Pictures: Narvik

Pictures: Narvik

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Narvik (1 of 9): The British fleet approached Narvik

Narvik (2 of 9): Warspite attacks a German destroyer

Narvik (3 of 9): The German destroyer burns

Narvik (4 of 9): A German destroyer drifting

Narvik (5 of 9): A German destroyer on fire

Narvik (6 of 9): German transport ship wrecked at Narvik

Narvik (7 of 9): HMS Eskimo after being hit by a German torpedo

Narvik (8 of 9): German destroyer aground close to Narvik

Narvik (9 of 9): The British fleet leaves Narvik

U.S. Credit Crisis Adds to Gloom in Norway

NARVIK, Norway, Nov. 30 — At this time of year, the sun does not rise at all this far north of the Arctic Circle. But Karen Margrethe Kuvaas says she has not been able to sleep well for days.

What is keeping her awake are the far-reaching ripple effects of the troubled housing market in sunny Florida, California and other parts of the United States.

Ms. Kuvaas is the mayor of Narvik, a remote seaport where the season’s perpetual gloom deepened even further in recent days after news that the town — along with three other Norwegian municipalities — had lost about $64 million, and potentially much more, in complex securities investments that went sour.

“I think about it every minute,” Ms. Kuvaas, 60, said in an interview, her manner polite but harried. “Because of this, we can’t focus on things that matter, like schools or care for the elderly.”

Norway’s unlucky towns are the latest victims — and perhaps the least likely ones so far — of the credit crisis that began last summer in the American subprime mortgage market and has spread to the farthest reaches of the world, causing untold losses and sowing fears about the global economy.

Where all the bad debt ended up remains something of a mystery, but to those hit by the collateral damage, it hardly matters.

Tiny specks on the map, these Norwegian towns are links in a chain of misery that stretches from insolvent homeowners in California to the state treasury of Maine, and from regional banks in Germany to the mightiest names on Wall Street. Citigroup, among the hardest hit, created the investments bought by the towns through a Norwegian broker.

For Ms. Kuvaas, being in such company is no comfort. People here are angry and scared, fearing that the losses will hurt local services like kindergartens, nursing homes and cultural institutions. With Christmas only weeks away, Narvik has already missed a payroll for municipal workers.

Above all, the residents want to know how their close-knit community of 18,000 could have mortgaged its future — built on the revenue from a hydroelectric plant on a nearby fjord — by dabbling in what many view as the black arts of investment bankers in distant places.

“The people in City Hall were naïve and they were manipulated,” said Paal Droenen, who was buying fish at a market across the street from the mayor’s office. “The fund guys were telling them tales, like, ‘This could happen to you.’ It’s a catastrophe for a small town like this.”

Now, the towns are considering legal action against the Norwegian brokerage company, Terra Securities, that sold them the investments. They allege that they were duped by Terra’s brokers, who did not warn them that these types of securities were risky and subject to being cashed out, at a loss, if their market price fell below a certain level.

“When you sell something that is not what you say it is, that is a lie,” Ms. Kuvaas said. She disputed the suggestion that people here lacked the sophistication to understand what they were buying. “We’re not especially stupid because we live so far in the north,” she said.

Norway’s financial regulator agreed that the brokers had misled the towns, and it revoked the license of Terra Securities, prompting the company to file for bankruptcy. But the company’s parent, Terra Group, which is in turn owned by 78 savings banks and remains in business, rejected calls for it to compensate the towns. A spokesman for the group said it too had taken a hit from the episode.

Norway’s finance minister, Kristin Halvorsen, has ruled out the possibility of a state bailout, and Citigroup, which announced Thursday that it would shut down one of the money-losing investments Narvik bought, said it had no legal obligation to step in.

At City Hall, the stark reality of the situation is starting to set in. Narvik’s chief administrator, Trond L. Hermansen, figures he may recoup half of the town’s $9.4 million investment in the defunct Citigroup product — a package of securities linked to municipal bonds in the United States. Those securities declined in value after the market for bonds dried up.

But Narvik has $34.5 million in a second Citigroup-devised investment, known as a collateralized debt obligation, which has also lost value as a result of the broader market turmoil. The town stands to lose at least some of that money, too.

Those investments represent a quarter of Narvik’s annual budget of $163 million, and covering the losses would necessitate taking out a long-term loan, which the town could only pay off by cutting back on services.

“You can calculate this in terms of places for schoolchildren or help for the elderly,” said Mr. Hermansen, a soft-spoken man who sat in his office in near-darkness, the lights switched off.

As the losses begin to bite, the political finger-pointing has begun. Down the hall from Ms. Kuvaas, the town’s opposition leader, Torgeir Traeldal, is calling for an investigation of how and why Narvik could have made such an ill-advised investment.

“Heads are going to roll,” Mr. Traeldal said, repeating the phrase a few times to drive home his point.

From Mr. Traeldal’s window, cargo ships are visible in Narvik’s harbor, waiting to be loaded with iron ore. They testify to the town’s strategic location, more than 120 miles north of the Arctic Circle, not far from rich ore fields in Sweden. This has long made Narvik a target of opportunity for foreigners.

Hitler viewed the port as an important conquest because it could provide Nazi Germany with an ice-free harbor from which to ship iron ore to build his war machine. The British had similar ideas, and the stage was set for one of the first great naval battles of World War II.

In April 1940, German warships sailed to Narvik. They were met by Norwegian and British ships, and the ensuing clashes left hundreds of sailors dead and the wrecks of more than a dozen destroyers scattered in the fjords.

Narvik’s war history is chronicled in a little museum next to the fish market that attracts visitors from around the world. But it, too, may be a victim of the crisis. Ulf Eirik Torgersen, the director, said the town told him his budget would be cut by 40 percent, which could mean closing.

“That would be a shame,” he said, “because this whole town is based on naval history and war history.”

Nowadays, scuba divers prospect the World War II shipwrecks, part of the town’s busy tourist trade. Like many other Norwegian towns, Narvik also gets hefty tax payments and other revenue from the nearby hydropower plant. That wealth is what got it into trouble.

In 2004, Narvik and a number of other towns took out a large loan, using future energy revenue as collateral. They invested the money, through Terra Securities, in the Citigroup debt vehicle, which offered a better return than traditional investments. In June 2007, as the subprime problems were brewing, Narvik shifted some money from that investment into an even more complex one, again through Terra Securities.

Within weeks, as the market deteriorated, that investment declined in value, and Narvik got a letter from Terra Securities, demanding an additional payment of $2.8 million. Mr. Hermansen said Terra’s brokers never told him that he would be liable for such payments.

The chief investigator of Norway’s financial regulator, Eystein Kleven, said Terra Securities’ Norwegian-language prospectus did not mention such payments, or other risk factors. Citigroup’s term sheet did provide information on risks, but Narvik got a copy only after it had signed the agreement.

“This is the most serious matter we have dealt with in the stock market in the last 10 years,” Mr. Kleven said.

Even if the Norwegian prospectus had been complete, it is not certain that Narvik would have shunned the investment. Ms. Kuvaas, for one, said she did not read the prospectus before voting to authorize it — a decision that was made when she was in the government but not yet mayor. She said the town trusted Terra Securities, with which it had worked since the late 1990s.

To local residents, the bigger question is why Narvik would gamble its future energy revenue on exotic investments.

“We’re upset with our politicians because they should have known better,” said Eileen Jacobsen, 34, a kindergarten teacher. “If this was a private person who did this, people would say, ‘Hello?’”

Ms. Jacobsen, who has a son in kindergarten, said she worried that the town would cut back on resources. Fourteen adults look after 54 children at the kindergarten. But, even without the crisis, Narvik has 40 children on a waiting list for kindergarten, something that is considered almost a right in Norway.

With candles burning in the windows and lights strung on the streets, Narvik and its residents seem determined not to let the losses spoil the season. But late at night, in the Narvik Guten pub, the sadness is palpable. “I really love this town,” said Per Ellingsen, 45, a carpenter who recently returned home after years away. “I’m afraid this is going to set us back 10 years.”

