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"LVTs" Topic

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uglyfatbloke09 Nov 2022 4:51 p.m. PST

Any thoughts on loading LVTs? We need to identify a reasonably valid general rule for our games, which are 28mm and 1:1 figure scale So far we're thinking 2 vehicles per platoon; one with 2 squads, the other with one squad and platoon HQ, but what about the weapons platoon? As ever, your help will be much appreciated!

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP09 Nov 2022 5:20 p.m. PST

The LVT4 could hold 24 men and their equipment.

A full strength weapons platoon wouldn't fit into a single track. Personally, I suspect that platoon elements were detached and assigned as needed or as directed by the ops plan. Ex. 1st and 2nd platoon each has 1 MG section attached, 3rd platoon has none, and the mortar section is attached to the company headquarters platoon.

uglyfatbloke09 Nov 2022 5:29 p.m. PST

Yup' hence we've been thinking in terms of 2 squads per vehicle given that squads are/were virtually never at full strength, but maybe we're just totally wrong about the approach to loading?

Starfury Rider10 Nov 2022 9:45 a.m. PST

It's the kind of thing you would think there'd be a few contemporary accounts available for, but having looked myself (a long while ago now) I only found a few bits and pieces.

I will assume the question refers to US Army and USMC practice in the Pacific? If so, the USMC did put some numbers down but not Squad/Platoon detail.

For Guam, 1st Provisional Marine Brigade landed two Regts up, each with two Bns up, each with two Coys up, and the third Coy in reserve. A diagram for their landing (taken from Fold3, probably somewhere on CGSC as well) just shows each Coy with 12 LVTs, in two 'waves' of six apiece, plus four more for Bn HQ.

3rd Mar Div landed its three Mar Inf Regts somewhat differently, with 9th and 21st each landing one Bn up, and 3rd two Bns up. 9th and 21st each show their two Assaults Coys with 12 LVTs (again in two waves of six), reserve Coy the same, Bn HQ with three and the 81-mm Mortar Pl with four. 3rd Mar Inf has 12 LVTs per Assault Coy (in waves of 6, 3 and 3 this time), the reserve Coy with 11 LVTs, four for the mortars and three for Bn HQ.

The LVT report from Saipan (Phase I) noted the LVT-2 and (A)2 could carry 18-20 men in addition to the crew, and the LVT-4 30-35 men, with no overloading issues.

There is a sketch from Combat Team 24 at Flintlock, which gives a hint on their layout. In their Assault Coys, 1st and 2nd Pls were carried over five LVTs, and 3rd Pl in three. In the five craft group one LVT carried parts of both Pls. However, these were not standard Rifle Pls it appears, as each had an 'assault team' (at least that's what I presume the AT designation given to it means), which included an LMG crew, a Bazooka crew and four demo men. Six LMGs and three 60-mm mortars came in the next wave, in four LVTs with mixed loads.

Army and Marine LVT organisations didn't dovetail nicely with units either, and were treated more as a pool to be allocated as required.


uglyfatbloke10 Nov 2022 10:53 a.m. PST

Thanks Gary. In that case – pending more info – I feel we can take 12 for a company as being 'close enough for opera' and kind of sounds like it might be 3 for each of the rifle platoons with maybe a pair of MGs (or MG, mortar and bazooka/demolitions) and Platoon HQ and the balance of weapons platoon and coy HG in the remaining three vehicles.

jgawne10 Nov 2022 1:38 p.m. PST

What I can tell you is that for D-day the assault units reorganized their companies to make boat teams. It was decided very quickly that this was not the best way to go and they supposedly stopped the idea. Having read far too many WW2 amphib assault documents, my best guess is that they split the platoons down into whatever self contained unit could fit, and then the rest of the space would go to the hundred and one 'other' guys that had to also get on shore. I have not spent time in much PTO records, but there should be loading lists in the regimental files, as you cannot just wait for the last minute and then try and find seating.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP10 Nov 2022 1:44 p.m. PST

I just "knew" that LVTs were not used in Overlord at any stage. Too early.

Like most of what I "knew", this was wrong, but they were not employed for landing assault troops, so I was almost right, except for where I was totally wrong.

uglyfatbloke10 Nov 2022 1:59 p.m. PST

jgawne-- kind of what I was thinking; each LVT having one squad plus 'something else'….MG/mortar/platoon HQ/whatever.

Blutarski10 Nov 2022 4:58 p.m. PST

Do a web search for "ALLIGATORS, BUFFALOES and BUSHMASTERS". You should be easily able to find a free PDF download of this document from one of the US government archival sites.

It is a pretty detailed history of the development of the LVT in WW2.


uglyfatbloke11 Nov 2022 2:57 a.m. PST

Much obliged Blutarski!

Starfury Rider11 Nov 2022 3:55 a.m. PST

The old ww2gyrene site had, as I recall, a diagram layout of a USMC unit in LVTs. I had a look if I could find it via wayback but that didn't have it logged (and the old domain tripped my anti-virus). Kind of thing you wish you'd taken a copy of when it was around.

I had a look at some of the USMC Regimental reports, available at a few places online, and none included an allocation of troops to LVTs or LCVPs. There was perhaps an SOP on the subject to ensure units worked on the same basis.


uglyfatbloke11 Nov 2022 4:22 a.m. PST

I imagine practice varied from one regiment/battalion to another, and perhaps from one operation to another. In the interests of having a wargame solution (until we read different!) I think our practice will be as per above – 2 squad and one weapon team per LVT; 6x MGs in the first wave of 6 then 3 mortars in the next wave along with the 3rd platoon, Co HQ and all the other bells and whistles

Blutarski11 Nov 2022 12:34 p.m. PST

UFB Alert !!!

Go here link

"LVT Report"

This document <<<should>>> have all you need.

- -

Also, the following web link -

- should give a leg up on finding US WW2-related reference material.


uglyfatbloke11 Nov 2022 2:57 p.m. PST

Wow……brilliant; much obliged.

Starfury Rider12 Nov 2022 12:15 p.m. PST

After having a more sustained look around CGSC, it seems at least one unit made a detailed record of how they were to carry an infantry unit for one op, at least.



uglyfatbloke12 Nov 2022 12:58 p.m. PST

That is stupendous. I wonder if it was actually theoretically standard practice but mostly nobody thought the docs were worth saving. I am delighted Starfury!

Starfury Rider13 Nov 2022 10:15 a.m. PST

I suspect the mix of LVT-2s and LVT-4s had a bearing. A quick and unscientific look through the USMC Amphib Trac Bn shows a roughly 50/50 split for the 1945 reports from those units available online, and none of those include a 'boat assignment table'. The 5th Mar Div Op Order for Iwo Jima shows 3 LVT-2s and 3 LVT-4s each for the assault Platoons of two Bns, landing two Coys abreast, with the third Bn having 3x 2s and 2x 4s instead.

The available mix of LVTs would have an impact on how many personnel could be carried in, and a rule of thumb of circa 20 men in the 2s and 30 men in the 4s seem to be present. I would imagine 2 LVT-2s could accommodate either an Army or Marine Rifle Pl (thought the latter would be a bit of a squeeze), with the third Squad and Pl HQ split over the two.

I did find the page I recalled seeing via wayback, but as is often the case, the text is saved but the images are not;



Blutarski19 Nov 2022 8:08 p.m. PST

If you are interested in the battle for Peleliu, go here –

Go here – link


uglyfatbloke20 Nov 2022 2:07 a.m. PST


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