by the US, though on occasions RN LCAs were used to transport US troops. Some were used to this end on D-Day, for the US Army Rangers on Omaha and Pointe du Hoc and some for other army battalions at Utah and Omaha.


The LCA was built of wood with steel armour bolted on to protect the occupants. The LCA had a long central section with seating for the troops, this was divided from the landing ramp in the bow by bulkhead fitted with two vertically hinged doors. Immediately behind the bulkhead were a steering position and a light machine gun (eg Bren gun) position, the wheel to the starboard and the LMG to the port.

Drive was by two shafts from the pair of low-powered Ford engines which limited the boat's speed. Steering was by two rudders. The landing ramp was relatively narrow at only 4 ft 6 inches wide, limiting the speed at which the troops could disembark.

Total production was about two thousand.


*Length: 41 ft 6 in
*Beam: 10 ft
**light: 1 ft 1 in fwd, 1 ft 9 in aft
**loaded: 1 ft 9 in fwd, 2 ft 3 in aft
**empty: 9 tons
**loaded: 13 tons
*Engines: 2 Ford V-8 petrol
*Power: 2 x 65 hp
*Fuel: 64 Imperial gallons
*Range 50-80 miles
**light: 10 kt
**loaded: 6 kt
*Capacity: 36 troops and 800 lb cargo
*Crew: 4, coxswain, two seamen and a stoker plus 1 officer per group of 3 boats

ee also


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