Pictures: Narvik - History

When discussing the battle of Narvik, history is referring to two separate battles that were fought between the 9th of April and the 8th of June in 1940. The battles comprised of a naval battle and an air battle in the Norwegian city of Narvik. The battles of Narvik were part of the campaign in World War II known as the Norwegian Campaign.

The city of Narvik was used for the transportation of iron ore from Sweden as the harbor was ice free. The supply of iron ore was very important to both sides in the war, with the interest sparking one of the largest scale battles fought in World War II. Britain had considered Narvik as a landing point for an expedition to aid Finland in the winter war, the opportunity also being seen as a way to take control of the mines of the Swedish.

First Battle of Narvik

The first battle of Narvik consisted of a naval battle that was fought between German and British destroyers during the invasion of Norway by Germany. On the 9th of April, all of Norway’s 6 ports had been attacked by Germany, Narvik being the port in the northernmost position. Narvik was a remote port and was attacked by a small army, but it was important to the Germans because of its supply of iron ore.

Location of Narvik

Narvik is located to the east of Oftfjord, one of five fjords that run off Ofotfjord. The ten German destroyers that captured Narvik split up and went towards the other fjords in three groups. All ten of the German destroyers were large destroyers, and they would be attacked by five British destroyers under Warburton-Lee. His ships were smaller than the German counterparts, and by the time he reached Tranoy on the 9th of April, he was aware of the German presence at Narvik.

Timely Arrival at Narvik

Even though he was warned that he would need more ships, Warburton-Lee continued his advance to Narvik. Arriving at 4 a.m. on April 10th, his fleet was hidden by snowstorms. At 4:30, he was able to lead three of his fleet into the harbor where he sank three German destroyers. He had sunk two and gone about disabling another three, but this still left five more undamaged destroyers.

Before being able to head back out to sea, three destroyers came from the west at around 6 a.m. The larger ships of the Germans put Britain at a disadvantage and with two more appearing from the west, the British were caught between two attacks. It was during these attacks that Warburton-lee lost his life and, in total, three British destroyers were damaged. Five German destroyers were badly damaged and two ships from the British fleet allowed for the rescue of a third. The only ship of the German’s to actually reach Narvik was sunk by the British on their way out.

Second Battle of Narvik

The second battle of Narvik occurred just three days later, on the April 13, 1940, with the return of the British. This time they came with a much greater force of nine destroyers and the battleship HMS Warspite. The Germans also reinforced their fleet with an additional three destroyers, but they found that they were short on ammunition and fuel as well. As a result, they were at a disadvantage when the British launched their attack with Warspite.

British Advantage

With the HMS Warspite leading the British forces, they had a clear advantage that increased with the launch of their aircraft, Swordfish. The battleship made its way into Ofot Fiord and headed for Narvik some thirty miles ahead, protected and screened on all sides by nine destroyers. At precisely 11:52 the aircraft was commissioned and ordered to bomb any suitable targets.

Low cloud made the perfect setting for the advantage of the British and Swordfish simply flew through the fjord as if it were progressing through a tunnel. The British destroyers opened fire on a German vessel that was sited to the west and the Swordfish dived to bomb a submarine. The submarine sank within less than a minute, but it had time to fire at Swordfish, making its controls sluggish for the rest of the flight.

At 12:40 it was reported by Commander Brown that an enemy destroyer was hiding in a bay five miles ahead, hoping to remain unspotted and ready to open fire on the force that was advancing. Its destruction was complete in just a few minutes thanks to fire from Warspite and the leading destroyers’ torpedoes and guns.

Shortly after this attack, Commander Brown spotted the tracks of five torpedoes that were approaching the force. With enough warning, they passed them by with the torpedoes exploding on the cliff edges of the fjord. The enemy destroyers retreated under the cover of the smoke with five British ships pursuing them other ships entered into the harbor at the same time and another German destroyer was blown up.

Smoke was making vision very poor by this time, but the Warspite continued to engage with the enemy and the Swordfish reported two more destroyers of the enemy at the head of the fjord. With gunfire taking place between the enemy and the British destroyers, the Eskimo had her bow blown away and a German destroyer was finally run aground. The destroyer that was run aground was then bombed and finished off by the Swordfish.

Diminishing Ammunition

By 3:30, there were three remaining German destroyers lurking around and the British fleet was running low on ammunition. The British were determined to continue, even under the threat that of torpedo fire from the remaining German vessels, but continuing up the fjord, there was no response to their fire. It was discovered that the last three remaining vessels had indeed been abandoned by the Germans. These ships were quickly finished off by the British fleet, and it was reported that the victory by the British had been achieved with no losses to the British fleet.


  • Fully laden :
  • 15 ft (4.6 m) aft
  • 4 ft (1.2 m) forward
  • 1 × twin 40 mm gun
  • 6 × 20 mm guns [4]
  • 3 × Lewis guns
  • 2 × 4 in (100 mm) smoke mortars [4]
  • 3,620 long tons (3,678 t) standard
  • 5,410 long tons (5,497 t) full load
  • 18 knots (33 km/h 21 mph) laden to beaching draught
  • 16.5 knots (30.6 km/h 19.0 mph) at deep
  • 4 × QF 2 pdr
  • 8 × 20 mm Oerlikon
  • 2 × 4-inch smoke mortars

The British evacuation from Dunkirk in 1940 demonstrated to the Admiralty that the Allies needed relatively large, ocean-going ships that could handle shore-to-shore delivery of tanks and other vehicles in amphibious assaults upon the continent of Europe. As an interim measure, three 4,000- to 4,800-GRT tankers, built to pass over the restrictive bars of Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela, were selected for conversion because of their shallow draft. Bow doors and ramps were added to these ships, which became the first tank landing ships, LST (1): HMS Misoa, Tasajera and Bachaquero. [4] They later proved their worth during the invasion of Algeria in 1942, but their bluff bows made for inadequate speed and pointed out the need for an all-new design incorporating a sleeker hull.

The first purpose-built LST design was HMS Boxer. [ dubious – discuss ] It was a scaled-down design from ideas penned by Prime Minister Winston Churchill. In order that it could carry 13 Churchill infantry tanks, 27 other vehicles and nearly 200 men (in addition to the crew) at a speed of 18 knots, it could not have a shallow draught sufficient for easy unloading. As a result, each of the three (Boxer, Bruiser, and Thruster) ordered in March 1941 had a very long ramp stowed behind the bow doors. [6] Boxer was converted to a 'Fighter Direction Ship' for the invasion of Normandy.

The U.S. were to build seven LST (1) but in light of the problems with the design and progress with the LST Mark II the plans were canceled. Construction of the LST (1)s took until 1943 and the first US LST (2) was launched before them. [7]

  • United States Navy
  • United States Coast Guard
  • Royal Navy
  • Royal Canadian Navy
  • Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force
  • Republic of Singapore Navy
  • Philippine Navy
  • Royal Malaysian Navy
  • Republic of China Navy
  • People's Liberation Army Navy
  • Royal Thai Navy
  • Vietnam People's Navy
  • Hellenic Navy
  • German Navy
  • Argentine Navy
  • Peruvian Navy
  • Turkish Naval Forces
  • Indonesian Navy
  • Republic of Korea Navy
  • Bolivarian Navy of Venezuela
  • Mexican Navy
  • Italian Navy
  • LST-1 class
  • LST-491 class
  • LST-542 class
  • 1 (Singapore)
  • 1 (Mexico)
  • 5 (Taiwan)
  • 2 (Vietnam)
  • 3 (Philippine)
  • 1,780 long tons (1,809 t) light
  • 3,880 long tons (3,942 t) full load
  • Unloaded :
  • 3 ft 4 in (1.02 m) bow
  • 7 ft 6 in (2.29 m) stern
  • Loaded :
  • 8 ft 2 in (2.49 m) bow
  • 14 ft 1 in (4.29 m) stern
  • 1 × 3 in (76 mm) gun
  • 6 × 40 mm Bofors guns
  • 6 × 20 mm guns
  • 2 × .50 cal (12.7 mm) machine guns
  • 4 × .30 cal (7.62 mm) machine guns

Development Edit

At their first meeting at the Atlantic Conference in Argentia, Newfoundland, in August 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill confirmed the Admiralty's views. In November 1941, a small delegation from the Admiralty arrived in the United States to pool ideas with the United States Navy's Bureau of Ships with regard to development of ships and the possibility of building further Boxers in the US. [8] During this meeting, it was decided that the Bureau of Ships would design these vessels. As with the standing agreement, these ships would be built by the US so British shipyards could concentrate on building vessels for the Royal Navy. The specifications called for vessels capable of crossing the Atlantic, and the original title given to them was "Atlantic Tank Landing Craft" (Atlantic (T.L.C.)). Calling a vessel 300 ft (91 m) long a "craft" was considered a misnomer and the type was re-christened "Landing Ship, Tank (2)", or "LST (2)".

