Civilopedia entry[edit | edit source]
A combined land an sea attack, usually associated with the capture of a beach head or coastal area, is known as amphibious warfare. First attempted by the ancient Persians during the battle of Marathon in 490 BC, successful coordination of amphibious assaults are considered to be among the most complex military operations. When ship-mounted guns were developed, naval vessels would open fire on ground forces and gun emplacements while merchant ships were used to land troops and supplies. The first modern amphibious assault took place at Gallipoli during World War I. Poorly planned and executed, this assault failed, but served as an example of the need for perfect coordination of forces in this type of attack. As battlefield communications improved, and the range of ship-mounted weapons increased, amphibious warfare became increasingly successful, and played a vital role in World War II. Today, amphibious operations are augmented by fast, armored landing vehicles; hovercraft that are capable of moving troops to and across the beach; and airborne assistance from planes and helicopters.