Landing craft are boats and seagoing vessels used
to convey a landing force (infantry and vehicles) from the sea to
the shore during an amphibious assault. Most renowned are those used
to storm the beaches of Normandy, the Mediterranean, and many
Pacific islands during WWII. This was the high point of the landing
craft, with a significant number of different designs produced in
large quantities by the United Kingdom and United States.
Because of the need to run up onto a suitable beach, WWII landing
craft were flat-bottomed, and many designs had a flat front, often
with a lowerable ramp, rather than a normal bow. This made them
difficult to control and very uncomfortable in rough seas. The
control point (bridge was far too fancy a description for the
facilities of the LCA and similar craft) was normally situated at
the extreme rear of the vessel as were the engines. In all cases
they tended to be known by an abbreviation derived from the official
name rather than by the full title.