The LST (2) design incorporated elements of the first British LCTs from their designer, Sir Rowland Baker, who was part of the British delegation. One of the elements provided for sufficient buoyancy in the ships' sidewalls so that they would float the ship even when the tank deck was flooded. [8] The LST (2) gave up the speed of HMS Boxer, at only 10 knots, but carried a similar load while drawing only three feet forward when beaching.

Design Edit

Within a few days, John C. Niedermair of the Bureau of Ships sketched out an awkward looking ship that proved to be the basic design for the more than 1,000 LST (2) that were built during World War II. To meet the conflicting requirements of deep draft for ocean travel and shallow draft for beaching, the ship was designed with a large ballast system that could be filled for ocean passage and pumped out for beaching operations. [9] An anchor and mechanical winch system also aided in the ship's ability to pull itself off the beach. The rough sketch was sent to Britain on 5 November 1941 and accepted immediately. The Admiralty then requested that the United States build 200 "LST (2)" for the Royal Navy under the terms of lend-lease.

Provisions were made for the satisfactory ventilation of the tank space while the tank motors were running, and an elevator was provided to lower vehicles from the main deck to the tank deck for disembarking. In April 1942 a mock-up of the well-deck of an LST was constructed at Fort Knox, Kentucky to resolve the problem of ventilation within the LST well-deck. The interior of the building was constructed to duplicate all the features found within an actual LST. Being the home to the Armored Force Board, Fort Knox supplied tanks to run on the inside while Naval architects developed a ventilation system capable of evacuating the well-deck of harmful gases. Testing was completed in three months. This historic building remains at Fort Knox today. [11]

Early LST operations required overcoming the 18th-century language of the Articles for the Government of the United States Navy: "He who doth suffer his ships to founder on rocks and shoals shall be punished. " [12] There were some tense moments of concept testing at Quonset, Rhode Island, in early 1943 when designer Niedermair encouraged the commanding officer of the first U.S. LST to drive his ship onto the beach at full speed of 10 knots (12 mph 19 km/h). [10]

Production Edit

In three separate acts dated 6 February 1942, 26 May 1943, and 17 December 1943, Congress provided the authority for the construction of LSTs along with a host of other auxiliaries, destroyer escorts, and assorted landing craft. The enormous building program quickly gathered momentum. Such a high priority was assigned to the construction of LSTs that the previously laid keel of an aircraft carrier was hastily removed to make room for several LSTs to be built in her place. The keel of the first LST was laid down on 10 June 1942 at Newport News, Virginia, and the first standardized LSTs were floated out of their building dock in October. Twenty-three were in commission by the end of 1942.

The LST building program was unique in several respects. As soon as the basic design had been developed, contracts were let and construction was commenced in quantity before the completion of a test vessel. Preliminary orders were rushed out verbally or by telegrams, telephone, and air mail letters. The ordering of certain materials actually preceded the completion of design work. While many heavy equipment items, such as main propulsion machinery, were furnished directly by the Navy, the balance of the procurement was handled centrally by the Material Coordinating Agency—an adjunct of the Bureau of Ships—so that the numerous builders in the program would not have to bid against one another. Through vigorous follow-up action on materials ordered, the agency made possible the completion of construction schedules in record time.

The need for LSTs was urgent, and the program enjoyed a high priority throughout the war. Since most shipbuilding activities were located in coastal yards that were mainly used for construction of large, deep-draft ships, new construction facilities for the LSTs were established along inland waterways, some converted from heavy-industry plants, such as steel fabrication yards. Shifting the vessels was complicated by bridges across waterways, many of which were modified by the Navy to permit passage. A dedicated Navy "Ferry Command" orchestrated the transportation of newly constructed ships to coastal ports for final fitting out. Of the 1,051 LSTs built during the war, 670 were supplied by five "cornfield shipyards" in the Middle West. Dravo Corporation's facility at Neville Island, Pennsylvania, designated the lead shipyard for the project, built 145 vessels and developed fabrication techniques that reduced construction time and costs at all of the LST shipyards. The Missouri Valley Bridge & Iron Co. built the most LSTs of any shipyard, with 171 constructed at Evansville, Indiana. [13] Chicago Bridge and Iron's shipyard in Seneca, Illinois, launched 156 ships and was specifically chosen because of their reputation and skills, particularly in welding. The American Bridge Company in Ambridge, Pennsylvania, built 119.

Modifications Edit

By 1943, the construction time for an LST had been reduced to four months. By the end of the war, this had been cut to two months. Considerable effort was expended to hold the ship's design constant, but, by mid-1943, operating experience led to the incorporation of certain changes in the new ships.

The LST-491 class replaced the elevator installed in the original LST-1 class, to transfer equipment between the tank deck and the main deck, with a ramp that was hinged at the main deck. This allowed vehicles to be driven directly from the main deck onto the tank deck and then across the bow ramp to the beach or causeway, speeding the process of disembarkation.

Changes in the later LST-542 class included the addition of a navigation bridge the installation of a water distillation plant with a capacity of 4,000 gallons per day the removal of the tank deck ventilator tubes from the center section of the main deck the strengthening of the main deck in order to carry a smaller Landing Craft Tank (LCT) and an upgrade in armor and armament, with the addition of a 3"/50 caliber gun.

  • Royal Navy
  • Royal Australian Navy
  • Hellenic Navy
  • Royal Netherlands Navy
  • Indian Navy
  • UK:
  • 31 × LST (3)
  • 2 × LST (C)
  • 2 × LST (Q)
  • Canada:
  • 26 × LST (3)
  • 2,140 tons light
  • 4,980 long tons (5,060 t) full load
  • Loaded :
  • 4 ft 7 in (1.40 m) bow
  • 11 ft 6 in (3.51 m) stern

Design Edit

The LST (2) design was successful and production extensive, but there was still a need for more LSTs for British operations. As such, it was decided to build a further 80 of the ships in the UK and Canada to be available in the spring of 1945.

The British Staff drew up their own specification, requiring that the ship:

  • Be able to embark and disembark tanks, motor transport, etc., on beaches of varying slopes and amphibians and DD Sherman tanks into deep water
  • Carry five Landing Craft Assault (LCA), or similar craft, and one LCT (5) or LCT (6) on the upper deck, in place of transport, and, as an alternative to the LCT (5), two NL pontoon causeway to be carried the LCT (5) and NL pontoon causeways to be capable of launching directly from the upper deck.
  • To carry 500 tons of military load and to beach with that and sufficient fuel and stores for a 1,000 mi (1,600 km) return journey at 10 knots (19 km/h), on draughts 4 ft 6 in (1.37 m) forward and 11 ft 6 in (3.51 m) aft.
  • To carry a load of sixty tons over the main ramp and ten tons over the vehicle ramp (i.e., the 50 ft (15 m) ramp from the upper deck to the bow door. After trials, this was removed from some vessels)
  • To be fitted for operations in the tropics and in cold climates

Two major problems made a redesign necessary. The preferred light weight medium-speed (locomotive type) Electro-Motive Diesel 12-567 diesel engines were not immediately available. Staff wanted more power and higher speeds if possible, which the EMD engines could have provided. However, the only engines available were very heavy steam reciprocating engines from frigates that had been cancelled. These delivered two and a half times the power of the diesels. So large were they that significant changes had to be made to accommodate them. Lack of welded construction facilities meant that the hull had to be riveted. This combination of heavy hull and heavy engines meant that speed was only 3 knots faster than the LCT (2).

