Amphibious Evolution

USNI Proceedings – The amphibious ships that transport the U.S. Marine Corps to hostile shores have undergone major changes over the past 80 years. In World War II, the fleet transformed from a force of hastily converted civilian commercial vessels to an armada of thousands of mass-produced ships and boats in a matter of months. The Cold War saw amphibious ships change radically to incorporate new landing craft technology, while post–Cold War types consolidated and grew larger. Today’s fleet is on the cusp of yet another transformation, with planners again eyeing small ships to survive war with a near-peer competitor in the Pacific.