At the same time, other improvements were made—as well as simplifications required so most of the structure could be assembled with rivets. The cutaway hard chine that had been dropped in the American version of the Mark 2 vessels was restored. The tank deck, which was above the waterline, was made parallel to the keel, there was to be no round down to the upper deck, and the ship was enlarged to accommodate the more bulky machinery.

Provision was made for carrying the British Landing Craft Assault (LCA) in gravity davits, instead of American assault craft. Provision was also made for carrying Landing Craft Tank (LCT) and Landing Craft Mechanized (LCM), and NL pontoon causeways.

When the design commenced, engineers knew that the beaches where the ships were expected to land would be very flat, but it was not possible to produce a satisfactory vessel with a 3 ft (0.91 m) draught forward, and very little keel slope, so the 1 in 50 keel slope was maintained. It was known that the 1:50 slope would often result in the LST grounding aft on a shallow beach, resulting in the vehicles being discharged into comparatively deep water.

Various methods had been investigated to overcome the problem, but heavy grounding skegs and the N.L. pontoon causeways were finally accepted as standard the pontoon causeways were formed of pontoons 7 ft (2.1 m) × 5 ft × 5 ft (1.5 m), made up into strings and rafts. When offloading, the rafts were secured to the fore end of the ship, and the load discharged directly onto the shore, or towed on the raft to the shore.

The ships were fitted out for service in both very cold and tropical conditions. The accommodation provided for both crew and army personnel was greatly improved compared with LST (2). The main hazard, apart from enemy action, was fire on the tank deck. Fire sprinklers were provided, but the water drenching system installed in later American vessels could not be provided.

The bow door arrangements were similar to the LST (2), but the design arranged the bow ramp in two parts in an attempt to increase the number of beaches where direct discharge would be possible. The machinery for operating the bow doors and ramp were electrical, but otherwise, steam auxiliaries replaced the electrical gear on the LST (2).

The general arrangements of the tank deck were similar, but the design increased headroom and added a ramp to the top deck, as in later LST (2)s. Provision was made for carrying LCA on gravity davits instead of the American built assault boats. The arrangements were generally an improvement over the LST (2), but suffered from a deeper draught, and, to some extent, from the haste of construction.

The first orders were placed in December 1943 with British builders, and 35 with Canadian builders. Swan Hunter delivered the first ships in December 1944. During 1944, follow up orders were placed in Canada for a further 36. These programmes were in full swing when the war ended, but not all vessels were completed.

The ships were numbered numbers LST-3001 to LST-3045 and LST-3501 to LST-3534. LST−3535 and later were cancelled.

Fifteen 40-ton tanks or 27 25-ton tanks could be carried on the tank deck with an additional fourteen lorries on the weather deck. [7]

Propulsion Edit

Steam was supplied by a pair of Admiralty pattern 3-drum water-tube type boilers, working at 225 pounds per square inch. The main engines were of the 4-cylinder triple expansion 4-crank type, balanced on the Yarrow-Tweedy-Slick system, the cylinders being as follows:

High pressure 18.5 in diameter
Medium pressure 31.0 in diameter
Forward low pressure 38.5 in diameter
Aft low pressure 38.5 in diameter

The common stroke was 30 inches (760 mm). The piston and slide valve rods were all fitted with metallic packing to the stuffing boxes, and all pistons fitted with packing rings and springs. The high-pressure valve was of the piston type, whilst the remaining ones were of the balanced type. The main engines were designed to develop 2,750 hp (2,050 kW) at 185 rpm continuously.

With the ships being twin screw, the engines were fitted with a shaft coupling to the crank shaft at the forward end, allowing the engine to be turned end to end to suit either port or starboard side fitting.

Modifications for landing craft Edit

When the LST (3)s were ordered, the LST (2) programme was in full swing, and similar arrangements were made to enable the LSTs to carry the 112 feet (34 m) long LCT5 or LCT6 that were being built in America for the Royal Navy.

The LCT needed lifting onto the deck of the ship, being carried on wedge-shaped support blocks at the time of launching she was set down on the "launch ways" by simply slacking off bolts in the wedge blocks, allowing the launch way to take the weight. To carry out a launch, the LST was simply heeled over about 11 degrees by careful flooding of tanks in the hull. The height of the drop was about 10 ft (3.0 m), and immediately after the launch the craft's engines were started and they were ready for operation.

This method was used for moving LCT5s from Britain to the Far East, although there seems to be no reference to LST (3)s being used, most being completed late in or after the war.

Even at the end of the war there was a need for more ships able to carry minor landing craft, and two of the LST (3)s then completing were specially fitted to carry LCM (7). These craft, which were 58 ft (18 m) long and weighed about 28 tons, were carried transversely on the upper deck of the ship. They were hoisted on by means of a specially fitted 30-ton derrick This 30-ton derrick replaced a 15-ton derrick, two of which were the standard fit of the LST (3). The 30-ton derrick was taller and generally more substantial than the 15 ton one.

The LCM (7)s were landed on trolleys fitted with hydraulic jacks. These ran on rails down each side of the deck, and were hauled to and fro by means of winches. The stowage was filled from fore to aft as each craft was jacked down onto fixed cradles between the rails. The ships completed to this standard were LST-3043/HMS Messina, and LST-3044/HMS Narvik. While these ships were able to carry LCMs, they were only able to carry out loading and unloading operations under nearly ideal weather conditions, and therefore could not be used for assault operations they also lacked the facilities to maintain the landing craft (which the Dock Landing Ships provided).

The Landing Craft Assault were wooden-hulled vessels plated with armour, 41 ft 6 in (12.65 m) long overall, 10 ft (3.0 m) wide, and displacing 13 tons fully loaded. Draught was 2 ft 3 in (0.69 m), and normal load was 35 troops with 800 lb (360 kg) of equipment. A pair of Scripps marine conversions of Ford V8 engines gave it speeds of 11 knots (20 km/h) unloaded, 8 knots (15 km/h) service speed, 3 knots (5.6 km/h) on one engine. Range was 50–80 miles on 64 gallons. Armament was typically a Bren light machine gun aft with two Lewis Guns in a port forward position.

The LCM (7)s that were carried on the LST (2) were considerably larger, 60 ft 3 in (18.36 m) in length, 16 ft (4.9 m) beam, with a hoisting weight of 28 tons, full load displacement of 63 tons. Beaching draught was 3 ft 8 in (1.12 m), and propulsion was provided by a pair of Hudson Invader petrol engines, later replaced with Grays diesels, both sets providing 290 bhp (220 kW), giving a speed of 9.8 knots (18.1 km/h).

The main requirement of the design was to carry a 40-ton Churchill tank or bulldozer at 10 knots (19 km/h). 140 had been completed when the war ended, and some saw service through to the 1970s.

Variants Edit

Some LST (3)s were converted to LST (A) (A for "assault") by adding stiffening so they could safely carry the heaviest British tanks.

Two LST (3)s were converted to command vessels, LST (C): LST 3043 and LST 3044. Post war they became HMS Messina (L112) and HMS Narvik (L114). They were better armed with ten 20 mm Oerlikons and four 40 mm Bofors.

Two LST (3)s were converted during building into Headquarters command ships LST (Q). These were L3012, which became L3101 (and later HMS Ben Nevis) and LST 3013, which became LST 3102, and then HMS Ben Lomond. They acted as LST "mother ships", similar in most aspects to American ships based on the LST (2) hull. They had two Quonset huts erected on the main deck to accommodate 40 officers. Berths on the tank deck berthed an extra 196 men. A bake shop and 16 refrigeration boxes for fresh provisions augmented the facilities normally provided for the crew. Four extra distilling units were added, and the ballast tanks were converted for the storage of fresh water.

At the Armor Training School in Ft. Knox, Kentucky, buildings were erected as exact mock-ups of an LST. Tank crews in training learned how to maneuver their vehicles onto, in and from an LST with these facilities. One of these buildings has been preserved at Ft. Knox for historic reasons and can still be seen.

From their combat début in the Solomon Islands in June 1943 until the end of the hostilities in August 1945, the LSTs performed a vital service in World War II. They participated in the invasions of Sicily (Operation Husky), Italy, Normandy, and southern France in the European Theater and were an essential element in the island-hopping campaigns in the Pacific that culminated in the liberation of the Philippines and the capture of Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

Despite the large numbers produced, LSTs were a scarce commodity and Churchill describes the difficulty in retaining sufficient LSTs in the Mediterranean for amphibious work in Italy, and later the logistics of moving large numbers to the eastern theatres, while still supplying the large armies in Europe.

The LST proved to be a remarkably versatile ship. A number of them were converted to become landing craft repair ships (ARL). In this design, the bow ramp and doors were removed, and the bow was sealed. Derricks, booms, and winches were added to haul damaged landing craft on board for repairs, and blacksmith, machine, and electrical workshops were provided on the main deck and tank deck.

Thirty-eight LSTs were converted to serve as small hospital ships and designated LSTH. They supplemented the many standard LSTs, which removed casualties from the beach after landing tanks and vehicles. LSTs had brought 41,035 wounded men back across the English Channel from Normandy by D-Day+114 (28 September 1944). [14] Other LSTs, provided with extra cranes and handling gear, were used exclusively for replenishing ammunition. They possessed a special advantage in this role, as their size permitted two or three LSTs to go simultaneously alongside an anchored battleship or cruiser to accomplish replenishment more rapidly than standard ammunition ships.

Three LST (2) were converted into British "Fighter Direction Tenders" (FDT), swapping their landing craft for Motor Launches [15] and outfitted with AMES Type 11 and Type 15 fighter control radar to provide Ground-controlled interception (GCI) coverage for air defence of the D-Day landing areas. Of these ships, HMS FDT 216 was stationed off Omaha and Utah beaches, HMS FDT 217 was allocated Sword, Juno, and Gold beaches. HMS FDT 13 was used for coverage of the overall main shipping channel. In the period 6 June to 26 June Allied fighters controlled by the FDTs resulted in the destruction of 52 enemy aircraft by day, and 24 enemy aircraft by night. [16]

In the latter stages of World War II, some LSTs were fitted with flight decks that could launch small observation planes during amphibious operations. [17] These were USS LST-16, USS LST-337, USS LST-386, USS LST-525, LST-776, and USS LST-906. Two others (USS LST-393 and USS LST-776) were fitted with the Brodie System for take off and landing.

It has been estimated that, in the combined fleets assembled for the war on Japan, the tonnage of landing ships, excluding landing craft, would have exceeded five million tons and nearly all built within four years.

Throughout the war, LSTs demonstrated a remarkable capacity to absorb punishment and survive. Despite the sobriquets "Large Slow Target" and "Large Stationary Target," which were applied to them by irreverent crew members, the LSTs suffered few losses in proportion to their number and the scope of their operations. Their brilliantly conceived structural arrangement provided unusual strength and buoyancy HMS LST 3002 was struck and holed in a post-war collision with a Victory ship and survived. Although the LST was considered a valuable target by the enemy, only 26 were lost due to enemy action, and a mere 13 were the victims of weather, reef, or accident. A total of 1,152 LSTs were contracted for in the great naval building program of World War II, but 101 were cancelled in the fall of 1942 because of shifting construction priorities. Of 1,051 actually constructed, 113 LSTs were transferred to Britain under the terms of Lend-Lease, and four more were turned over to the Greek Navy. Conversions to other ship types with different hull designations accounted for 116.

United States Edit

The end of World War II left the Navy with a huge inventory of amphibious ships. Hundreds of these were scrapped or sunk, and most of the remaining ships were put in "mothballs" to be preserved for the future. Additionally, many of the LSTs were demilitarized and sold to the private sector, along with thousands of other transport ships, contributing to a major downturn in shipbuilding in the United States following the war. Many LSTs were used as targets in aquatic nuclear testing after the war, being readily available and serving no apparent military applications. World War II era LSTs have become somewhat ubiquitous, and have found a number of novel commercial uses, including operating as small freighters, ferries, and dredges. Consequently, construction of LSTs in the immediate post-war years was modest. LST-1153 and LST-1154, commissioned respectively in 1947 and 1949, were the only steam-driven LSTs ever built by the Navy. They provided improved berthing arrangements and a greater cargo capacity than their predecessors.

The success of the amphibious assault at Inchon during the Korean War showed the utility of LSTs once again. This was in contrast with the earlier opinion expressed by many military authorities that the advent of the atomic bomb had relegated amphibious landings to a thing of the past. During the Korean War a number of LSTs were converted to transport the much needed, but slow and short range LSU from the United States to the Korean theater of war using the piggy-back method. After arrival the LSU was slid off sideways from the LST. [18] Additionally, LSTs were used for transport in the building of an Air Force base at Thule, Greenland during the Korean War. Fifteen LSTs of what were later to be known as the Terrebonne Parish class were constructed in the early 1950s. These new LSTs were 56 feet (17 m) longer and were equipped with four, rather than two, diesel engines, which increased their speed to 15 knots (28 km/h 17 mph). Three-inch / 50-caliber twin mounts replaced the old twin 40 mm guns, and controllable pitch propellers improved the ship's backing power. On 1 July 1955, county or, in the case of Louisiana, parish names were assigned to many LSTs, which up to then had borne only a letter-number hull designation.

In the late 1950s, seven LSTs of the De Soto County class were constructed. These were an improved version over earlier LSTs, with a high degree of habitability for the crew and embarked troops. Considered the "ultimate" design attainable with the traditional LST bow door configuration, they were capable of 17.5 knots (32.4 km/h 20.1 mph).

United Kingdom Edit

Commercial ferry use Edit

In 1946, a brand new concept of transport was developed in the UK. During World War II, the great potential of landing ships and craft was recognised if it was possible to drive tanks, guns and lorries directly onto a beach, then theoretically the same landing craft could be used to carry out a similar operation in the civilian commercial market, providing there were reasonable port facilities. From this idea grew the worldwide roll-on/roll-off ferry industry. In the period between the world wars, Lt. Colonel Frank Bustard formed the Atlantic Steam Navigation Company, with a view to cheap transatlantic travel. This never materialised, but he observed trials on Brighton Sands of a LST in 1943 when its peacetime capabilities were obvious.

In the spring of 1946, the company approached the Admiralty with a request to purchase three of these vessels. The Admiralty was unwilling to sell, but after negotiations agreed to let the ASN have the use of three vessels on bareboat charter at a rate of £13 6s 8d per day. These vessels were LSTs 3519, 3534, and 3512. They were renamed Empire Baltic, Empire Cedric, and Empire Celtic, perpetuating the name of White Star Line ships in combination with the "Empire" ship naming of vessels in government service during the war.

The chartered vessels had to be adapted for their new role. First the accommodation on board had to be improved, and alterations in the engine and boiler rooms had also to be made. Modified funnels and navigational aids needed to be provided before they could enter service. On the morning of 11 September 1946, the first voyage of the Atlantic Steam Navigation Company took place when Empire Baltic sailed from Tilbury to Rotterdam with a full load of 64 vehicles for the Dutch government. On arrival at Waalhaven, the vessel beached using the method employed during wartime landings, being held by a stern anchor. The vessel stayed on the beach overnight, returning at 08:00 the next morning. This leisurely pace of work was followed for the first few voyages, the beach being employed possibly because normal port facilities were unavailable due to wartime damage. Following the initial Rotterdam voyage, ASN used their new vessels to transfer thousands of vehicles for the British Army from Tilbury to Hamburg, and later to Antwerp in 1955.

The original three LSTs were joined in 1948 by another vessel, LST 3041, renamed Empire Doric, after the ASN were able to convince commercial operators to support the new route between Preston Dock in Lancashire and the Northern Ireland port of Larne. Originally Liverpool was chosen, but opposition from other operators led to a move to Lancashire. However, special port facilities had to be constructed at both Preston and Larne before the new route could be opened – a wartime end-loading ramp built by engineers during World War II at Preston, and a floating pontoon from a Mulberry harbour connected via a bridge to the quay at Larne.

The first sailing of this new route was on 21 May 1948 by Empire Cedric. After the inaugural sailing, Empire Cedric continued on the Northern Ireland service, offering initially a twice-weekly service. Empire Cedric was the first vessel of the ASN fleet to hold a Passenger Certificate, and was allowed to carry fifty passengers. Thus Empire Cedric became the first vessel in the world to operate as a commercial/passenger roll-on/roll-off ferry, and the ASN became the first company to offer this type of service.

Some of the first cargo on this service were two lorry-loads of 65 gas cookers each on behalf of Moffats of Blackburn, believed to be the first commercial vehicles carried in this way as freight. The Preston–Larne service continued to expand, so much so that in 1950 it added a route to Belfast. This service opened in 1950, and sailings out of Preston were soon increased to six or seven a week to either Belfast or Larne.

In 1954, the British Transport Commission (BTC) took over the ASN under the Labour government's nationalization policy. In 1955, another two LSTs were chartered into the existing fleet, Empire Cymric and Empire Nordic, bringing the fleet strength to seven. The Hamburg service was terminated in 1955, and a new service was opened between Antwerp and Tilbury. The fleet of seven ships was to be split up, with the usual three ships based at Tilbury and the others maintaining the Preston to Northern Ireland service.

During late 1956, the entire fleet of ASN was taken over for use in the Mediterranean during the Suez Crisis, and the drive on/drive off services were not re-established until January 1957. At this point ASN were made responsible for the management of twelve Admiralty LST (3)s brought out of reserve as a result of the Suez Crisis, though too late to see service.

Army service Edit

A major task at the end of World War II was the redistribution of stores and equipment worldwide. Due to the scarcity and expense of merchant shipping it was decided in 1946 that the Royal Army Service Corps civilian fleet should take over seven LSTs from the Royal Navy. These were named after distinguished corps officers: Evan Gibb, Charles Macleod, Maxwell Brander, Snowden Smith, Humfrey Gale, Reginald Kerr, and Fredrick Glover.

The LSTs needed to comply with Board of Trade regulations, and to be brought up to merchant navy standards, which involved lengthy alterations including extra accommodation. On completion, five vessels sailed for the Middle East, and two for the Far East.

During the evacuation of Mandatory Palestine, Humfrey Gale and Evan Gibb made fifteen voyages each between Haifa and Port Said lifting between them 26,000 tons of vehicles and stores.

Similar work was done worldwide until 1952 when the ships were handed over to the Atlantic Steam Navigation Company, and subsequently in 1961 to the British-India Steam Navigation Company, tasked by the War Office directly, RASC having no further concern with their administration.

Aviation training Edit

The rapid increase in the use of helicopters in the Royal Navy in the late 1950s and 1960s required an increase in the training and support facilities ashore and afloat. Operational training for aircrew was carried out by naval air stations at Portland and Culdrose. The scrapping of some carriers and conversion of others to commando carriers in the mid-1950s left a shortage of suitable decks. This led to the ordering of RFA Engadine in 1964 however she would not be available till 1967. In the meantime it was decided to convert LST 3027 to serve as an interim training ship.

This work was carried out at Devonport Dockyard in 1964. The deck forward of the cargo hatch was cleared of all obstructions, and strengthened for helicopter use. A small deckhouse used to support the gun emplacements was retained, although no guns were fitted, and it was used by the Flight Deck Officer as a helicopter control position. Below deck, two 10,000 gallon aviation fuel tanks were installed at the fore end of the tank deck, and refuelling positions provided at the fore end of the flight deck. The tanks were sealed off by a bulkhead and the rest of the space used for stores, workshops and accommodation. Finally the bow doors were sealed, as they would no longer be needed. The flight deck was large enough for two Westland Wessex helicopters with rotors turning, or six could be parked with rotors folded. Renamed HMS Lofoten she proved extremely useful in service, and many lessons were learned that would be incorporated into Engadine.

    sank after a kamikaze attack off Mindoro Island, Philippines on 21 December 1944. [19] , while on Lend-Leased to Great Britain, sank after hitting a mine off Anzio, Italy. [20] sank after an explosion at Pearl Harbor on 21 May 1944. Wreck of LST-480 can still be seen in the West Loch. [21] while under tow by a type V tugboat, Farallon, she was hit by a torpedo and sank after breaking in two off Spain. Two crewmen were lost. [22] sank on 15 August 1944, by German glider bomb off of St. Raphael, Southern France. [23] sank on 9 June 1944, by a torpedo off the coast of Normandy. [24] hit a mine on 19 June 1944, at Utah Beach. The blast split the LST in two. She lost 94 men of the 300th Combat Engineers and 41 of her crew. [25] sank on 17 November 1944, after hitting a mine on a trip from Rouen, France, to Portland, England. [26] sank on 20 February 1944 after she was hit by a torpedo from U-410, about 22 miles from Gaeta, Italy. [27] was sunk in 1979, near the U.S. Virgin Islands to be used as an artificial reef upright and intact. She saw service in the Pacific War then was used as interisland freighter. [28] sank in a storm in 1948, she was being towed to a scrap yard. She sank off the coast of the North Carolina outer banks. She is under 15 feet deep, near the beach in Rodanthe, North Carolina. [29] sank 30 September 1943, after being hit by an aerial torpedo off the coast of Corsica. [30] sank 20 March 1945, after hitting two mines in English Channel near Ostend, Belgium. [31] , damaged 24 February 1945, after hitting a mine while traveling from Patras, Greece to Corfu. She was loaded with Army personnel and vehicles. She remained afloat and steamed back to Patras for repairs. In 1946 she was handed over to Egypt, only to be sunk by a British air strike during the Suez crisis on 1 November 1956. [32] sank 20 February 1944, after being hit by torpedo from U-boat U-230 near Shingle, Anzio, Italy. [33] sank 2 March 1944, by torpedo from U-boat U-744 in Biscay Bay area. [34] sank 22 February 1945, after being torpedoed by two-man mini U-boat off Ramsgate, England. [35] damaged 24 April 1944, by a storm in the Mediterranean, beached off Baia, Italy, not repaired. [36] sank 20 February 1944, after hitting a mine or being torpedoed on trip from Maddalena to Bastia, Sardinia. [37] sank 15 August 1943, after being torpedoed by aircraft off Cani Rocks, Tunisia. [38] sank 16 February 1944, after hitting mine near Anzio, Italy. [39] sank 7 November 1944, after hitting a mine off Ostend. [40] sank 3 July 1943, after an engine fire in the Mediterranean sea [41] Sank 7 April 1945 after a kamikaze attack off Okinawa. damaged by dive bombers off Vella Lavella, Solomons, on 1 October, suffering some casualties, sank while under tow by tug Bobolink on 5 October, south of Vella Lavella. sunk by enemy aircraft attack on 21 December 1944, off Mindoro, Philippines. on 25 September 1943, while unloading at Ruravai Beach was struck by 2 enemy bombs and destroyed by fires and explosions. After being towed to Rendova, the ship was evaluated and declared a total loss. [42] was struck by a Japanese torpedo off the Solomon Islands on 18 July 1943, from the Japanese submarine Ro-106. [43] An explosion broke the ship into two, the stern sank immediately. The bow remained afloat and was towed to Purvis Bay (Tokyo Bay) off Florida Island so that equipment in the bow could be salvaged. [44] , on 21 May 1944, sank after an internal explosion while moored in West Loch at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The explosion sank five other LSTs: LST-43, LST-69, LST-179, and LST-480. Two others LST were damaged in the explosion. The explosion killed 163 sailors and wounded 396. [45] earned four battle stars for World War II service. The crew consisted of 16 officers and 147 enlisted. Ship's hull was laid down 20 June 1942 at Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co., Newport News, VA, and was launched on 28 September 1942. Officially commissioned LST-388 on 20 November 1942 with Lt. Robert S. Browning USNR in command. Participated in Operation Crossroads, the atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll in July 1946. LST-388 was decommissioned 1 February 1947, being then struck from the Naval Register on 25 February 1947. During World War II USS LST-388 was first assigned to the Europe-Africa-Middle East Theater and later to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater [46] in Lyme Bay, in a convoy during Exercise Tiger, she was attacked by a group of German E-boats. LST-507 was hit by a torpedo, she partially floated but sank later. Killed were 424 US army and navy personnel. Two other LSTs were hit that day. [47][48] renamed by Vietnamese HQ-505 armed transport was ordered to run aground on Collins Reef and sank there, March 14, 1988 during the Johnson South Reef Skirmish, between China and Vietnam in the Spratly Islands. She had served in WWII, Korean War and Vietnam War in the US Navy. was attacked on 15 December 1944, while operating in support of the landings at Mindoro. A group of about ten Mitsubishi A6M 'Zeke', Nakajima Ki-44 'Tojo' and Ki-43 'Oscar' and Nakajima B5N 'Kate' attacked LST-738 ' s Task Unit. A plane crashed to the port of LST-738. Damage control parties worked on fighting fires but the damage was too great. The head officer ordered an abandon ship. Explosions injured some of the crew. She was abandoned as she burned. The next morning she was sunk by destroyer USS Hall (DD-583) at 12°19′N 121°05′E  /  12.317°N 121.083°E  / 12.317 121.083  ( wreck of USS LST-738 )Coordinates:
  • 12°19′N 121°05′E  /  12.317°N 121.083°E  / 12.317 121.083  ( wreck of USS LST-738 ) . steaming to Mindoro, Philippines, in the Sulu Sea, she was hit by a kamikaze plane on 21 December 1944, into the bridge. She foundered, due to fear of an explosion she was abandoned. Survivors were rescued by the destroyer USS Converse (DD-509) . on 18 October 1944, while anchored at Leghorn, Italy, a storm ran her aground. [49] On 6 December a storm caused further damage to the still-grounded ship. [49]

HMS Stalker, previously LST-3515, survived until 2010 at what was formerly Pounds scrapyard at the northern end of Portsea Island, Hampshire.

USS LST-649, Republic of Singapore Navy renamed RSS Resolution (L-204) now being used as a training ship to this day as of 29/7/2020 at Tuas Naval Base, Singapore. She was one of the five landing ships bought by Singapore on 5 December 1975 which consists of USS LST-836, USS LST-649, USS LST-629, USS LST-579 and USS LST-613.

USS LST-849, South Korean Navy Wi Bong renamed LST-676 1958-2006, was commissioned in 1945 and was an active ship until 2006. She first served in the Okinawa campaign in May–June 1945. She earned one battle star for her service in WWII. She was transferred to the South Korean navy in 1958 and served there until 2006. She was used to transport thousands of soldiers and their equipment from South Korea to South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. In 2007, she was decommissioned and sold to the city of Gunsan, South Korea for display in a maritime museum in a deal with the navy. The ship is in great condition and displays life on board the LST when she was in service as well as other historical displays. [50]

USS LST-325, Hellenic Navy RHS Syros (L-144) 1964–1999, is one of the last operating survivors of World War II. It is currently home ported at Evansville, Indiana at the USS LST Memorial museum. The ship is kept in navigable shape and makes cruises every year for 2 – 4 weeks. In 2010, participated in a cruise from Evansville, Indiana to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for the Amphibious Reunion in Pittsburgh from September 1–7. Upon completion of the reunion, the ship sailed from Pittsburgh to Marietta, Ohio, to take part in the Sternwheel Festival. [51]

USS LST-510 participated in the Invasion of Normandy and has operated as a passenger and auto ferry (renamed MV Cape Henlopen) since 1966. As of 2021 she sails between New London, Connecticut and Orient Point, on the East End of Long Island, New York.

USS LST-393, which participated in the landings on Sicily at Salerno, and the Invasion of Normandy is now located in Muskegon, Michigan as a museum and undergoing restoration.

USS Maricopa County (LST-938) , had been transferred to the Republic of Vietnam Navy, and after the Fall of Saigon was captured by North Vietnamese forces. As of 2003 [update] , she is active and in commission with the Vietnamese People's Navy as the Tran Khanh Du.

The Philippine Navy received 20+ units of the LST Mk.2 starting in the late 1940s, and still have 7 units on their active list as of 2010. This includes BRP Laguna (LT-501) (ex-USS LST-230), BRP Zamboanga del Sur (LT-86) ex-USS Marion County (LST-975), BRP Kalinga Apayao (LT-516) (ex-USS Garrett County (LST-786) and BRP Benguet (LT-507) (ex-USS Daviess County (LST-692). The BRP Sierra Madre (LT-57) (ex-USS Harnett County) permanently beached on the Second Thomas Shoal. The ship serves as an advance outpost, and is currently at the center of a territorial dispute between China and the Philippines. [52] [53]

USS LST-1008 was transferred to the Republic of China Navy on 19 June 1946 but then seized by People's Liberation Army Navy in 1950. She was decommissioned on 14 April 1999 and serve as a museum ship in Qingdao until she was towed for scrap in 2007. [54]

The commissioning of the Newport class in 1969 marked the introduction of an entirely new concept in the design of LSTs. She was the first of a new class of 20 LSTs capable of steaming at a sustained speed of 20 knots (37 km/h). To obtain that speed, the traditional blunt bow doors of the LST were replaced by a pointed ship bow. Unloading is accomplished through the use of a 112-foot (34 m) ramp operated over the bow and supported by twin derrick arms. A stern gate to the tank deck permits unloading of LVTs into the water or the unloading of other vehicles into a landing craft utility (LCU), onto a pier, or directly into the water. Capable of operating with high-speed amphibious squadrons consisting of LHAs, LPDs, and LSDs, the Newport-class LST can transport tanks, other heavy vehicles, and engineering equipment that cannot readily be landed by helicopters or landing craft. The Newport type has been removed from the U.S. Navy, and Spanish Navy, Chile, Australia, and Malaysia but serves on in the navies of Brazil, Mexico, Morocco, Taiwan, in a modified form and soon with Peru.

Elsewhere, over 100 Polish Polnocny-class landing ships were produced from 1967 to 2002. The Indian Navy maintains a fleet of seven Polnocny-class LSTs and LCUs known collectively as the Kumbhir class. [55] [56]

Quick Scuba Tips #12: Pimp Your GoPro for Amazing Underwater Video Colors (Watch Video)

We’re back with the quick tips series and my secret weapon for getting the best colort out of your GoPro underwater!

Introducing the Flip 8 from A color correction system that mounts straight onto the dive housing of your GoPro. Check them out below!

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Narvik is our northernmost destination surrounded by exciting history and a beautiful Arctic landscape. Experience the Midnight Sun in the summer or the Northern Lights in the winter. Learn about the area’s interesting wartime history on a journey on the Arctic Train or use the train to combine a visit to Narvik with winter adventures in Riksgränsen in Sweden. Did you know this is the easiest place to walk across Norway?

Pictures: Narvik - History

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Eric Gordon
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his Kaiser Convertible Back Home after
a 20 year search.
Eric Gordon's Kaiser
There are many pictures showing
the details of this Rebuild
A look at some of the
old cars from Russia
with a look at other old transportation systems
That Cute Little Crosley Anthony Hazelaar's
Model Trucks and Cars
Model T Fords
Anthony Hazelaar's
Model Trucks and Cars
Model A Fords
American Bantam
Car Works
The Early American
Sporty Cars
The Early Harley-Davidson
Now including the
newer Harleys
Kustom is always
spelled with a K.
Kustom Cars of the 1950's
View the progress
of Buddy Romines
1964 Studebaker
The Old Cars
of the Netherlands
Old English and American
Old Cars from
South Africa
1925 British Humber
8/18 Chummy
This page shows the
complete frame off rebuild
The Tucker '48' The Amphicar British Sports Cars
that are found in
North America
Michael Litvack's Toy
Cars and Trucks
The Kansas Car Shows The Restoration Shop Your Railway How to Get a Jeep
Really Stuck
Don Pate's 1947
Chevy Aero Sedan
The 1952 cars of
The World
James Rucker's
Car Collection

Bracken's Depictions, Antique Auto Art
Christopher Bracken
Professional Artist

Wheels For Wishes is a vehicle donation program benefiting Make-A-Wish.
Donate an unwanted car, truck, boat, motorcycle, or other vehicle and
help to make a wish come true for a local child.

All the Kaiser/Frazer pages are in one convenient place

E Mail Link
[email protected]

Jerry Barnes' Garden
Railway, The SCRR
Historic Aircraft Pictures Historic Media
ROMs containing
historical photos
and images
A website featuring
many articles on many
different cars
SunTec Auto Glass & Windshields
For classic and old cars and trucks
Rik Hoving Kustom Cars Serving Orange County
California and surrounding
cities, counties, and communities
The Old car manual
Project on Facebook
A nice site with lots of
infoon old cars
The Edsel Club A Spanish Web site from
Costa Rica on a family's Volkswagen
The Hurlburt Motor Truck
Quality and craftsmanship
is long remembered after
the price is forgotten
Relive decades gone by
as you view more than
70 autosdisplayed
by collectors
Automobile Veteranen
Club Austria
Yes this site has
to do with Jeeps
A tribute to the Steam
Locomotives of the CNR
A tribute to the Steam
Locomotives of the CPR
The History and
Restoration of a
WW II European Truck
American sports
Buy and Sell Classic cars Your Railway Chris on Cars
Up to date new on what
the Auto industry is doing
The Chevrolet Club
of Norway
The Fire Engines Photos
Image Library contains
many photos for and by
Fire Engine / Fire Truck
All Car Central is designed
to become the Central
Library of all car history
and current
automotive events
A very well done Japanese
Pontiac web site.
Even if you can't read
Japanese there are some
nice pictures here
Nova Scotia's
Vintage V-Dubbers
The official website of
the automobile make
of car Le Zebre
By Philippe Schram,
historian of Le Zebre
Transport Artist
The shop window for the
work of Britain's
leading commercial
transport artist
The Military Jeep Club
of Queensland, Australia
This is Chrysler 300
Country An Interesting Chrysper Page
with an autobiography
of Tom McCahill
The father of the
Automobile Road Tests
TT Car Central "Classic and Vintage Cars"
a world-wide image
library dedicated to those
magnificent vintage and
classic automobiles
The Daily Magazine
Dedicated to the pre
1940 car
The history of the Crosley
written in Russian
Even if you can't read it
there are some nice
pictures on this site
We are Radiator Master &
We are ready to help YOU!
Welcome to T&T Rods If you are interested in
Italian Car
Check out this site.
Wheels of Italy
Antique Cars

Who we are, what we do and where we do it

I had had many visitors ask what the weather was like in Summerville.
In the summer months it much the same as any place in Canada but
the winter months can see a bit of snow


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Culture & History in Narvik

Narvik offers visitors much more than wonderful nature and outdoor activities. The town has a very interesting history and culture to tell.

The construction of the impressive Arctic Railway Line - Ofotbanen, made the town had a lot more life and bigger, but unfortunately, the railway line also brought was the reason the WWII to here. In 1940 the biggest sea battle in the North Atlantic took place in the fjords surrounding Narvik.

It is the perfect break from the many nature excursions, visiting some of the city's history and culture attractions. Locals here are proud of the culture and history and more than happy to share them with you.

The special light & local culture

In Narvik, you will find a fascinating contrast in daylight unlike from the rest of the world. Between the dark time, with 4 hours
of daylight in the winter, and the summer with 24 hours of sunlight. Beautiful snow covered landscape in the winter, and lush softly green nature in summer. Contrasts which made life exciting here and never boring.

It is the perfect detour to take the Ofotbanen railway on a hop on/off the tour here, to find out about the natives and their way of living. Combined with a hike on the Navvy trail is even better. From Bjørnfjell or Katterat station, the trail runs along the railway line down to the fjord, Rombaksbotn. The area filled with cultural monuments, good stories and varied nature.

Z2 Georg Thiele Shipwreck

View all photos

A rusting hunk of metal juts out from the water within one of Norway’s famously breathtaking fjords. Tinged yellowish orange by time, it stands out among the green hillsides and brilliantly blue water.

It’s nearly all that remains above water of the Z2 Georg Thiele, a German Type 1934-class destroyer. Built in 1934, the ill-fated vessel was only active for six short years before it was run aground during World War II.

The destroyer met its demise during one of the Battles of Narvik, which were part of the Norwegian Campaign. It, along with other German defense vessels, squared off against the Allied Forces that attempted to overtake the fjord and nearby city.

At the start of the battle, the Z2 Georg Thiele managed to do some damage to the incoming fleet. However, it was later hit by heavy Allied fire. This subsequently caused actual fires to flare up within the ship. The damage was so bad the captain purposely ran it aground so the crew could escape to land. The vessel later snapped in two and capsized.

Now, the wreck is a superb diving site for any military history buffs. Though its hull pokes above the surface, the rest of the ship lies drowned below (apart from its bell, which is displayed in a nearby museum). The fjord is a treasure trove of submerged and sunken war relics, thanks to the many battles that took place within its waters.

Update August 2018: As of at least July 31st, access to the wreck is blocked by construction on a nearby electrical substation. Nonetheless, you can still get fairly close to the wreck.

Update September 2018: Construction work on the nearby electrical substation still continues. As they are putting the wires at the moment access to the ship is totally blocked and there is no other parking possibility left than at the plot with boathouses from where the ship is invisible. With a good telelens, you can take a picture from the road at about half a mile from the ship itself.

Know Before You Go

From the parking area you have to walk about 30 minutes to the final location. Be careful: Parts of the walk are muddy, slippery, and over rocks. The path is also rather hidden, so make sure to look behind the green building for its starting point.


Scroll down for inspiration
or go directly to our plan your trip page.

Fantastic views in the middle of the night without any legwork? Yes, please!

Catch a ride with the cable car to the top of Mount Narvikfjellet and watch the midnight sun in the summer …

With one of Scandinavia’s largest drop heights and excellent conditions for off-piste skiing, the ski resort at Narvikfjellet offers some of the best alpine skiing in Norway.

In fact, this resort in Northern Norway is one of the 10 best undiscovered ski resorts in Europe, according to the magazine Outside Online.

Here above the Arctic Circle, nature is your playground all year round.

Get a bird&rsquos eye view of the region on a family-friendly hike to Verdenssvaet &hellip

… or join a local guide and climb to the top of Mount Stetinden.

The peak is crowned the National mountain of Norway by the Norwegian Broadcasting Company’s radio listeners.

Other popular activities include mountain biking, eagle safari, and dog sledging.

If you visit Narvik in May, you can also sign up for an owl safari along the Fjellkysten coast.

One of Norway’s most beautiful train journeys, the Ofoten Line, starts in Narvik, too. All you have to do is find a comfortable seat and take in the scenery.

Hop off at Riksgrensen and hike across Norway along the navvies’ road, from the Swedish boarder in the east to the fjords in the west.

For a shorter version of the hike, disembark at Katterat station.

The Ofoten Line is a magical journey, but the story is far more dramatic.

The Ofoten Line was built by the navvies to transport iron from Lapland in Sweden to Narvik, so that it could be exported from there. Sounds harmless, right?

But during the Second World War, the Ofoten Line was one of the reasons why Narvik was on the Germans’ map of places to conquer in Norway – they wanted control of the iron ore railway.

They invaded the region on 9 April in 1940 and, for two months, the battle was fought in what was a faraway place at the time.

The troops did not only face each other but also the harsh weather conditions, steep mountains, and a lack of provisions.

The Battle of Narvik left traces around the region, which you can see on the journey with the Ofoten Line or learn more about at the Narvik War Museum.

Watch the video: Narvik, Norway


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